Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 590,497 (June 2008) while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million (2008).

The city lies at the centre of a heavily populated area, circled by a ring of smaller towns. This inner urban area called Stuttgart Region has a population of 2.7 million making 'greater Stuttgart' the fourth biggest city region in Germany after the Ruhr Area, Frankfurt, and Berlin.

Stuttgart is spread across a variety of hills, valleys and parks - unusual for German cities and often a cause of surprise to visitors who primarily associate the city with its industrial reputation as the 'Cradle of the automobile'.

Stuttgart has the status of Stadtkreis, a type of self-administrating urban county. It is also the seat of the state legislature, the regional parliament, local council and the Protestant State Church of Württemberg as well as one of the two co-seats of the bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart.

The city's motto is "Stuttgart is more" (to tourists; to business it describes itself as "Standort Zukunft", translated by town hall marketing as "Where business meets the future"). In 2007 the Bürgermeister marketed Stuttgart to foreign investors as "The creative power of Germany". Under current plans to improve transport links to the international infrastructure (as part of the Stuttgart 21 project), in March 2008 the city unveiled a new logo and slogan, describing itself as "Das neue Herz Europas" ("The new heart of Europe").

Stuttgart is nicknamed the Schwabenmetropole (Swabian metropolis), a reference to the Swabian dialect spoken by the locals.

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