Tübingen (German: [ˈtyːbɪŋən], listen (help·info))
is a traditional university town in central Baden-Württemberg,
Germany. It is situated 30 km (19 mi) south of the state
capital, Stuttgart, on a ridge between the
Neckar and Ammer rivers. As
of 2014[update] about one in three people living in
Tübingen is a
2 Regional structure
5 Main sights
7 Notable residents
9.1 Population development
9.2 Historical population
10 International relations
12 Higher education
15 See also
17 External links
Immediately north of the city lies the Schönbuch, a densely wooded
nature park. The
Swabian Alb mountains rise about 13 kilometres (8
Tübingen City to Roßberg (869m)) to the southeast of
The Ammer and
Steinlach rivers discharge into the
Neckar river, which
flows right through the town, just south of the medieval old town in
an easterly direction. Large parts of the city are hilly, with the
Schlossberg and the Österberg in the city centre and the
Schnarrenberg and Herrlesberg, among others, rising immediately
adjacent to the inner city.
The highest point is at about 500 m (1,640.42 ft) above sea
Bebenhausen in the
Schönbuch forest, while the lowest
point is 305 m (1,000.66 ft) in the town's eastern Neckar
valley. Nearby the Botanical Gardens of the city's university, in a
small forest called Elysium, lies the geographical centre of the state
Tübingen is the capital of an eponymous district and an eponymous
administrative region (Regierungsbezirk), before 1973 called
Tübingen is, with nearby
Reutlingen (about 15 km (9.3 mi)
east), one of the two centre cities of the
Administratively, it is not part of the
Stuttgart Region, bordering it
to the north and west (Esslingen district in the north and Böblingen
district in the west). However, the city and northern parts of its
district can be regarded as belonging to that region in a wider
regional and cultural context.
Further information: County Palatine of Tübingen
The area was probably first settled in the 12th millennium BC. The
Romans left some traces here in AD 85, when they built a Limes
frontier wall at the Neckar.
Tübingen itself dates from the 6th or
7th century, when the region was populated by the Alamanni. Some even
argue that the
Battle of Solicinium was fought at Spitzberg, a
mountain in Tübingen, in AD 367, although there is no evidence for
Tübingen first appears in official records in 1191, and the local
castle, Hohentübingen, has records going back to 1078 when it was
besieged by Henry IV, king of Germany, its name transcribed in
Medieval Latin as Tuingia and Twingia.
From 1146, Count Hugo V (1125–52) was promoted to count palatine, as
Hugo I, establishing
Tübingen as the capital of a County Palatine of
Tübingen. By 1231,
Tübingen was a civitas indicating recognition of
civil liberties and a court system.
In 1262, an
Augustinian monastery was established by Pope Alexander IV
in Tübingen, in 1272, a Franciscan monastery followed. The latter
existed until Duke Ulrich of Würtemmberg disestablished it in 1535 in
course of the
Protestant Reformation, which the Duchy of Württemberg
followed. In 1300, a Latin school (today's Uhland-Gymnasium) was
In 1342, the county palatine was sold to Ulrich III, Count of
Württemberg and incorporated into the County of Württemberg.
Neckar front. Left: plane trees growing on the Neckarinsel.
Shops lining town square.
Between 1470 and 1483, St. George's Collegiate Church was built. The
collegiate church offices provided the opportunity for what soon
afterwards became the most significant event in Tübingen's history:
the founding of the Eberhard Karls University by Duke Eberhard im Bart
of Württemberg in 1477, thus making it one of the oldest universities
in Central Europe. It became soon renowned as one of the most
influential places of learning in the Holy Roman Empire, especially
for theology (a
Protestant faculty, Tübinger Stift, was established
in 1535 in the former
Augustinian monastery). Today, the university is
still the biggest source of income for the residents of the city and
one of the biggest universities in
Germany with more than 22,000
Between 1622 and 1625, the Catholic League occupied Lutheran
Württemberg in the course of the Thirty Years' War. In the summer of
1631, the city was raided. In 1635/36 the city was hit by the Plague.
In 1638, Swedish troops conquered Tübingen. Towards the end of the
war, French troops occupied the city from 1647 until 1649.
