Wonderful old town
Tübingen is famous for its wonderfully preserved old town. Located on a hill, narrow streets wind through hundreds of old brick buildings. If you're lucky you can even see the market taking place in the middle of the old town. Go there and experience Germany as it used to be!
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View from the castle
Ascending the steep hill of the castle will reward you with a marvellous view over Tübingen's old town. The castle itself didn't appear too interesting to me, so I only enjoyed the view - which is best from the little garden next to the entrance gate.
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The long-stretched Neckar island is situated just next to the old town and is probably the best spot to relax after long and exhausting walks through the town's cobblestone streets. You've got a great view from here - the river front houses with all their beauty and the famous Hölderlin tower, in which the poet lived for several years, are just in front of you.
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Easily missed at the end of Burgasse, this building was founded as an Augustine monastery in the 16th century, and later incorporated as a theological faculty of the university. Some famous names in the German intelligentsia studied here, including the great astronomer Johannes Kepler, and the philosopher Hegel.
This museum is vast beyond its initial looks. It starts off in a relatively modest way, with a collection of some of the earliest sculptures ever found, dating from around 40,000 years BC, to the scarily life like collection of Greek statues. My favourite parts were the coins, some with the most incredible detail and a small shelf of Mycenaean face masks. The Mycenaean works stood out as being so fantastically intricate and detailed they could have been made by modern man, rather than being from 3500 years ago; about the same time my own countrymen were doing their best to construct stone circles and dancing around with blue paint on their faces.
The museum is well worth a visit, and costs 3 euros to get in. It's open from 10am until 6pm, from Wednesday to Sunday. From the 1st October until the 30th of April it closes an hour earlier.
Continuing east from the Holzmarkt, you can move up to the Markt, which is dominated by the Rathaus, in the same way as the Stiftskirche St Georg dominates the Holzmarkt. To the north of the Markt is a road that leads directly to the old Kornhaus, and thus Kornhausstrasse. To the south you can walk up the hill slightly to Burgsteige, for the steep walk up to the schloss.
A steep walk up Burgsteig, a road that can be found to the south of the Markt, and you will find yourself at the entrance to the Schloss Hohentubingen. This building offers fine views over the town and surrounding countryside, even if it is nothing much to look at itself up close. Inside the central courtyard you will find the Universitatmuseum, with its impressive archaeological collection. It is definitely worth a walk to the top, although I felt the Schloss looked much better from the occasional glimpses I caught of it between the buildings of the town than it did when I got close up.
The new schloss is actually a Renaissance successor to the original 11th century fortress. It is now used as a research centre by the university, hence the vast archaeological collection in the museum. You immediately get a sense of the functionality of the modern palace, when you walk in through the outer gate. Built in 1606 this structure is covered in purely decorative carvings, not like a stalwart fortress would be.
July 4th (6th) American Celebration
Alternative to July 4th celebration. You can still take in a July 4th celebration in Tübingen, where the German-American Institute Tübingen will host its summer party on Sunday, July 6 2008 from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.
This will be an American-style summer BBQ fest with live music performances by “Louisiana Funky Butts” with their New Orleans brass music and Country band “Devil & Soehne”. Other activities will include a mechanical bull, tour of the botanical gardens, many children’s programs and American-style BBQ food and drink selections.
For more information on the Tübingen celebration, visit: http://www.dai-tuebingen.de/en/index.php?sec=news
Stiftskirche - Collegiate Church
This church was first mentioned in the 12th century and has been enlarged ever since! A little about its history can be found in the link below. The church is huge and there are a couple of excellent pieces of artwork inside, like the pulpit, the choir stalls and the altar.
It is possible to climb up the tower (172 steps!!!) and that is something absolutely worthwhile, because from the top of the tower you have the most breathtaking views of Tübingen! Entrance fee to the tower is 1 € (2006).
With this ticket you are also entitled to visit the graves of various dukes of Baden dating back as far as to the 16th century. Very fascinating, indeed!
The square in front of the Collegiate Church is called the Lumber Market. It is surrounded by beautiful half timbered houses (some are houses, some are stores, some are cafés). In the middle there is a beautiful well and they do have market days there as well (but not when we visited!). It is a very vivid square, so in case you decide to sit in or outside one of the cafés you will sure enough have plenty to watch!
Hohentübingen Castle was first mentioned in the 11th century. What you can see and visit now dates back to Renaissance times (16th century).
We did not visit the castle, but from what I read it really seems to be worthwhile visiting, not only for the views, but also for the castle itself and the museum.
There are quite a few University institutes inside the castle - mostly cultural studies! Wow, it sure must be fantastic to have lectures inside these ancient premises!
When we looked around from the tower of the Collegiate Church, we instantly noticed a building with stunning outside decoration. It turned out to be the Townhall on Market Square.
The townhall was first built in 1435 and continuously expanded. Be sure to have a close look at the Astronomical Clock, the facade of the Town Hall, the Neptune fountain from the 18th century and the Market Square!
If you have time, sit in one of the cafés (or outside) and enjoy watching both the architecture and the people!
Alte Aula/Old University Assembly Hall
Next to the Collegiate Church there is a building called "Alte Aula". It used to be the old University assembly hall. At the moment (2006) the building is being renovated.
Tübingen university is one of the oldest universities in Germany. If you are interested, do read about its fascinating history and famous alumni here
On the banks of the Neckar river, and accessed through Burgasse, is the Holderlinturm, home of the insanely brilliant poet Friedrich Holderlin. His collection of writings, while mostly ignored when he was alive, are now considered some of the best ever produced in Germany. He lived in the tower for 36 years, growing steadily insane, from 1807 until his death.
The house itself was originally built some time in the 13th century, but while it retains a little of its medieval past, the current tower was built in 1778. You also get a good view over the Neckar river from the top of the tower. The house contains a museum, which costs 3 euros, and is open from Tuesday to Friday, 10 until midday and 3-5pm, but only 2-5pm on weekends and holidays. Like most museums in Germany it is closed on a Monday.
There is a chocolate festival in Tubingen from 2-7 Dec. 2008. Here is the web page http://www.chocolart.de/about/festival/
It's in the center of the historic center, alstadt. Ask anyone.
I am going tomorrow. Just wanted to post this so someone might see it.
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