Marburg

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Marburg
Marburg Schloss.jpg
View of Marburg, dominated by the castle and St. Elizabeth's Church
Wappen Marburg.svg
Coat of arms
Location of Marburg within Marburg-Biedenkopf district
Marburg Biedenkopf Marburg.png
Germany adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Marburg
Hesse location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Marburg
Coordinates: 50°48′36″N08°46′15″E / 50.81000°N 8.77083°E / 50.81000; 8.77083 Coordinates: 50°48′36″N08°46′15″E / 50.81000°N 8.77083°E / 50.81000; 8.77083
Country Germany
State Hesse
District Marburg-Biedenkopf
Subdivisions20 Stadtteile
Government
   Lord Mayor Thomas Spies (SPD)
Area
  Total123.92 km2 (47.85 sq mi)
Elevation
173-412 m (−1,179 ft)
Population
 (2018-12-31) [1]
  Total76,851
  Density620/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
35001-35043
Dialling codes 06421
Vehicle registration MR
Website www.marburg.de

Marburg is a university town in the German federal state (Bundesland) of Hesse, capital of the Marburg-Biedenkopf district (Landkreis). The town area spreads along the valley of the river Lahn and has a population of approximately 72,000.

College town community dominated by its university population

A college town or university town is a community that is dominated by its university population. The university may be large, or there may be several smaller institutions such as liberal arts colleges clustered, or the residential population may be small, but college towns in all cases are so dubbed because the presence of the educational institution(s) pervades economic and social life. Many local residents may be employed by the university—which may be the largest employer in the community—many businesses cater primarily to the university, and the student population may outnumber the local population.

States of Germany First-level administrative subdivisions of the Federal Republic of Germany

Germany is a federal republic consisting of sixteen states. Since today's Germany was formed from an earlier collection of several states, it has a federal constitution, and the constituent states retain a measure of sovereignty. With an emphasis on geographical conditions, Berlin and Hamburg are frequently called Stadtstaaten (city-states), as is the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, which in fact includes the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven. The remaining 13 states are called Flächenländer.

Hesse State in Germany

Hesse or Hessia, officially the State of Hesse, is a federal state (Land) of the Federal Republic of Germany, with just over six million inhabitants. Its state capital is Wiesbaden and the largest city is Frankfurt am Main.

Contents

Having been awarded town privileges in 1222, Marburg served as capital of the landgraviate of Hessen-Marburg during periods of the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries. The University of Marburg was founded in 1527 and dominates the public life in the town to this day.

Town privileges features of European towns during most of the second millennium

Town privileges or borough rights were important features of European towns during most of the second millennium. The city law customary in Central Europe probably dates back to Italian models, which in turn were oriented towards the traditions of the self-administration of Roman cities

Landgrave

Landgrave was a noble title used in the Holy Roman Empire, and later on in its former territories. The German titles of Landgraf, Markgraf ("margrave"), and Pfalzgraf are in the same class of ranks as Herzog ("duke") and above the rank of a Graf ("count").

University of Marburg German university

The Philipps University of Marburg was founded in 1527 by Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse, which makes it one of Germany's oldest universities and the oldest still operating Protestant university in the world. It is now a public university of the state of Hesse, without religious affiliation. The University of Marburg has about 25,000 students and 7,500 employees and is located in Marburg, a town of 72,000 inhabitants, with university buildings dotted in or around the town centre. About 12 per cent of the students are international, the highest percentage in Hesse. It offers an International summer university programme and offers student exchanges through the Erasmus programme.

History

Founding and early history

Like many settlements, Marburg developed at the crossroads of two important early medieval highways: the trade route linking Cologne and Prague and the trade route from the North Sea to the Alps and on to Italy, the former crossing the river Lahn here. The settlement was protected and customs were raised by a small castle built during the ninth or tenth century by the Giso. Marburg has been a town since 1140, as proven by coins. From the Gisos, it fell around that time to the Landgraves of Thuringia, residing on the Wartburg above Eisenach.