In 1789, parts of the old town burned down, but were later rebuilt in
the original style. In 1798 the Allgemeine Zeitung, a leading
newspaper in early 19th-century Germany, was founded in
Johann Friedrich Cotta. From 1807 until 1843, the poet Friedrich
Hölderlin lived in
Tübingen in a tower overlooking the Neckar.
In the Nazi era, the
Tübingen Synagogue was burned in the
Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938. The
Second World War
Second World War left the city
largely unscathed, mainly because of the peace initiative of a local
doctor, Theodor Dobler. It was occupied by the French army and became
part of the French occupational zone. From 1946 to 1952,
the capital of the newly formed state of
French: Tubingue), before the state of
Baden-Württemberg was created
by merging Baden, Württemberg-
Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern.
The French troops had a garrison stationed in the south of the city
until the end of the
Cold War in the 1990s.
In the 1960s,
Tübingen was one of the centres of the German student
movement and the
Protests of 1968
Protests of 1968 and has ever since shaped left and
green political views. Some radicalized
Tübingen students supported
Rote Armee Fraktion
Rote Armee Fraktion terrorist group, with active member
Gudrun Ensslin, a local and a
Tübingen student from 1960 to 1963,
joining the group in 1968.
Although it is largely impossible to notice such things today, as
recently as the 1950s
Tübingen was a very socio-economically divided
city, with poor local farmers and tradesmen living along the
Stadtgraben (City Canal) and students and academics residing around
the Alte Aula and the Burse, the old university buildings. There,
hanging on the Cottahaus a sign commemorates
Goethe's stay of a few
weeks while visiting his publisher. The German tendency to memorialize
every minor presence of its historical greats (comparable to the
statement "Washington slept here" in the United States) is parodied on
the building next door. This simple building, once a dormitory,
features a plain sign with the words "Hier kotzte Goethe" (lit.:
Goethe puked here").
In the second half of the 20th century, Tübingen's administrative
area was extended beyond what is now called the "core town" to include
several outlying small towns and villages. Most notable among these is
Bebenhausen, a village clustered around a castle and Bebenhausen
Cistercian cloister about 2 miles (3.2 km) north of
In 2011[update] the city had 89,000 inhabitants. Life in the city is
dominated by its approximately 25,800 students.
Tübingen is best
described as a mixture of old and distinguished academic flair,
including liberal and green politics on the one hand and traditional
German-style student fraternities on the other, with
rural-agricultural environs and shaped by typical Lutheran-Pietist
characteristics, such as austerity and a
Protestant work ethic, and
traditional Swabian elements, such as frugality, order and tidiness.
The city is home to many picturesque buildings from previous centuries
and lies on the river Neckar.
In 1995[update], the German weekly magazine Focus published a national
survey according to which
Tübingen had the highest quality of life of
all cities in Germany. Factors taken into consideration included the
infrastructure, the integration of bicycle lanes into the road system,
a bus system connecting surrounding hills and valleys, late night
services, areas of the town that can be reached on foot, the
pedestrianised old town, other amenities and cultural events offered
by the university.
Tübingen is the city with the youngest average
population in Germany.
In central Tübingen, the
Neckar river divides briefly into two
streams, forming the elongated Neckarinsel (
Neckar Island), famous for
its Platanenallee with high plane trees, some of which are more than
200 years old. Pedestrians can reach the island via stairs on the
narrow ends leading down from two bridges spanning the Neckar. During
the summer, the Neckarinsel is occasionally the venue for concerts,
plays and literary readings. The row of historical houses across one
side of the elongated Neckarinsel is called the Neckarfront and
includes the house with adjoining tower where poet Friedrich
Hölderlin stayed for the last 36 years of his life as he struggled
with mental instability.
View from the Stiftskirche.
Tübingen town hall.
Neckar and Hölderlinturm.
Tübingen street art near Blaue Brücke
Altstadt (old town) survived the
Second World War
Second World War due to
the city's lack of heavy industry. The result is a growing domestic
tourism business as visitors come to wander through one of the few
completely intact historic Altstädte in Germany. The highlights of
Tübingen include its crooked cobblestone lanes, narrow-stair
alleyways picking their way through the hilly terrain, streets lined
with canals and well-maintained traditional half-timbered houses.
