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Cultural life

Naturally there are great moments and gestures: when renowned literary figures attend the LesART, when the Photo Triennial or the Young Podium Festival bring exceptional art to the city. When the Theodor-Haecker Prize for Civic Courage and Political Sincerity is awarded as an international prize for human rights. When Esslingen becomes a “City on the River” and works of art bring the Neckar into the city. Otherwise it is more the small sensations and unexpected encounters that mystify and touch one.

For example the LIMA, the Literary Puppet Theatre, where the strings have been pulled in a medieval house chapel for more than 20 years – a faraway world of dreams and longing. No less wondrous is the Schreiber Museum, in memory of the J.F. Schreiber Publishers that once enchanted children with their books and paper model sheets. Their book about the “Root Children” has been published in more than 80 editions and has still not lost any of its touching charm. Not far away are the cellars of the Galgenstricke, clever cabaret artists who pull politics and the Zeitgeist to pieces, and the Jazz Cellar which was founded in 1957 – an institution in Germany’s jazz scene.

Esslingen was a Free Imperial City which was independent for 600 years – not only politically but also culturally – and so it is natural that it possesses not only an art gallery housed in a neo-Renaissance villa but also the Württemberg State Theatre where at the end of each season the stage is moved into the open air. Should there ever be a pause in the culture programme, it doesn’t matter – for Esslingen itself is a work of art.