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Grabkapelle auf dem Wuerttemberg, a chapel and mausoleum in the Stuttgart district of Untertuerkheim, is dedicated to Queen Katharina. The chapel, pictured here in early March, was built on a hill overlooking Stuttgart nearly 200 years ago.

Grabkapelle auf dem Wuerttemberg, a chapel and mausoleum in the Stuttgart district of Untertuerkheim, is dedicated to Queen Katharina. The chapel, pictured here in early March, was built on a hill overlooking Stuttgart nearly 200 years ago. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

Grabkapelle auf dem Wuerttemberg, a chapel and mausoleum in the Stuttgart district of Untertuerkheim, is dedicated to Queen Katharina. The chapel, pictured here in early March, was built on a hill overlooking Stuttgart nearly 200 years ago.

Grabkapelle auf dem Wuerttemberg, a chapel and mausoleum in the Stuttgart district of Untertuerkheim, is dedicated to Queen Katharina. The chapel, pictured here in early March, was built on a hill overlooking Stuttgart nearly 200 years ago. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

Grabkapelle auf dem Wuerttemberg contains various statues dedicated to German royalty. Church services are sometimes offered at the site, where the tombs of King Wilhelm I and Katharina are located.

Grabkapelle auf dem Wuerttemberg contains various statues dedicated to German royalty. Church services are sometimes offered at the site, where the tombs of King Wilhelm I and Katharina are located. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

This is the view up from the cellar of the chapel where King Wilhelm and Queen Katharina are buried. The vent lets in a little bit of light.

This is the view up from the cellar of the chapel where King Wilhelm and Queen Katharina are buried. The vent lets in a little bit of light. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

Grabkapelle auf dem Wuerttemberg is perched atop a hill and surrounded by vineyards. This is one of the biggest wine-producing areas in the Stuttgart region.

Grabkapelle auf dem Wuerttemberg is perched atop a hill and surrounded by vineyards. This is one of the biggest wine-producing areas in the Stuttgart region. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

Grabkapelle auf dem Wuerttemberg , a chapel built between 1820 and 1824, was modeled on the Pantheon in Rome and is considered one of the better examples of neoclassical architecture in the region.

Grabkapelle auf dem Wuerttemberg , a chapel built between 1820 and 1824, was modeled on the Pantheon in Rome and is considered one of the better examples of neoclassical architecture in the region. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

The view from the monument on top of Wuerttemberg Hill offers sweeping views of the Neckar Valley and Stuttgart.

The view from the monument on top of Wuerttemberg Hill offers sweeping views of the Neckar Valley and Stuttgart. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

Cars might get the attention in the southern city that is Germany’s automotive capital, but a ride to the top of Wuerttemburg Hill on Stuttgart’s outskirts is a reminder that this is also wine country.

In the heart of the city’s main wine-making area, where the rolling hillside is draped with vines, the road winds up to one the best views of Stuttgart. And one of the city’s more underappreciated monuments.

The Grabkapelle auf dem Wuerttemberg, positioned atop the village of Rotenberg in the Stuttgart district of Untertuerkheim, serves as a memorial to old-time royalty.

The chapel and mausoleum were constructed nearly 200 years ago by King Wilhelm I in memory of his wife, Katharina. The tombs for the dead royals are down in the cellar of the chapel, which can be visited for a small fee.

The site of the chapel itself, which was built between 1820 and 1824 and was modeled on the Pantheon in Rome, was once the seat of a residence for the royals. That changed when Katharina died.

Wilhelm, down about his wife’s death, ordered that the castle on the site be replaced with the chapel that stands today. The king and their daughter Charlotte were later buried at the same site.

The monument is regarded as one of the best studies in neoclassical architecture in the region, built out of sandstone and featuring a dome roof, pillars and with a look familiar to anyone who has visited the monuments of Washington or their Roman progenitor.

For those who couldn’t care less about art history, there is still plenty of reason for a visit.

Wuerttemberg Hill offers a sweeping view of the Neckar Valley and Stuttgart. The Mercedes-Benz stadium is easy to see and evidence that the automotive giant is king here. But surrounded by vineyards, you can take pleasure in Stuttgart’s other charms, namely that humble variety known as Lemberger.

On the way back down Wuerttemberg Hill, wine bars are aplenty.

vandiver.john@stripes.com

DIRECTIONS Address: 340 Wuerttembergtrasse, Stuttgart, Germany

TIMES Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, the chapel and mausoleum are open until 6 p.m. The memorial is open only between March 1 and Nov. 1. The outdoor grounds are open year-round.

COSTS Chapel entrance costs 2.50 euros (about $2.80) for adults; children enter free.

FOOD There are cafes and restaurants along the road leading to the chapel.

INFORMATIONwww.grabkapelle-rotenberg.de/en/home

author picture
John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.
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