Traditional University Town Tübingen

Among the thousand-year-old walls of Tübingen, for more than five hundred years (since 1477), young voices of many generations of students have been heard. The names of the graduates of the University: philosopher Hegel, astronomer Kepler, neurologist Alzheimer ... And now most of the people you meet on the old streets are youth. Indeed, every third of 90 thousand residents of Tübingen is a student . And, of course, there are many tourists here admiring the medieval architecture and museums of the town.

The architectural dominant of Tübingen is the main church of the city (Stiftskirche). Under the Catholics, before the introduction of the Reformation in 1534, the most important events of university life took place in the altar part (choir) of this church: not only disputes and defense of dissertations, graduation, but also celebrations. The Württemberg dukes, who became Protestants because it helped them to regain power, previously lost by Duke Ulrich (1487- 1550), set up a tomb of the ducal family here. Magnificent tombstones, witnesses of long-standing events, are available for viewing.

After his return, the Duke Ulrich ordered to damage the church in the ancient abbey of Bebenhausen on the outskirts of Tübingen, to use stone blocks as building material to expand and strengthen his Hohentübingen castle. Can a believer to act like this? “Hope in God, but don’t be fooled ...” This saying could be the duke's motto. On the relief of the gates of the fortress you will see how the famous Order of the Garter looked. Friedrich I of Württemberg (1557-1608), the grandson of Ulrich, I had long sought for the honor to get that Order from the Queen of England. It is believed that Shakespeare mentioned him in the comedy “The Windsor Mockers” writing about the visit of a German Duke to Windsor, although he was not invited at all.

Hohentübingen Castle in the 19th century was completely let by the William I of Württemberg to the University; perhaps because his son Karl, heir to the Württemberg throne, studied here, though only one semester,. The University Museum "Ancient Cultures" presents figures carved from the mammoth bone 40 thousand years ago and found nearby, in one of the caves of the Swabian Alb Plateau. These are the oldest known works of art in the world.

The university cedes part of the castle to bat colonies, which, since olden times, fly to the castle cellar every spring and breed here their offspring. It is strictly prohibited to enter the castle cellar. In order not to disturb the bats, even theatrical performances in the castle courtyard were stopped.

During the industrialization of the 19th century, university professors, mainly humanities, opposed the creation of an industrial zone. Apparently, it was the reason why Tübingen did not suffer from military destruction. In addition, they say that at the helm of a bomber aimed at bombing Tübingen, there was a Frenchman, a former Tübingen student; he spared his Alma Mater and dropped bombs on a nearby town.

Similar to the Venetian gondolas, in Tübingen, tourists can explore the city from the water of Neckar river boating in Stocherkähne - the large punts that can accommodate up to 20 passengers and are cleverly controlled with the help of a long pole by just one "captain". You can try true Swabian dishes in small local restaurants.

It is very convenient to combine on one tourist "working" day the visits the ancient Bebenhausen monastery on the outskirts of Tübingen, to Tübingen itself and to the Hohenzollern Castle, 30 kilometers from here. Alexandra (A. Zenger)

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