Old town landmarks include the Rathaus (City Hall) on Marktplatz
(Market Square) and the castle, Schloß Hohentübingen, now part of
the University of Tübingen. The central landmark is the Stiftskirche
(Collegiate Church). Along with the rest of the city, the Stiftskirche
was one of the first to convert to Martin Luther's protestant church.
As such, it maintains (and carefully defends) several "Roman Catholic"
features, such as patron saints. Below the Rathaus is a quiet,
residential street called the Judengasse, the former Jewish
Tübingen until the town's
Jews were expelled in 1477.
On the street corner is a plaque commemorating the fate of Tübingen's
The centre of
Tübingen is the site of weekly and seasonal events,
including regular market days on the Holzmarkt by the
the Marktplatz by the Rathaus, an outdoor cinema in winter and summer,
festive autumn and Christmas markets and Europe's largest
Students and tourists also come to the
Neckar river in the summer to
visit beer gardens or go boating in Stocherkähne, the Tübingen
Cambridge punts, only slimmer. A Stocherkahn
carries up to 20 people. On the second Thursday of June all
Stocherkahn punts take part in a major race, the Stocherkahnrennen.
Bebenhausen Abbey lies in the village of Bebenhausen, a district of
Tübingen. A subdivision of the pilgrimage route Way of St. James
starts here and runs through Tübingen.
Tübingen has a notable arts culture as well as nightlife. In addition
to the full roster of official and unofficial university events that
range from presentations by the university's official poet in
residence to parties hosted by the student associations of each
faculty, the town can boast of several choirs, theatre companies and
nightclubs. Also, Tübingen's Kunsthalle (art exhibition hall), on the
"Wanne", houses two or three exhibits of international note each year.
There are several festivals and open air markets on a regular basis:
Arab Movie Festival Arabisches Filmfestival
Latin American Movie Festival CineLatino (usually in April or May)
Rock Festival Rock im Tunnel (usually in May or June)
A Stocherkahn (poled boat).
Poled boat race (German: Stocherkahnrennen), second Thursday of June,
2pm, around the
Ract!festival, an alternative open air festival for free with music
performances and workshops
Tübinger Wassermusik: concerts on Stocherkahn boats
Tübinger Sommerinsel festival: various restaurants serving special
meals and associations offering activities on the
Umbrisch-Provenzalischer Markt, open air market for Italian and French
Tübinger Stadtlauf marathon
Retromotor oldtimer festival (usually second or third September
Jazz- und Klassiktage: jazz and classic music festival
Kite festival Drachenfest on the hill Österberg (usually third Sunday
French movie festival Französische Filmtage
Terre de femmes movie festival FrauenWelten
Die Feuerzangenbowle film and large amount of
made in a public square
chocolate festival chocolART
Tübingen residents and scholars included the poets Friedrich
Eduard Mörike and Ludwig Uhland, the neurologist Alois
Alzheimer from whom
Alzheimer's disease takes its name, and Friedrich
Miescher who was the first to discover nucleic acids. Wilhelm
Schickard who was the main precursor to the mechanical calculator, was
born in nearby Herrenberg. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich
Schelling, David Friedrich Strauss, and
Johannes Kepler studied in
Tübingen at the Tübinger Stift, and Joseph Alois Ratzinger (Pope
Benedict XVI) held a chair in dogmatic theology at the University.
Hermann Hesse worked in
Tübingen as a bookseller trainee from 1895 to
1899. The most famous composer of
Tübingen was Friedrich Silcher, who
worked as the university's music director from 1817 until 1860. And
Carl Eytel studied forestry at
emigrating to America in 1885 and eventually settling in Palm Springs,
Tübingen also is the home of scholars of international renown such as
the Idealist philosopher Immanuel Hermann von Fichte, the theologian
Hans Küng, jurisprudent Gerhard Anschütz, famous author Walter Jens,
as well as Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard. Slovene refugee Protestant
preacher Primož Trubar, who published the first two books in the
Slovene language and is regarded as the key consolidator of the
Slovene identity, lived in
Tübingen and its suburb Derendingen and is
buried there. Martin Luther's companion Philipp Melanchthon, called
Praeceptor Germaniae (Teacher of Germany), studied here from 1512 to
Former President of
Horst Köhler is a
Tübingen alumnus as
well, as was former Chancellor of
Germany Kurt Georg Kiesinger. Nobel
laureate and humanitarian
Albert Schweitzer published his PhD thesis
Tübingen in 1899.
