Rieswarte, Göttingen

In the year 1380 duke Otto the Evil gave the right to create ditches around the city of Göttingen to protect its borders and the people within. In addition to this protective system called Landwehr in German it was allowed to erect free-standing towers (Bergfriede) on mountains and fortifications (Warten) next to roads to control who is entering or leaving the city.

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If you’re living in Göttingen it is impossible to not know what the musa is. The biggest sociocultural center of the region has a history already dating back to the year 1977 and it is located since 1990 in the former military bakery at the Hagenweg, west of river Leine. This part of Göttingen is not the most popular one to live at, but the musa was always a good reason to cross the river and enjoy concerts there.

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Harzblick, Stadtwald, Göttingen

Is it possible to see the Harz mountains from Göttingen? Not always, but sometimes. The Brocken is 60 kilometers afar, but from the Harzblick tower you’ve got a fair chance. The 35 meters high tower is located near the Mackenröder Spitze in the forest of the city. It was first built in 1897 and had to be rebuilt more than once. In 2021 it was refurbished again and from its top you can see the Seeburger See and the Gleichen – and on good days also the Harz mountains.

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Kunsthaus, Göttingen

Göttingen didn’t have many museums and art exhibition halls in the past. That started to change in 2008 when publisher Gerhard Steidl and mayor Wolfgang Meyer presented the idea of the Kunstquartier (art quarter, KuQua) with an art exhibition place at its heart: the Kunsthaus. In 2021 this place for exhibiting works on paper, photography and new media was finally opened and now attracts national and international visitors.

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Eulenturm, Göttingen

The owls’ tower (or ‘Eulenturm‘) is a viewing platform on the Hainberg mountain of Göttingen, Germany. It can serve as a good target destination for a walk through Göttingen and it is special as most of the inhabitants of the city have been pretty close to it but haven’t seen it. When you’re at the upper end of the Schillerwiesen (a large recreational area in the East of the city) you just need to cross a road, pass the Kleiner Reinsbrunnen well and climb up the hill between two valleys (the ‘Lange Nacht‘ and the ‘Molkengrund‘) and you’ll immediately see the short tower.

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Kerstlingeröder Feld

Kerstlingeröder Feld, Göttingen

When I was living in Göttingen, Germany, I didn’t visit the forest belonging to the city – the Stadtwald – very often. It is a large forest in the East of the urban areas and it includes many nice places like the Bismarckturm or the Kehr with wild boars and deer. The reason not to go there was mostly that you have to climb steadily up the hill – but during the last decades the city grew steadily up the hill and the forest can now also easily be reached by bus.

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Bismarckstein, Göttingen

A strange building made of stone hidden behind high trees in the forest. A temple? A ruin? If you walk around the building on the Klausberg in Göttingen, Germany, you will spot a tiny inscription: ‘Gedenkstein für Otto von Bismarck‘, a memorial for the former imperial chancellor. It is officially called ‘Bismarckstein‘ but the locals have a different name for it: ‘Elefantenklo‘ (elephant loo). Bismarck was very famous by his time even though his role in history has a lot of dark sides – but the people were willing to donate for memorials to commemorate him.

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Mintrop-Kugel, Göttingen

When you’re hiking on the Warteberg mountain in the east of Göttingen, Germany, you can come across an old earthquake observatory. It is the so-called Wiechert’sche Erdbebenwarte named after the former director Emil Wiechert. The university gave up the building in 2005 but now a private association cares about the legacy of the scientist, including different seismographs that still work. A highlight of this place is a four tons weighing giant: the Mintrop-Kugel.

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