Since Goettingen's main train station has a guarded parking lot for bicycles, it looks like a local custom to park one's bicycle there, and then go from there.
Ulrich Voss Fahrradparkhaus
First mentioned by Emperor Otto I. in a deed dated 953, Göttingen enjoys a rich history spanning more than a millennium. Around the year 1200 Göttingen received town status. It flourished, as a member of the Hanseatic League, in the 14th an 15th centuries. In later years, war torn and prey to political battles, this once blossoming centre of trade became a sleepy provincial town.
Göttingen experienced a revival in 1734 as the result of the founding of the University Georgia Augusta by the Elector Georg August of Hanover. The university grew quickly into one of the largest academic institutions in Europe. The so-called 'Göttingen Seven' were a group of professors who came together to protest against King Ernst August's infringement of the Hanoverian Statute-Law in 1837. As a result of their disobedience they were suspended from their positions and some of them were banned from the Kingdom of Hanover.
Since its founding many renowned individuals have worked, studied or taught in Göttingen, amongst them more than 40 Nobel prize winners. Today the university has 14 faculties with approximately 24,000 students.
After World War II Göttingen has entered into important partnerships with twin towns such as Cheltenham in Great Britain (1951), Torun in Poland (1978) and Pau in France (1982). Further close relationships exist between our town and the Lutherstadt Wittenberg in Saxony-Anhalt, as well as La Paz Centro in Nicaragua, with which Göttingen formed a solidarity agreement in 1989.
The nucleus of the old town, surrounded by the medieval rampart, harbours many well-preserved or restored buildings. The landmark of the town is the Gänseliesel. On top of the fountain on the marketplace in front of the old town hall this art nouveau figure, portraying no more than a girl herding her geese, is a favourite of new doctoral graduates. It is customary that these, having passed their examinations, festoon this maiden with flowers and give her bronze cheek a kiss. Thus she has become 'the most kissed girl' in the world.
Since Goettingen is a town dominated by students (they make about 25% of it inhabitants) you'll find some student-related... uhm... events. For example, if you visit a pub here in one of the first three october weeks, you will experience lots of freshmen pub tours. They'll do all kinds of funny games which often involve the other visitors. Play with them and don't be angry if it gets loud.
When spring comes into bloom in Niedersachsen, so do the Raps (or rapeseed). The countryside blooms with bright yellow fields of Raps and it's breathtaking.