Tübingen is also the hometown of former track and field athlete
Dieter Baumann, winner of the 5000m at the 1992 Summer Olympics. In
1990, the award-winning Israeli human rights lawyer Felicia Langer
accepted a teaching position in
Tübingen and has resided there since
American soccer coach Sigi Schmid, who has won Major League Soccer
championships with the
Los Angeles Galaxy
Los Angeles Galaxy and
Columbus Crew and was an
assistant coach for the U.S. at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, was born in
Tübingen and moved to
Torrance, California as a child.
Tübingen (lower right) on the Neckar, in southwest Germany.
Sung Yuri, a South Korean top actress and the youngest member of the
K-Pop girl group Fin.K.L., was born in
Tübingen in 1981. Her father,
Sung Chong Hyon, received his doctorate degree in theology from
Tübingen University and is currently a professor of New Testament at
the Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary in Seoul, South
Despina Vandi was born in Tübingen, although her family
moved back to Greece when Vandi was six years old.
Tübingen is divided into 22 districts, a town core of twelve
districts (population of about 51 000) and ten outer districts
(suburbs) (population of about 31 000):
Core city districts:
Since World War II, Tübingen's population has almost doubled from
about 45,000 to the current 88,000, also due to the incorporation of
formerly independent villages into the city in the 1970s.
Boris Palmer (Green Party) has set the ambitious
goal of increasing the population of
Tübingen to reach 100,000 within
the next years. To achieve this, the city is closing gaps between
buildings within the city proper by allowing new houses there; this is
also to counter the tendency of urban sprawl and land consumption that
has been endangering the preservation of rural landscapes of Southern
¹ census result
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany
Tübingen is twinned with:
Monthey, Switzerland, since 1959
Aix-en-Provence, France, since 1960
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States, since 1965
Durham, United Kingdom, since 1969
Aigle, Switzerland, since 1973
Petrozavodsk, Russia, since 1989
Perugia, Italy, since 1994
Villa El Salvador, Peru, since 2006
Kilchberg, Switzerland, only district of Kilchberg, since 1956
Kingersheim, France, only district of Hirschau, since 1963
In November 2009 Tübingen's city council voted to enter into talks
with the city of Moshi in Tanzania, with the aim of Moshi becoming
Tübingen's eleventh twin city.
For their commitment to their international partnership, the Council
of Europe awarded the Europe Prize to
1965. The city's dedication to a European understanding is also
reflected in the naming of several streets and squares, including the
large Europaplatz (Europe Square) outside the railway station.
Tübingen is about 35 km (21.75 mi) from the
Baden-Württemberg state airport (Landesflughafen Stuttgart, also
Tübingen is on the
Bundesstraße 27 (a "federal road")
that crosses through Baden-Württemberg, connecting the town with
Stuttgart and the Landesflughafen (Stuttgart
Airport) to the north and
Donaueschingen to the south.
Tübingen Hauptbahnhof is on the regional train line
Neckar-Alb Railway-Bahn (Neckar-Alb-Bahn) from
via Esslingen and
Reutlingen to Tübingen. The average time of travel
Stuttgart is 1:01 hrs., with some trains taking only 45 mins. Other
regional lines are the Hohenzollerische Landesbahn, connecting the
Sigmaringen (so-called Zollernalb Railway),
Zollernalbbahn and connections to
Herrenberg (Ammer Valley Railway,
Neckar Railway, Obere Neckarbahn). Since
2009, there is also a daily direct Intercity link to Mannheim, Cologne
Düsseldorf as well as to Berlin.
Local public transport: The town, due to its high student population,
features an extensive public bus network with more than 20 lines
connecting the city districts and places outside of
Tübingen such as
Gomaringen and Nagold. There are also several night bus
lines in the early hours every Thursday to Sunday. A direct bus is
Stuttgart Airport (via Leinfelden-Echterdingen) as well
as to Böblingen.
