Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Junges Schloss at Altes Schloss, Stuttgart

By dumb luck or Divine Providence (and I don't believe in dumb luck), we happened upon a children's museum while we were exploring the more medieval part of Stuttgart. We wandered over to the Altes Schloss, or the Old Castle, on the Schillerplatz and saw some cheerful signs indicating that Junges Schloss had just opened in September 2012. So we went up the stairs to check it out (as I describe in the last post).

The very first room is where children switch from their shoes to socks. The museum offers especially rugged socks for kids to wear over their regular socks (or if they have no socks, which seems unlikely in March when we visited). The sides of the room have sloping paths with bits of carpeting. J immediately assumed they were obstacles in an obstacle course. He and L were off and running in no time!

Racing through the "obstacle" course

Art house photographic moment on the course

Further on was the main exhibit, all about the Celtic peoples who had once lived in the area long ago. All sorts of interactive exhibits kept the children entertained. The most popular with J and L was the blacksmith's workshop. The sign by the workshop reads: "Irons in the fire. The Celts made beautiful things with bronze, gold and silver. They also knew how to use iron, which in those days had just been discovered. Iron was harder than the other metals they used. Their blacksmiths used iron to make tools and weapons. In order to forge the iron, they needed a fireplace, bellows and an anvil." Yes, they had signs in English!

Working at the forge

Lovely iron works from the good old days

L's favorite thing was to use the hammer and anvil to bang a sheet of metal flat. The museum provided little sheets of high-grade aluminum foil, some of which were gold foil. She'd happily shape her metal all day if I let her.

Another popular spot was the cooking pot. The long wooden spoons attach to the pot with little magnets. A large pile of plastic cards listed the various meats and vegetables we could add to the stew to make a fine supper.

L can feel the yummy dinner in her tummy already!

J has a hard time deciding which ingredients to add

Uh-oh! Wrong one!!

They also had a maze that resembled a forest. At least, that's what J called it after he explored it once. He went through several times while L was working in the smithy.

Overview of the maze

L eventually came away from her work and tried out life as a soldier.

L, Celtic Warrior

Further down was a room simulating a town's wall. L set to work on the wall as well.

Just one more panel to finish!

L is too busy choosing bricks to smile for the photo

The room had some rocks to climb on, which quickly turned into a "king of the mountain" game for the children.

L is queen while J begins his ascent

King of the Mountain in his red museum socks!

Pretty soon the call of lunch time drew us away from the museum. Luckily they had a handy horn for calling people far and wide.

Horn o' the beast

We heartily recommend the Junges Schloss at the Altes Schloss!

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