Heinz Reist in Tübingen

written on 17/09/2020
by Angela Stilianakis

Maybe you cannot see me immediately on the next photo because, rightly so, you focus on the impressive big old tower.

But that little white spot on the grass in front of the tower is me, Heinz. I guess you already know me from the last time I reported on my beautiful and interesting travels in Germany.

Well, I have been back on tour. This time I had the opportunity to go to the southern part of Germany: Tübingen in Baden-Württemberg. My report starts from there.

I was surprised that we took our first photo at the tower called ‘Tübinger Tor’ because the Tübinger Tor is situated in Reutlingen, a big city nearby Tübingen, and not in Tübingen itself where we were supposed to go.

There are two reasons for this: first, it is the place where Angela, my travel companion grew up. So certainly there was some nostalgia , but that is not all.

The second reason is that the ‘Tübinger Tor’ (built in 1235 as a part of the town wall) is really worth a visit, as are other places of interest: the centre with the market place and the surroundings of the city with its beautiful rich nature.

By the way, Reutlingen is the birthplace of Friedrich List (1789–1846) one of the founders of macroeconomics.

After a 10 minute car ride to the east we finally reach Tübingen in Baden Württemberg.

Tübingen is located on the river Neckar about 30 km south of the state capital of Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart. The city of Tübingen is one of the oldest cities in Germany and is a traditional university city. The Eberhard-Karls university was founded in 1477 and is the second oldest in Germany. 

Famous people studied and taught here such as Johannes Kepler, Friedrich Hölderlin, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, Alois Alzheimer, Ernst Bloch, Philip Melanchthon - to name but a few.

City  life is strongly influenced by the high number of students:  they make up one third of the 89,000 inhabitants.

In 1995, Tübingen was considered a city with the highest quality of life in Germany compared to other cities. That’s probably because of its efforts to put  high environmental protection measures in place like the integration of bicycle lanes on the roads.

Almost no cars are allowed in the city centre, busses run through the night; new buildings, shops and business are run according to a family friendly infrastructure. Many places like schools, shops etc. are reachable on foot (also for the elderly).

Tübingen, with its academic flair, follows green, social and liberal policies. The mentality is influenced by the protestant character: diligence, order (Swabian Kehrwoche), austerity, fidelity and honesty. The locals speak Swabian - a rather strong dialect.

Tübingen Altstadt, is one of the few historical old towns unaffected by the Second World War. Many tourists come to walk along the little canals, narrow-stairs through the hilly terrain and to visit weekly events, regular market days or festivals and outdoor cinema.

The old town includes the Rathaus (City Hall) and the Marktplatz (market place), the castle Hohentübingen and the Stiftskirke (Collegiate Church).

Neckarinsel (Neckar Island). In the middle of Tübingen, the Neckar splits into two streams that form the Neckar Island. From there you can see the ‘Neckar front’ which is a row of historical houses including the ‘yellow Tower’ where the poet Friedrich Hölderlin lived for 36 years.

The Neckar-insel is famous for the Platanenallee, with high plane trees, some of which are more than 200 years old.

If you ever come to Tübingen, you should go boating with a ‘Stocherkahn’ on the Neckar.

Tübingen not only hosts the university with its excellent botanical garden, there are also several research institutes such as those from the famous Max Planck society.

Tübingen never was a location for industry. Today, however, there are several very well-known new high-tech companies and start-ups in medical and information technologies.

The biggest employer of Tübingen is the civil service, the university with its large university hospital.

I very much enjoyed my visit to Tübingen, despite the rain. I got wet. And do not forget: If you come along the Neckar with the boat Stocherkahn,  at the end of your trip, I’ll let you know where you can get more information.

Yours sincerely,

Heinz Reist

Photo 1: ©Evi Rauscher, all other photos: ©Angela Stilianakis