Cologne City in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Cologne is the largest city of Germany's most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the fourth most populous city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich. With slightly over a million inhabitants within its city boundaries, Cologne is the largest city on the Rhine and also the most populous city both of the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region, which is Germany's largest and one of Europe's major metropolitan areas, and of the Rhineland. Centered on the left bank of the Rhine, Cologne is about 45 kilometres (28 mi) southeast of North Rhine-Westphalia's capital of Düsseldorf and 25 kilometres (16 mi) northwest of Bonn. It is the largest city in the Central Franconian and Ripuarian dialect areas.

Prague Capital of the Czech Republic

Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the 14th largest city in the European Union and the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated on the Vltava river, Prague is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of 2.6 million. The city has a temperate oceanic climate, with relatively warm summers and chilly winters.

North Sea marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean

The North Sea is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean located between the Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. An epeiric sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the ocean through the English Channel in the south and the Norwegian Sea in the north. It is more than 970 kilometres (600 mi) long and 580 kilometres (360 mi) wide, with an area of 570,000 square kilometres (220,000 sq mi).

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

In 1228, the widowed princess-landgravine of Thuringia, Elizabeth of Hungary, chose Marburg as her dowager seat, as she did not get along well with her brother-in-law, the new landgrave. The countess dedicated her life to the sick and would become after her early death in 1231, aged 24, one of the most prominent female saints of the era. She was canonized in 1235.

Elizabeth of Hungary Christian saint

Elizabeth of Hungary, also known as Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia or Saint Elisabeth of Thuringia, was a princess of the Kingdom of Hungary, Landgravine of Thuringia, Germany, and a greatly venerated Catholic saint who was an early member of the Third Order of St. Francis, by which she is honored as its patroness.

St. Elizabeth Church (Marburg) Elisabethkirche Marburg.jpg
St. Elizabeth Church (Marburg)

Capital of Hessen

In 1264, St Elizabeth's daughter Sophie of Brabant, succeeded in winning the Landgraviate of Hessen, hitherto connected to Thuringia, for her son Henry. Marburg (alongside Kassel) was one of the capitals of Hessen from that time until about 1540. Following the first division of the landgraviate, it was the capital of Hessen-Marburg from 1485 to 1500 and again between 1567 and 1605. Hessen was one of the more powerful second-tier principalities in Germany. Its "old enemy" was the Archbishopric of Mainz, one of the prince-electors, who competed with Hessen in many wars and conflicts for coveted territory, stretching over several centuries.

Sophie of Thuringia, Duchess of Brabant German noble

Sophie of Thuringia was the second wife and only Duchess consort of Henry II, Duke of Brabant and Lothier. She was the heiress of Hesse which she passed on to her son, Henry upon her retention of the territory following her partial victory in the War of the Thuringian Succession in which she was one of the belligerents. Sophie was the founder of the Brabant dynasty of Hesse.

Thuringia State in Germany

Thuringia, officially the Free State of Thuringia, is a state of Germany.

Henry I, Landgrave of Hesse first Landgrave of Hesse

Henry I of Hesse "the Child" was the first Landgrave of Hesse. He was the son of Henry II, Duke of Brabant and Sophie of Thuringia.

Marburg from Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg's atlas Civitates orbis terrarum, 1572 Marburg Braun-Hogenberg.jpg
Marburg from Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg's atlas Civitates orbis terrarum , 1572

After 1605, Marburg became just another provincial town, known mostly for the University of Marburg. It became a virtual backwater for two centuries after the Thirty Years' War (1618–48), when it was fought over by Hessen-Darmstadt and Hesse-Kassel. The Hessian territory around Marburg lost more than two-thirds of its population, which was more than in any later wars (including World War I and World War II) combined.

