Wilhelma after your day's work

Station Nr. 1: The Glasshouses

In the historical glasshouses and, all built in a row with a beautiful winter garden midway, the visitors are able to see in a condensed area all the wonders of the plant realm. Grouped according to the different climatic needs, cactuses, bromeliads, orchids and numerous other tropical and sub tropical plants are there to delight the visitor. Perhaps they will remind some people of holidays …this botanical paradise certainly makes one start to dream.

Depending on the season you can enjoy differing flowering highlights - either azaleas, fuchsias or camellias. 


Station Nr. 2: The Moorish Garden

The heart of the historical Wilhelma! It is here that King Wilhelm I of Wurttemberg had his Swabian Alhambra built. The main flowering time of the magnolias in the largest magnolia grove of Europe north of the Alps is around Easter-time. In summer the old trees stand in full leaf in front of their historical backdrop. In the centre of the Moorish Garden is the Water Lily Pond. This is heated and, with a water temperature of 28 – 30°C, is a perfect home for tropical water lilies. The dominant ones are the largest water lilies of the world, Victoria amazonica and Victoria cruziana, named after the British Queen Victoria, who reigned over a hundred years ago. On their giant leaves they can carry weights of up to 70 kg. At the edge of the pond Indian lotuses bloom, and between the leaves of the water lilies little fish dart – Wilhelma's koi babies (Japanese decorative carp) grow up here.

Station Nr. 3: The House for Tree-dwelling Apes and Monkeys

Ropes and wooden struts in the open-air enclosure simulate the springy treetops in the forests of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. The white-handed gibbons can swing through the "branches" to their hearts' content, and there is also enough room for them to leap – as they are wont to doing – up to 12 metres .In this house there are also the Javan leaf monkeys from Java, delicate colobins with enchanting Beatles hairdos. These are specialized leaf eaters, and it is not at all easy in a zoo to keep them supplied with food, for they need leaves to eat in winter, too.

Station 4: The old Ape House

Previously there were three species of great ape to be seen in this building; now only the orang-utans live here. The bonobos and gorillas have moved into the new Great Ape House, which is no longer on this route. Even if the fittings of this old house appear to be very austere, the elementary needs of the primates are still catered for: there are things to keep the animals busy, there is room for privacy, feeding sessions are spread over the day and the animals live in social groups. The visitors provide additional entertainment: the orang-utans still look forward to your visit!

Station Nr. 5: The Young Animal Rearing Facilities

Before the new complex for Great apes was opened the Young Animal Rearing Station used to be adjacent to the old ape house, and the “kindergarten” for gorilla babies was to be found there. This has now been integrated into the new complex – with many advantages for the re-socialization of hand-reared youngsters. But there are still various species of New World monkeys living in the Young Animal Rearing Station, such as emperor tamarins with their impressive moustaches, white-faced marmosets, pygmy marmosets, the black goeldi’s marmosets, red ruffed lemurs from Madagaskar and a breeding group of the rare drills. Also in the house is a special breed of white doves with coloured wings, Chinese King Quail and spiny mice. In addition, one can watch chickens hatching in the incubator and see all the various stages of the development of the domestic hen.

Station Nr. 6: The Amazon House

Our next station is the Amazon House, constructed at great expense and with immense technical expertise. 2,000 plants, such as the mahogany and the floss-silk tree, palms, araceae. bromeliads, orchids, mangroves, tropical crop plants such as cassava, the cacao tree, bananas and many others, all bring about the illusion that you are in a tropical mountain forest of the Amazon.
Just as in real nature, the "Stuttgart tropical forest" does not reveal all of its secrets at first sight. In order to discover monkeys, birds, reptiles and amphibians, you must really spy closely into the lush growth of the plants in each enclosure. 25 species of birds fly freely in the building and are often only to be located by their call. A huge glass pane allows you to view the underwater realm of the Amazon: caimans, turtles and fish inhabit the two huge tanks, which are linked together and hold a total of 100,000 litres of water. Watch out if you wear spectacles – no glass stays dry here! With a jungle climate of up to 28°C and a relative humidity of 80%, Central Europeans can get into quite a sweat!

Station 7: The Insectarium

This building with its many-legged inhabitants carries you away into the realm of the arthropods. Insects, spiders and millipedes give a lot of people the creeps. But if you want, you can find out a lot about these fascinating animals here – about their variety, the accomplishments of their senses and how they can adapt, how they can help but also cause damage for humans, and a whole lot more. The darlings amongst these otherwise not much loved insects are the butterflies. In their own specially built Hall, you can observe these colourful illusionists and maybe even experience seeing a butterfly emerging from one of the chrysalids in the chrysalid box.