Marburg an der Lahn Favorite Tips by Trekki Top 5 Page for this destination

Marburg an der Lahn Favorites: 21 reviews and 64 photos

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Favorite thing: to be updated

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  • Updated Mar 12, 2014
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Emil von Behring, famous physiologist - Marburg an der Lahn

Emil von Behring, famous physiologist

Marburg's famous students, there are many!

Favorite thing: The list of famous people who studied at Marburg University is long, very long. Even if the Wikipedia list is in German only, it gives an idea of how many famous people were “hatched” here. In general, Marburg was very famous and in a way also pioneer for medicine and science as well as humanities, law and theology. Many of the alumni kept and keep paying visits to their former groups or gave lectures at the different universities. I was extremely lucky to have Prof. Dr. R.W. Hoffmann as my thesis advisor, because this gave us the chance to meet three famous Nobel Prize in Chemistry awardees, H.C. Brown, Georg Wittig, where Hoffmann spent a post-doc year, and even Linus Pauling. And despite I was never interested in autographs of stars and starlets, but I have theirs in my diploma thesis.

Fondest memory: Among the alumni who gained world wide reputation for their work and discoveries are:
Robert Bunsen, chemist and „father“ of the Bunsen burner,
Otto Hahn, „father“ of nuclear chemistry,
Alfred Wegener, who published the continental drift mechanism in 1915,
Emil Behring, who discovered the diphteria antitoxin,
Ferdinand Sauerbruch, the famous surgeon,
Boris Pasternak, without whom we could never burst out in tears about the love between Doktor Zhivago and Lara,
Mikhail Lomonossow, the famous Russian scientist and writer, and
Gustav Heinemann, famous politician of the early ages of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 1, 2009
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Marburg's blue self guiding plaques - Marburg an der Lahn

Marburg's blue self guiding plaques

Blue plaques guide through Marburg

Favorite thing: This reminds me a bit of London, although the plaques are not round. But they are at the walls of famous and important buildings and other sights to see. As they taken care of and mounted at the walls by Marburg’s officials, rule no 1 applies which is “no other language exists than German” (see my first general tip). Non-German speaking visitors might be able to identify famous names and read the year, but the rest is all good guess only. I seriously hope that Marburg’s officials change their attitude towards the existence of non-German speaking visitors.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 25, 2009
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Marburg, main student canteen (mensa) - Marburg an der Lahn

Marburg, main student canteen (mensa)

Facilities for the students

Favorite thing: Already when I was studying (1978-1989), the facilities for students were excellent. And they have improved over the years from what I have heard and experienced. I am visting my old university from time to time for no specific reason other than that I want to go back where I learned (scientific) values and policy (as opposed to the mendacious crap which is published and lived by the majority of today’s economy, that’s why I can judge the quality of food served in the canteens.
Marburg has two big canteens, one downtown on the eastern bank of Lahn river where Luisa Haeuser Bridge is crossing the river and one on Lahnberge for the science students. Both are excellent, and the prices are very much reasonable. From what I have read on the website of Studentenwerk (student service) they take care that the ingredients are ecologically safe and guaranteed. Well, this is easy given the farmland in Marburg’s surroundings. But it shows that they haven’t fell for the god of greed as many other institutions do these days. In addition to the canteens there are several cafeterias scattered downtown and on Lahnberge. However, it is not possible to eat in the canteens without a special cashless card, called Ucard. They are given only to students or university staff. I was invited by my professor, that’s how I came to eat here. But the cafeterias are for everyone.


Fondest memory: Studentenwerk/student service also takes care of the stundet residential homes, six of these and some with several houses like the “student town” on the slopes of Lahnberge. The homes have public rooms for reading, kitchens, TV rooms and depending on the house rather big rooms to rent. Five of the houses are located on or at the castle hill, in old houses, which makes it extra special to live there. The others are more of the typical apartment buildings. While I was studying in Marburg I lived in one of these for most of my time and liked it. We took care of each other, had cooking parties very often, which was fascinating because of the international students – we almost always ended up with thrilling international dishes.
Philipps University homepage lists the other facilities for students like computer centre, sports centre (big diversity in sports groups offered), facilities for blind students (Philipps University was a pioneer in offering equal opportunities for blind students) and many more.
As an university, I can highly recommend Philipps University and from the living aspect I think no other university location can beat this lovely town.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 25, 2009
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Elisabeth, tile at Töpferhouse (pottery house) - Marburg an der Lahn

