Karlsruhe: An UNESCO City of Media Arts

Stuttgart meets Mumbai, a two-day wine festival, saw my friends from Karlsruhe making their gracious presence in Mumbai, with the Karlsruhe team led by Pascal Rastetter, Managing Director of KTG Karlsruhe Tourism GmbH, and my good old friend Martin Wacker, Managing Director of KME Karlsruhe Marketing and Event GmbH.

Karlsruhe Tourism GmbH organized a keynote presentation this year on “UNESCO City of media arts” Karlsruhe – Gateway to the Black Forest for the top Indian travel community and select media people. Making the presentation engrossing and delightful to the audience, Pascal Rastetter focused not just on the culture and tourism aspect but also on the business prospects.

In 2019, Karlsruhe became the first and so far only city in Germany to be awarded the title Creative City of Media Arts by UNESCO and to join the international UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). “As a UNESCO Creative City, we are committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular, the role of creativity and culture in building sustainable urban societies,” said Pascal.

Karlsruhe is a city where media art in its various forms is part of life. With the ZKM | Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe is home to one of the most important media art institutions worldwide. The ZKM is also curatorially involved in the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Karlsruhe, a media art spectacle that delights tens of thousands of visitors every summer with impressive projection mapping shows and makes media art in public spaces an experience for everyone.

From a tourism perspective, Karlsruhe recently increased its room inventory from 6000 to 8000 rooms, resulting in better pricing for tourists. “For any tourist visiting the Black Forest area, Karlsruhe can be the base city. Tourists can stay for a week as Karlsruhe is in the middle of most attractions. From here, you can reach most tourist places in Germany, France, and even Switzerland within 2 to 3 hours. If guests have limited time, they can see Karlsruhe through our Hop on Hop off bus within a day,” said Pascal.

The city is at the heart of the Karlsruhe Technology Region, one of the most dynamic and successful economic regions in Europe. Over 4,200 companies are active in the IT and media sector alone. “I foresee great potential for tech exchange between India and Karlsruhe,” said Pascal.

In 2024, the India Summer Days will be held from July 19th to 21st. The event will showcase Indian culture in the form of an Indian village. The focus of the numerous offerings is once again on culture, culinary delights, hands-on activities, music, dance, tourism, yoga, as well as lots of information on destinations. In addition, Indian handicrafts, books, jewellery, textiles, and, of course, spices await guests visiting the bazaar during the festival weekend. And of course, the authentic Indian cuisine on offer also invites visitors to experience India by taste.

“This year again it will be a part of our southern Germany’s largest family festival DAS FEST. Goa tourism will be the official partner state. With free admission, the India Summer Days will again celebrate the strong German-Indian partnership of many years,” said Pascal.

Having been to Karlsruhe five times, it’s a city that you can’t fail to fall in love with. Lots of greenery, palaces, the world’s first interactive museum, a dynamic marketplace, and the convenience of reaching most locations by green transport – cycling. Add to this its reputation as a tech-savvy city with lots of educational institutes.

Karlsruhe is in the shape of a fan with a geometrical focal point from where 32 streets and paths radiate like the rays of the sun. Then there’s the ZKM: the world’s largest culture factory and the world’s first interactive museum. Karlsruhe’s market square (Marktplatz) is the heart of the city where visitors can admire the symbol of the city of Karlsruhe, a pyramid of red sandstone measuring some seven meters in height. The unusual structure covers the tomb of Margrave Karl Wilhelm. The city has all the clubs, bars, and pubs that a night owl could ask for, including traditional brewery pubs.

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