Tübingen University Main Building (Neue Aula)
The Eberhard Karls
University of Tübingen
University of Tübingen dates from 1477, making it
one of the oldest in Germany. The city is also host to several
research institutes including the Max Planck Institute for Biological
Cybernetics, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Max
Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, The Friedrich Miescher
Laboratory of the MPG (and formerly the Max Planck Institute for
Biology) and the Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research. The
university also maintains an excellent botanical garden, the
Botanischer Garten der Universität Tübingen.
More than 10,000 children and young adults in
attend school. There are 30 schools in the town, some of which consist
of more than one type of school. Of these, 17 are primary schools
while the others are for secondary education: four schools are of the
lowest rank, Hauptschule, three of the middle rank, Realschule, and
six are Gymnasien (grammar schools). There also are four vocational
schools (Berufsschule) and three special needs schools.
Freie Aktive Schule Tübingen
Grundschule Innenstadt / Silcherschule
Grundschule Hechinger Eck
Grundschule auf der Wanne
Grundschule Winkelwiese / Waldhäuser Ost
Vocational schools (Berufsschulen)
Bildungs- und Technologiezentrum
Panorama from the Stiftskirche.
Houses in the snow
Reflection of houses in the Neckar
Fountain in front of the Rathaus
Fountain in front of St-Georg Stiftskirche
Stiftskirche in snow
Stiftskirche in winter
Carving at entry to Schloß
St. George being broken on the wheel, St. Georg Stiftskirche
Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut Tübingen
^ "Gemeinden in Deutschland nach Fläche, Bevölkerung und
Postleitzahl am 30.09.2016".
Statistisches Bundesamt (in German).
^ On student statistics, see here.
^ On the hilliness of Tübingen, see here.
^ Faculty List of the Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary
current as of March 3, 2012
^ Association of twinnings and international relations of
^ Mairie of
Aix-en-Provence - Twinnings and partnerships Archived
2009-01-13 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Association Suisse des Communes et Régions d'Europe".
L'Association suisse pour le Conseil des Communes et Régions d'Europe
(ASCCRE) (in French). Archived from the original on 2012-07-24.
Perugia Official site - Relazioni Internazionali Archived 2012-02-15
at the Wayback Machine.(in Italian)
^ Kaiser, Ute (17 November 2009). "Tansanische Stadt auserwählt.
Tübinger Rat ist für Partnerschaft mit Moshi" [Tanzanian town
Tübingen city council in favour of partnership with Moshi.].
Schwäbisches Tagblatt (in German). Tübingen. Archived from the
original on 14 December 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
^ "Sister Cities". Universitätsstadt Tübingen. Archived from the
original on 14 December 2009.
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tübingen.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Tübingen.
Official website (in German)
Tübingen at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Eberhard Karls University (in German) (in English)
Tourism information (in German)
Tübingen page of German National Tourist Board (in English)
Tübingen Insider Tipps (in German)
Tuebingen, city of culture (in English)
War and Holocaust memorials in and around
Tübingen at the Sites of
City Memorial Projects (
Jewish and post-war history) website (in
Tourism Information for
Tübingen and the river
Neckar (in German)
Neckar river and its staking boats, called "Stocherkahn". Detailed
information about the traditional leisure attraction in Tübingen" (in
Tübingen Stocherkahn Manufacturers (in German)
Student union of
Tübingen - registered society - housing for students
Panorama 360 degree of Tuebingen (in German)
Martin Biastoch: Tübinger Studenten im Kaiserreich. Eine
Sigmaringen 1996 (Contubernium —
Tübinger Beiträge zur Universitäts- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte Bd.
44) ISBN 3-515-08022-8
Towns and municipalities in
Rottenburg am Neckar
Capitals of states of the Federal Republic of Germany
Capitals of area states
Düsseldorf (North Rhine-Westphalia)
Hanover (Lower Saxony)
Bremen (State of Bremen)
Capitals of former states
Freiburg im Breisgau
Freiburg im Breisgau (South Baden, 1949–1952)
Stuttgart (Württemberg-Baden, 1949–1952)
Tübingen (Württemberg-Hohenzollern, 1949–1952)
1 Unlike the mono-city states
Berlin and Hamburg, the State of Bremen
consists of two cities, thus state and capital are not identical.