What to show to your friends and parents who come over for a visit? It might not be that easy to find fancy touristy spots like in other big cities, but, nevertheless, many students are still not aware of all the cool places Göttingen offers. Therefore, our contributors have shortlistet some of their favourite locations.
The Barfüßerstraße: As a student you stroll along the Barfüßerstraße so often that you don’t even realise just how much capacity there really is (apart from the Thanner’s and the Willi). Take, for example, the big showcase next to the entrance of the Dots. It once belonged to a butcher who used to sell Börner’s Göttingen Sausages here – the guy even built a huge entrance for horse-drawn carriages. Or take the wood carvings on the building next to the Bacon Supreme, which tell the story of a resident, who was so big that his coffin broke at his funeral.
The Willi: In summer the Willi is something like the heart of Göttingen. The high spirits and the masses of students have probably financed many adjacent kiosk owner’s holidays.Well, it might not be an insider tip, but the Willi is simply so nice that it has to be mentioned. By the way: a Franciscan monastery was once located here, whose monks always went barefooted. This explains the name „Barefüßerstraße“ (street of the barefooted).
The Käte-Hamburger-Weg: This is indeed one of my favorite spots in Göttingen, although it is closely connected with work and seminars. It is especially nice here in autumn, when you can stroll alongside the brick houses and colorful leaves. All this niceness gets a terrifying touch when you hear that during the Nazi era forced sterilisations were carried out in the buildings that host today’s philologies. Something that you all too easily overlook during the day to day university bustle.
Göttingens South: Everyone who likes running or going for a walk should definitely get further out of the town and discover the green areas around the Kiessee and the Jahnstadion. Especially in the setting sun the views are wonderful and you can observe how small-town Göttingen is embedded it its green hills.
The new botanical garden
High up in the north of the city, a place that normally no student studying at the central campus ever reaches, lies one of my favourite destinations in Göttingen: The new botanical garden! Not as romantically overgrown as the old one in the city center, but more extensive, quiet and a little more floral. Between greenhouses or in the Alpinum, one can always find a bench to relax upon. This is where the North Campus presents itself in its most idyllic way!
An enormous church nave, meter high book shelves filled with leather bound books and parquet flooring that makes little squeeking sounds with every step you take – the Paulinerkirche is a place that makes you feel the venerability of our Georgia Augusta! Built in the beginning of the 14th century as a monastery, the Paulinerkirche and its adjacent historic building of the SUB has always been a meeting point for students: Even when the university was founded. A visit is always rewarding, be it for an exhibition, for a lecture or simply for a guided tour.
The eastern part of the Lange-Geismar-Straße
From the Stadthall downhill to in the direction of the pedestrian zone, past the Albanikirche, charmingly small stores and cozy cafes in Fachwerk houses: I simply like the beauty of the Lange-Geismar-Straße. But the eastern part of the street offers even more: A bicycle decent with less cobblestones than anywhere else in Göttingen. I always enjoy the intense adrenaline rush, triggered by the fear if my brakes will make it until the approaching crossing. On my way back the street then for a short time becomes my most hated place in Göttingen because of the steep ascent.
Ostviertel (Eastern Quarter)
The heart of Göttingen’s upper class beats in the eastern part of the city. Approximately 17.000 inhabitants like in the Ostviertel: A part of the city that is characterized by luxury old villas and green lawns. This also attracts Göttingen’s fraternities – a lot of which are located here. Of course, you can think what you like about those fraternities, but a walk through the Ostviertel is always worthwile. In summer the Schillerwiesen invite you to long barbecues and the city’s forest it just round the corner. Besides, everyone who enjoys beautiful architecture can get his/her fair share here: From opulent baroque housing to chic Jungendstil villas everything can be found.
Göttingen is a cozy town. Although app. 120.000 people live here, you always feel like you are in a small town. The pittoresque city centre with its lovingly restored Fachwerk houses is surrounded by an old rampart, called the Stadtwall. The wall reaches arround the whole inner city, spanning a distance of 3 kilometers: A walk that can conveniently be done alone or with one’s parents. Many runners use the Wall for a few rounds, old trees surround the course. Once in a while you can get amazing views of Göttingen’s roofs and bell towers. Obwohl knapp 120.000 Menschen hier leben, hat man immer das Gefühl, in einer Kleinstadt zu sein – those are great in every season.
The city forest and the Bismarckturm
Who wants to get to know the region from above has to go for a walk through the city forest. Many routes lead from there to the Bismarckturm, a tower, named after the old German chancellor, who once studied in Göttingen. Allegedly the “iron chancellor“ kicked over the traces to such an extent that he was forced to leave the city. But let’s get back to the views: From the top of this 31 meter high tower one can enjoy a simply breathtaking overlook of the Leine valley. Surround by nature you can easily forget the stresses of campus life. The city forest also makes up an interesting alternative for runners, who wish to escape the bustle on the Stadtwall. Here, you can really get your peace and quiet.
Translated by Dennis Dellschow