Thirty Years War War between 1618 and 1648; with over 8 million fatalities

The Thirty Years' War was a war fought primarily in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. One of the most destructive conflicts in human history, it resulted in eight million fatalities not only from military engagements but also from violence, famine, and plague. Casualties were overwhelmingly and disproportionately inhabitants of the Holy Roman Empire, most of the rest being battle deaths from various foreign armies. The deadly clashes ravaged Europe; 20 percent of the total population of Germany died during the conflict and there were losses up to 50 percent in a corridor between Pomerania and the Black Forest. In terms of proportional German casualties and destruction, it was surpassed only by the period of January to May 1945 during World War II; one of its enduring results was 19th-century Pan-Germanism, when it served as an example of the dangers of a divided Germany and became a key justification for the 1871 creation of the German Empire.

Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt countship

The Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt was a State of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled by a younger branch of the House of Hesse. It was formed in 1567 following the division of the Landgraviate of Hesse between the four sons of Landgrave Philip I.

World War I 1914–1918 global war starting in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War, the Great War, the Seminal Catastrophe, and initially in North America as the European War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Reformation

Marburg is the seat of the oldest Protestant-founded university in the world, the University of Marburg (Philipps-Universität-Marburg), founded in 1527. It is one of the smaller "university towns" in Germany: Greifswald, Erlangen, Jena, and Tübingen, as well as the city of Gießen, which is located 30 km south of Marburg.

In 1529, Philipp I of Hesse arranged the Marburg Colloquy, to propitiate Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli.

Marburg on the Lahn Marburg an der Lahn.jpg
Marburg on the Lahn

Romanticism

Owing to its neglect during the entire eighteenth century, Marburg – like Rye or Chartres – survived as a relatively intact Gothic town, simply because there was no money spent on any new architecture or expansion. When Romanticism became the dominant cultural and artistic paradigm in Germany, Marburg became interesting once again, and many of the leaders of the movement lived, taught, or studied in Marburg. They formed a circle of friends that was of great importance, especially in literature, philology, folklore, and law. The group included Friedrich Karl von Savigny, the most important jurist of his day and father of the Roman Law adaptation in Germany; the poets, writers, and social activists Achim von Arnim, Clemens Brentano, and especially the latter's sister and the former's later wife, Bettina von Arnim. Most famous internationally, however, were the Brothers Grimm, who collected many of their fairy tales here. The original building inspiring his drawing Rapunzel's Tower stands in Amönau near Marburg. Across the Lahn hills, in the area called Schwalm, the costumes of little girls included a red hood.

Prussian town

In the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the Prince-elector of Hessen had backed Austria. Prussia won and took the opportunity to invade and annex the Electorate of Hessen (as well as Hanover, the city of Frankfurt, and other territories) north of the Main River. However, the pro-Austrian Hesse-Darmstadt remained independent. For Marburg, this turn of events was very positive, because Prussia decided to make Marburg its main administrative centre in this part of the new province Hessen-Nassau and to turn the University of Marburg into the regional academic centre. Thus, Marburg's rise as an administrative and university city began. As the Prussian university system was one of the best in the world at the time, Marburg attracted many respected scholars. However, there was hardly any industry to speak of, so students, professors, and civil servants – who generally had enough but not much money and paid very little in taxes – dominated the town, which tended to be very conservative.

Twentieth century

The Wettergasse in the Old City Marburg 30.jpg
The Wettergasse in the Old City

Franz von Papen, vice-chancellor of Germany in 1934, delivered an anti-Nazi speech at the University of Marburg on 17 June.

From 1942 to 1945, the whole city of Marburg was turned into a hospital with schools and government buildings turned into wards to augment the existing hospitals. By the spring of 1945, there were over 20,000 patients – mostly wounded German soldiers. As a result of its being designated a hospital city, there was not much damage from bombings except along the railroad tracks.

In 1945, the Elisabethkirche in Marburg became the final resting place of Field Marshal and President Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934). He is also an honorary citizen of the town.

Politics

As a larger mid-sized city, Marburg, like six other such cities in Hessen, has a special status as compared to the other municipalities in the district. This means that the city takes on tasks more usually performed by the district so that in many ways it is comparable to an urban district (kreisfreie Stadt).

