History and stories


What a brilliant royal idea: in times of economic weakness and famine, King Wilhelm I founded, together with his wife Katharina, the “Centralstelle des landwirtschaftlichen Vereins“ organisation in 1817. The agricultural festival which was first celebrated one day after the king’s 36th birthday on 28 September 1818 has since become the Cannstatter Volksfest.


Eruption of the Tambora Volcano

Eruption of the Tambora Volcano on the island of Sumbawa in today’s Indonesia. It results in the Year Without a Summer – gasses and ash caused climate changes for many years afterwards leading to crop failures and famine in south Germany.

1815

Eruption of the Tambora Volcano

Eruption of the Tambora Volcano on the island of Sumbawa in today’s Indonesia. It results in the Year Without a Summer – gasses and ash caused climate changes for many years afterwards leading to crop failures and famine in south Germany.

1815

Centralstelle des landwirtschaftlichen Vereins

King Wilhelm I and his wife Katharina found the so-called “Centralstelle des landwirtschaftlichen Vereins” – an organization to promote agriculture.

1817

1st Cannstatter Volksfest

On 28 September 1818, one day after the king’s 36th birthday, a big agricultural festival with horse races and prize-giving for outstanding cattle-breeding achievements is celebrated on the so-called Cannstatter Wasen site. Named the “Landwirtschaftliche Fest zu Kannstadt” (Kannstadt Agricultural Festival), it is therefore the 1st Cannstatter Volksfest.

28.09.1818

Founding of Hohenheim

University Hohenheim University is founded on 20 November 1818. It originated as an agricultural teaching, experimentation and demonstration academy set up by King Wilhelm I. (The first director of the academy was Johann Nepomuk Hubert von Schwerz).

20.11.1818

Festival Parade

The first mention of a festival parade with more than 10,000 participants and over 100,000 spectators lining the streets. King Wilhelm I celebrates the 25th year of his reign. In his honour, the Jubilee Column on the Schlossplatz square in the city centre is erected by benefactors.  

1841

Landwirtschaftliche Akademie

Agricultural academy

Hohenheim University is elevated by a decree signed by Wilhelm I to an “Academy of Agriculture and Forestry”.

1847

Flooding on the Wasen

Flooding on the Wasen: floods wash away the festival tents. The Volksfest has to be cancelled.

1851

Emperors meet on the Wasen

King Wilhelm I welcomes Emperor Napoleon III and Tsar Alexander II from Russia to the Volksfest on 28 September.  

28.09.1857

The “Amts- und Intelligenzblatt”

The “Amts- und Intelligenzblatt für das Oberamt Cannstatt” – a local official publication – reports on the Volksfest where the stalls are ordered for the first time in three main streets and numerous side streets.

1860

1876 / 1881

Together with his son-in-law, Grand Duke Friedrich I visited the Volksfest on 28 September 1876 and returned in 1881.

1876

Cannstatter Volksfest is no longer an annual festival

By order of King Karl, the son and successor to Wilhelm I, the Cannstatter Volksfest is no longer held annually but every two years. The ruling remains in place until his death in 1891.

1882

Union

The town of Cannstatt unites with the royal seat of Stuttgart but is not incorporated within the city. The festival site is improved.  

1905

1914 – 1918

The Volksfest is suspended during the First World War. In the years afterwards, the “Fruchtsäule” – the Fruit Column – is seen as a “monarchical remnant” and is no longer erected.

1914

Radio reports from the Volksfest

Radio reports for the first time from the Volksfest: 9,839 registered listeners to the “Süddeutschen Rundfunk” station (today the SWR) tune in to the “first live reporting from the Wasen”.

1924

The Volksfest takes a break

The Volksfest takes a break in favour of the “Deutschen Landwirtschaftlichen Gesellschaft” – the “German Agricultural Society”.  

1925

National socialism phase 1933 - 1939

The National Socialism phase lies between 1933 and 1939. Five Volksfests take place during the years. In 1933, the Volksfest is suspended in favour of the 15th “Deutschen Turnfest” – a gymnastics and athletics festival. It is replaced by a harvest festival on the Market Square. The 103rd Volksfest in 1938 is the last one in the NS era. The start of the war on 1 September 1939 abruptly stops all the preparations.

1933

100th Volksfest

The Fruit Column returns to the Wasen on the occasion of the 100th Volksfest. A so-called “Landwirtschaftliches Hauptfest” (LWH – a major agricultural festival) is also held in the anniversary year. It will remain the only one in the difficult political times.

1935

The restart with the "Autumn Festival"

The restart is overshadowed by the effects of the war and the misery suffered by the refugees. In ruins, the Cannstatter Wasen site is a sad sight. The first festival after the war is modestly named the “Autumn Festival”.

1949

The Fruit Column returns

The Fruit Column returns to the Wasen and is erected again for the first time.

1953

80th "Landwirtschaftliche Hauptfest"

The 80th Landwirtschaftliche Hauptfest takes place. After the Second World War and at the start of the 50s, the festival lasts initially ten days before being extended to 12.

1954

Large Stuttgart breweries

For the first time ever, four tents belonging to the major Stuttgart breweries are erected on the Wasen for the Cannstatter Volksfest.

1957

LWH every three years

A new three-year cycle with a large agricultural exhibition is agreed for the LWH.

1965

16-day Cannstatter Volksfest

The duration of the Cannstatter Volksfest is extended to 16 days and there is a new Fruit Column. It is 26-metres high and weighs three tons.  

1972

Renovation

The Wasen is renovated and the festival site is redesigned. Due to the withdrawal of Stuttgart’s Wulle brewery, there are now only three brewery tents.

1982

The first light railway track

Premiere for local public transportation: the first light railway train stops at the “Fruchtsäule” station

1988

150th Cannstatter Volksfest

The 150th Cannstatter Volksfest is celebrated with a big parade. The 93rd agricultural festival supplements the Volksfest jubilee.  

1995

Discover the farmer in you

Under the motto, “Discover the farmer in you”, the LWH is organised for the first time by the in.Stuttgart Veranstaltungsgesellschaft. At the same time the cycle is changed from three years to four.

2006

17 days Cannstatter Volksfest

The Cannstatter Volksfest is extended by one day and has now opened on Friday since 2007. It now lasts 17 days. The SWR broadcaster televises the opening ceremony live in its evening schedule.

2007

Double jubilee

200 years Cannstatter Volksfest and the 100th Landwirtschaftliches Hauptfest will be celebrated with a historical Volksfest on Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz square.

2018