Cities & Culture
The eternal student town: Tübingen
Professors and wine growers, rebellious students and locals – Tübingen has not always been the conflict-free safe space that it is today. The home of poet Hölderlin, however, has long found a way to strike a peaceful balance between the traditional chimes of the Town Hall's carillon and the raucous guitars in the clubs.
More than 900 years of history lie at your feet in Tübingen's Old Town. Steep steps, narrow lanes and pointed gabled houses dominate the townscape all the way up to the castle. There is always something going on in Tübingen, and not just in the lovingly restored town centre, which is hardly surprising given the 28,500 students who live here. The town's charming shops, bars and restaurants make it the perfect place to hang out or go for a stroll. Built in 1435, the Town Hall on the Marktplatz square was adorned with an ornate astronomical clock in 1511 that is still operational today. The annual punt race around the Neckar River island guarantees plenty of riotous entertainment in Tübingen's events calendar. The waterfront, which features Hölderlin Tower – one of the town's most famous landmarks and most photographed spots – is close by.
Did you know that the museum in Hohentübingen Castle is home to numerous original finds from the caves of the Swabian Jura Mountains, some of which date back 40,000 years? And that the finds and the caves have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site? The collections held by the Tübingen Kunsthalle art gallery are also internationally renowned, while the local theatres and festivals all shape the town's vibrant cultural scene. After all, if there's one thing that the locals, students, wine growers and professors do agree on, it's that culture is fun and puts people in a good mood. But it's best to see for yourself.