Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 (December 2008) while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million (2008). The city lies at the centre of a densely populated area, circled by a ring of smaller towns. The city is spread across a variety of hills (many of them vineyards), valleys and parks – unusual for a German city and often a source 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. The city's tourism slogan is "Stuttgart offers more".