Elefantenklo

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

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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Kleiner Reinsbrunnen

Kleiner Reinsbrunnen, Göttingen

Everybody in Göttingen, Germany, knows the Schillerwiesen – a long stretched park in the East of the city leading up the hill. Most people only know the lower section where people meet for picnics and barbecues, to do sports or play miniature golf. Some get a little bit higher and also see the Jérôme-Pavillion where you can also have your wedding ceremony. Not many people get further on to a more quiet part where you can see the Merkelstein (remembering the former mayor Georg Merkel) and the Kleiner Reinsbrunnen – a nice spring hidden in the forest.

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Dransfelder Rampe

Dransfelder Rampe, Hannöversche Südbahn, Dransfeld

If you look at satellite data of the area west of Göttingen, Germany, you can see some unusual slopes of trees. It is the track of the former railway connecting Göttingen to Kassel (Hannöversche Südbahn). via Dransfeld and Hann. Münden – a route that was suboptimal because of the very high inclination in a section called Dransfelder Rampe (‘Dransfeld ramp’). It was nevertheless built because it was the only route from Göttingen to Hann. Münden without leaving the territory of the Kingdom of Hannover. The new route opened in 1876 switches between the German federal states Lower Saxony (formerly Kingdom of Hannover) and Hesse (formerly Kurfürstentum Hessen) several times.

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Sambesi

Sambesi, Göttingen

The Sambesi is a restaurant at Göttingen, Germany, named after the river running through central and Southern Africa. I have a little bit mixed feelings about this place as you can get nice African-style dishes here but it is often too loud and the restaurant has the atmosphere of a waiting hall at a railway station. Additionally, I never had the desire to eat ostrich, crocodile or zebra meat – which seems to be the unique selling proposition of this restaurant.

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Bismarckturm

Bismarckturm, Göttingen

Once there were 240 towers that were built to commemorate the imperial chancellor Otto von Bismarck. As Bismarck had studied in Göttingen, Germany for sure a tower was built here, too. It is 31 meters high and standing on the Kleperberg in the southeast of the city. In 1892 Bismarck gave his approval and in 1896 the tower was opened – you can still today climb up on weekends between 11am and 6pm.

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Charlotte

Charlotte-Müller-Denkmal, Göttingen

A small memorial on the square in front of the railway station of Göttingen, Germany reminds you of Charlotte Müller – the oldest street merchant in the world (as the writing underneath states and as it is written in the Guinness book of world records). But most visitors of the city won’t find the statue underneath the tree and behind those numerous bicycles standing around everywhere.

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St. Albani

St. Albani, Göttingen

The protestant church St. Albani at Göttingen, Germany is unfortunately one of these churches you typically won’t recognize – even as a local. It is standing next to a giant parking area belonging to the Stadthalle event hall, in an area of the city center you won’t visit that often. Most people see it just from the reverse side as it was once standing directly next to the fortifications of the city.

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