Elisabeth, tile at Töpferhouse (pottery house)

Elisabeth, Marburg's patron saint

Favorite thing: You might have realised that St. Elisabeth is being considered to be one of Marburg's most prominent citizen. That is why 800 years after her birth, year 2007 was celebrated as "Elisabeth year". A lot of festivals were held throughout the year and a special exhibition about her life was in display in the castle. Parts of the exhibits have been moved to the regular museum, parts are back in their original towns.
Elisabeth was a famous and fascinating woman. She was born in Hungary in 1207, was married to a landgrave of Thuringia at the age of fourteen. When her husband died during one of the crusades, she left Wartburg (Thuringia) and went to Marburg. Here she founded the hospital (based on Franciscan order) and took care of the poor and homeless. She died very young, at the age of 24 and was canonised 4 years later.

There is much more to her story than my few words. Read here and further down for more information and links.

Throughout all Marburg you will find tributes to her, little reliefs here and there, chocolate, sweets and cakes named after her and of course, the famous Elisabethkirche, where her bones are buried (most of them).

I wrote this tip in September 2006, but have exchanged photos and revamped the text (April 2009).

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 25, 2009
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Bärenbrunnen, next to the "Luther Inn" - Marburg an der Lahn

Bärenbrunnen, next to the "Luther Inn"

Thirsty from all the sight seeing ?

Favorite thing: Walking up and down for sightseeing makes thirsty. There is no need to buy extra water bottles because the city is well equipped with fountains at every other road. Only make sure that it has a sign "Trinkwasser" (German for drinking water) or an icon with a cup. I also found fountains with a cup which was strikethrough. These wouldn’t be drinking water.

Some of these fountains are quite funny like the wild boar for eaxample. This one is at the castle hill, just when you leave the hill through the castle’s southern gate.

One remark about the fountain in my main photo: this is in Barfüßerstrasse (westward from market place and then on the right hand side where a tiny street leads uphill to the castle): the house next to it, to the left (west) was once a famous inn, Gasthof zum Bären, and Luther stayed here during Marburg Colloquy. But the inn is no longer in use, it is a shop by now and also the half timbered façade was plastered many years ago. I am not sure if Marburg’s officials would want to restore this house.

I wrote this tip in September 2006, but have exchanged photos and revamped the text (April 2009).

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 25, 2009
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Local Festivities in Marburg - Marburg an der Lahn
Local Festivities in Marburg

Favorite thing: Marburg has a lot of festivities during the year, due to the big influence of the university parts. If you plan a visit to Marburg, and are flexible with the timing, why not consider to go during one of the most important events ?

Town Festival:
This is being held every second weekend in July for 3 days. It's all over town with food- and beer stalls everywhere. Also live music is played. Check the city website some time in advance for details. Well worth a visit.

Weidenhäuser Entenrennen and Höfefest:
Haha, what a name for non German speakers! This is more of a local and traditional festival. Entenrennen means duck race, Höfe-fest means yard festival. It is being held in Weidenhausen, one of Marburg’s quarters (east of the old university) usually in September. Surely worth a visit, because as with all German festivals and parties which involve houses’ yards, this adds to a special atmosphere of celebrating old traditions.

Elisabeth Fair:
Held every second weekend in October. It is a typical German fair with merry-go-rounds, carousels, and food- and beer stalls. It is around Elisabeth Church and Market Place. Shops are open on Sundays during this fair. Definitely worth a visit.

Handicraft Market:
Held every 1st weekend in November, in Marburg’s town hall in Biegenstrasse. Well worth a visit.

Christmas Market:
Like all Christmas markets in Germany, held from the weekend of 1st Advent on for 4 weeks. In Marburg, it is around Elisabeth Church and Market Place. It was always definitely worth a visit, because you can find and buy more nice craftwork than on the usual Christmas markets (not only typical crap). Mulled wine stalls included, of course!

