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Göttingen and surroundings

Göttingen: a short history

The history of Göttingen goes back to the settlement of Gutingi, first documented in the year 953. The village came to prominence because kings and emperors used it as a stopping point on the way to Pfalz-Grona, to the north-west, and in the 12th century it was granted a town charter. A wall, parts of which survive today, protected it from invaders. The large number of castles in the immediate neighbourhood testify to an eventful history, including a period as a seat of the Guelphs. Thanks to its central location, Göttingen enjoyed a boom as a trading centre in the late Middle Ages. Political and religious troubles and wars put an end to this period of prosperity, but the town’s fortunes revived after 1737 with the founding of George Augustus University. The population increased and the economy flourished. The university was severely hampered in the National Socialist era, with the devastation caused by book burnings and the expulsion of Jewish academics. Because the city remained largely unscathed by air raids in the Second World War, the post-war turmoil in Germany led to a sharp increase in Göttingen’s population. This, together with the incorporation of many surrounding communities, resulted in the emergence of a modern city. The university developed with it: the State and University Library, opened on the campus in 1993, bears impressive testimony to this growth. Göttingen’s reputation as a film city also deserves mention. More than 90 feature films were shot here by eminent film-makers between 1945 and 1969, as some of the city’s street names (Heinz-Erhardt-Platz) remind us. Actors including Götz George and Bruno Ganz started their careers at Göttingen theatres. Singer and actor Herbert Grönemeyer was born here, and the world rights to the works of Günter Grass are held by a Göttingen publishing house. Since the reunification of Germany in 1989, Göttingen has regained its central position in the country. The city’s population at the end of 2005 was about 120,000, of which 24,000 were students. Further interesting information on Göttingen’s eventful history is available at Wikipedia

The University of Göttingen

George II, Elector of Hanover and King of Great Britain and Ireland, founded the Georg August University of Göttingen in 1734. The University opened its doors in 1737 and developed rapidly into one of the most important of its time. Georgia Augusta, as it is sometimes known, is a classical university which offers — in addition to medicine, law, business studies, evangelical theology, mathematics and all the natural sciences — all non-technical liberal arts subjects. It enjoys an international reputation and close ties to a wide range of Max Planck Institutes. The large number of Nobel Prize winners which Göttingen has produced over the last 100 years (including Max Planck for physics, Robert Koch for medicine and Otto Hahn for chemistry, to name only three of a total of more than 40) speaks for the quality of the science done in our city. Further interesting information on the University of Göttingen is available at more

The Göttingen Town Hall, a place of cultural encounters ➤ more
The Lokhalle, a venue for special events ➤ more
The Göttingen theatre ➤ more
Unconventional theatre in the OP ➤ more
Small stage but great actors — a young theatre ➤ more

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