Friedberg is a town on the railroad line between Giessen and Frankfurt. The regional express trains all stop there, and it is the beginning of the S6 suburban train line (S-Bahn) which goes from Friedberg to Frankfurt South Station.
The things not to miss in Friedberg, according to their website, are the Jewish women's bathing house that was built in the year 1260, the castle with a 58-meter tower that was built in 1347, and the gothic church that was built between 1260 and 1410.
I didn't see any of these things since I was just there for the afternoon to do a teachers' workshop. Well, come to think of it I did see the church tower from the back of the Adult Education Center, but that was about all. I had a very nice afternoon in Friedberg, though, and might go back again sometime.
Update: Six and a half years later I did return to Friedberg and even made a VirtualTourist page about it:
The Justus Liebig University was founded in 1607 as the Ludoviciana. It is now named after its most famous scientist, Justus Liebig, who was appointed professor at Giessen in 1824 at the age of 21. According to the university's website, Liebig taught and conducted research at the university for 28 years and is regarded as the founder of modern agricultural chemistry.
This is a middle-sized German university with about 22000 students. The university buildings are located in three districts of the city of Giessen, one of which is shown here, just to the northeast of the city center.
This building, the Zeughaus, was first built in 1586-1590. It burned down during a night of bombing in December 1944, and was rebuilt 1960-1961 for use by the re-opened university.
Another group of university buildungs is located in a neighborhood to the southeast of the city center.
This is the main building or Hauptgebäude at Ludwigstr. 23. It is often refered to as the Aula because the largest lecture and assembly hall is here.
Organ, choir and chamber music concerts are held in this church throughout the year.
It was built from 1891 to 1893 and is located at the corner of Goethestr. and Südanlage.
From here it is just a short walk through the Theater Park to the Giessen City Theater.
The Lahn River flows through Giessen, but not through the city center, so you won't see the river here unless you go looking for it.
About 35 kilometers upstream from here is the beautiful old university city of Marburg.
17 km. downstream comes Wetzlar, followed by Weilburg at 45 km,, Limburg at 81 km.,, Bad Ems at 123 km. and Lahnstein at about 140 km., with lots of scenic and interesting places in between.
The Lahn is a great river for canoeing on or cycling along. Even the train ride is beautiful.
At Lahnstein the Lahn empties into the Rhine. High above the river at this point is Lahneck Castle. I don't know how it is now, but years ago one of my sons and I had a highly informative tour there, conducted by a teenage girl who lived in the neighborhood and was a friend of the children who lived in the castle. For more information on Lahneck Castle (in German) you can click on the link below:
Marburg is a picturesque university town on the Lahn River, 35 kilometers upstream from Giessen.
Their motto is: "Other cities have a university, Marburg is a university." There are over a hundred pubs in Marburg, many of which are traditional student pubs.
The Phillips University was founded in 1527 (or 1529, depending on which page of their website you look at), and was said to be the world's first Protestant university. It now has about 18,000 students. Some 7,000 people work for the university, so it is the largest employer in Marburg, and the mainstay of the local economy.
No, you don't have to go out of your way to see this, but if you're cycling around Giessen and happen to wonder what this big building on John F. Kennedy Platz is, then you might as well know it is the Arbeitsamt or Federal Employment Office.
At the end of July 2004 there were 27000 people registered as unemployed In Giessen and vicinity, that's 8.7% of the total work force. The overall percentage in Germany is higher than that (10.5%), but in the former West Germany, of which Giessen is a part, is it somewhat lower (8.4%). Frankfurt, by the way, has 7.5% unemployed.
Any way you look at it, that's a lot of people out of work, so it's no wonder there is a big employment office in every German city.
By far the largest campus of the Justus Liebig University is this one at the south end of the city of Giessen.
Here there are dozens of buildings, large and small, housing the various medical institutes and clinics.
This centrally located garden belongs to the Justus Liebig University and is billed as the oldest botanical garden in Germany that is still at its original location. It was founded in 1609 as a Hortus Medicus or garden of medicinal plants.
Admission is free.
There are entrances on the Sonnenstr. and Senckenbergstr.