Freshmen's Party:
Each first week per academic year, the students' association celebrates their famous freshmen's party, which is open to everyone who would like to come and party. Definitely worth a visit – be sure, Marburg's students do know quite well how to party. (Haha, I already picture a certain Ritchie and a certain D coming for this party – lol).

I wrote this tip in September 2006, but have exchanged photos and revamped the text (April 2009).

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 25, 2009
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Best time to take photos - Marburg an der Lahn
Best time to take photos

Favorite thing: In case you have ready my to-do and local customs sections already you might have guessed that it is not all that easy to take photos of the magnificent half timbered houses in the old town. If you look at how narrow the streets are it becomes obvious how few hours of a day, even of a summer day, are good enough for this. The rest of the day the sun is either too low or too high or exactly behind the target house. This makes it a bit of challenging and “logistic” planning in case you have only a few hours or a day to visit this beautiful town. But the good news is that the streets where the majority of Marburg’s most beautiful and interesting half-timbered houses are located are either north-south or east-west oriented and this means that even with only a few hours in town you will have many objects for really nice photos.

These streets are:
North-south: Wettergasse, Steinweg, Renthof, Hofstatt, Reitgasse, Metzgergasse, Speckkuchengasse,
East-west: Weidenhausen, Barfüßerstraße, Ritterstraße, Untergasse, Kugelgasse, Lutherischer Kirchhof, Schloßsteig, Schloßtreppe, Marktgasse.

In each tip I have made notes as to where each of the houses is located and when it is the best time to take photos

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 25, 2009
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Marburg and Grimm Brothers 2009

Favorite thing: Did I mention this the eternal mystery proper English guidance on Marburg’s website already? Yes, I did. I might come to a point to understand that the mayor and his staff think that foreign guide books are full with descriptions which makes it not necessary to expand explanations on the site. But I will ever fail to understand why they won’t even mention the fascinating events in and around Marburg during the project “Literate Hesse 2009”. One of Marburgs famous inhabitants some centuries ago were the Grimm Brothers who wrote the famous fairy-tale collections. Marburg’s special events in this literature year 2009 are focussing on many of these tales, there is even a path leading through town which is called “Grimm-Dich-Pfad” (a pun related to “keep-fit path”; fit means trimm in German). This path is lined with eleven cute figures of the fairy tales and leads zigzagging through the old town.

Fondest memory: In addition, each month of the year has a special literate theme with many special events like theatres, movies and readings:
· May: love and the Hesse Literature Day (May 10),
· June: Hesse Theatre Days and dramatic literature,
· July: literature inside and outside on special locations throughout the town,
· August: historical novels, Medieval market and printing machines a la Gutenberg (oh, mental note to self: I must go then!),
· September: whatever “Poetry Slam” means,
· October: Marburg crime story festival,
· November: lyrics with funny competitions and actions,
· December: of course, perfect for the season, fairy tales of Grimm Brothers and the famous Christmas Market.

Links:
Marburg website, Grimm Year 2009
brochure of Marburg’s Grimm year 2009 (in German, 29 pages as pdf),
Grimm path map (in German)

If anyone is interested in more information, please send me VT mail and I can translate parts of brochure and map.
It is so $%&//( sad that this all isn’t available in English…. It would attract so many more foreign visitors!!!

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 24, 2009
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Angela Merkel graffiti - Marburg an der Lahn

Angela Merkel graffiti

Marburg is a very much liberal town :-)

Favorite thing: Despite the very much right wing fraternities, the majority of Marburg’s studens were and obviously still are more left wing and liberal. No, this is not meant as a political tip, only as an explanation for the vistors who might see interesting graffiti and wonder why this is still in place. The bookstore Roter Stern (red star) is age old, has been in the same place already since ages when I started my studies in Marburg. (it is located in the street Am Grün, which leads south from the old university and is running parallel to Lahn river). But the graffiti in my main page is rather new, or at least not older than November 2005. It says Merkel das Ferkel, which is a pun saying something like A.M., the piglet (Ferkel = piglet). Well, it was obviously an artist who does not seem to love our actual (by the time I write this, April 2009 – we have elections in September 2009) chancellor.
I am pretty sure that my whole attitude and fight against greed, arrogance, megalomaniacs, corruption, lies and all that got most of its seed during my ten years studying in Marburg.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 23, 2009
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