The Killesbergpark (Höhenpark Killesberg) is an urban public park of half a square kilometre (123 acres) in Stuttgart, Germany. It is just north of the state capital, and borders the city's fairgrounds. The park dates back to the horticultural show of 1939. Before the show, a large area of the park had been a quarry. It was transformed into a park with exhibition sites for the show, and has remained, hosting horticultural events on a regular basis, including the Bundesgartenschau and the IGA.
Every July the park hosts the popular Lichterfest Stuttgart. Thousands of lanterns are placed around the park, decorating the park for a variety of family activities throughout. After dark, there is a fireworks show accompanied by music. Visitors often bring blankets to sit on for the show.
Since its opening, the park has been home to the 381-millimetre (15-inch) narrow-gauge Killesberg railway. In the summer months, visitors can see two diesel and two steam locomotives, which have been fixtures in the park since 1950. The horticultural show of 1939 saw the opening of the railway, when two borrowed steam engines from Leipzig traversed a short stretch of track. During World War II, the steam engines were returned to Leipzig for use there. New locomotives were purchased, and today there are two diesel and two steam engines in use.
Completed in 2000 the Killesberg tower is an observation tower, 40m high overlooking the park. It is cable-stayed tower construction designed by Jörg Schlaich, using cable-stayed bridge technology.
From the 1950s until the 1980s there was a chair lift for visitors to enjoy views of the fairgrounds and parklands. On the area's highest point stands an observation tower built by civil engineer Joerg Schlaich in 2000. It does not have a lift; visitors reach the top by way of platforms suspended by cables.
The twenty-metre high Bismarck tower stands one kilometre south-west of the exhibition halls. It was built on the Gaehkopf, the highest point in northern Stuttgart, giving good views of Stuttgart itself and in all directions. It was one of many towers built to commemorate Otto von Bismarck. The building of over 410 Bismarck towers worldwide was planned, and 238 were actually built. The building of the tower was begun in 1902 by the students of the technical university in Stuttgart. The Stuttgart Bismarck tower was opened on 16 July 1904. In 2004, for its 100th anniversary, it was comprehensively renovated.