The mayor of Marburg, Thomas Spies, in office since December 2015, and his predecessor Egon Vaupel (directly elected in January 2005), are from the Social Democratic Party of Germany. His deputy, the head of the building and youth departments, Dr. Franz Kahle, is from Alliance '90/The Greens. The majority in the 59-seat city parliament is held by a coalition of SPD (22 seats) and Green (13 seats) members. Also represented are the factions of the Christian Democratic Union (14 seats), The Left (4 seats), the Free Democratic Party (2 seats), a CDU splinter group MBL (Marburger Bürgerliste – 2 seats), the BfM (Bürger für Marburg – 1 seat) and the Pirate Party (1 seat).

Among the left wing groups are ATTAC, the Worldshop movement, an autonomist-anarchist scene, and a few groups engaged in ecological or human-rights concerns.

The city of Marburg, similar to the cities of Heidelberg, Tübingen and Göttingen, has a rich history of student fraternities or Verbindungen of various sorts, including Corps, Landsmannschaften, Burschenschaften, Turnierschaften, etc.

City partnerships

Marburg has the following sister cities: [2]

Coat of arms

Marburg's coat of arms shows a Hessian landgrave riding a white horse with a flag and a shield on a red background. The shield shows the red-and-white-striped Hessian lion, also to be seen on Hessen's state arms, and the flag shows a stylized M, blue on gold (or yellow). The arms are also the source of the city flag's colors. The flag has three horizontal stripes colored, from top to bottom, red (from the background), white (from the horse) and blue (from the shield).

The coat of arms, which was designed in the late nineteenth century, is based on a landgrave seal on a municipal document. It is an example of a very prevalent practice of replacing forgotten coats of arms, or ones deemed not to be representative enough, with motifs taken from seals.

Marburg virus

The city's name is connected to a filovirus, the Marburg virus, because this disease, a viral hemorrhagic fever resembling ebola, was first recognized and described during an outbreak in the city. Workers accidentally were exposed to infected green monkey tissue at the city's former industrial plant (1967), the Behring-Werke, then part of Hoechst and today of CSL Behring, founded by Marburg citizen and first Nobel Prize in Medicine winner, Emil Adolf von Behring. During the outbreak, 31 people became infected and seven of them died. "Marburg virus" is named after the city per the custom of naming viruses after the location of their first recorded outbreak, this being given the name, Marburgvirus.

Green city

Many homes have solar panels and in 2008 a law was passed to make the installation of solar systems on new buildings or as part of renovation projects mandatory. 20 percent of heating system requirements ought to have been covered by solar energy in new buildings. Anyone who fails to install solar panels would have been fined €1,000. The new law, approved on 20 June 2008, should have taken effect in October 2008, [3] however, this law was stopped by the Regierungspräsidium Giessen in September 2008. [4]

Climate

Climate data for Marburg
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)2.3
(36.1)
4
(39)
8.7
(47.7)
13.6
(56.5)
18.2
(64.8)
21.4
(70.5)
23
(73)
22.5
(72.5)
19.2
(66.6)
13.3
(55.9)
7.1
(44.8)
3.6
(38.5)
13.1
(55.5)
Daily mean °C (°F)−0.1
(31.8)
1.2
(34.2)
4.6
(40.3)
8.8
(47.8)
12.9
(55.2)
16.1
(61.0)
17.8
(64.0)
17.4
(63.3)
14.3
(57.7)
9.5
(49.1)
4.6
(40.3)
1.4
(34.5)
9.0
(48.3)
Average low °C (°F)−2.4
(27.7)
−1.5
(29.3)
0.6
(33.1)
4
(39)
7.7
(45.9)
10.9
(51.6)
12.6
(54.7)
12.3
(54.1)
9.5
(49.1)
5.8
(42.4)
2.1
(35.8)
−0.7
(30.7)
5.1
(41.1)
Average rainfall mm (inches)57
(2.2)
45
(1.8)
58
(2.3)
50
(2.0)
70
(2.8)
71
(2.8)
68
(2.7)
61
(2.4)
60
(2.4)
61
(2.4)
57
(2.2)
66
(2.6)
724
(28.5)
Source: Climate Marburg (Hesse) (in german), accessed 19 December 2017

Main sights and points of interest

Town hall and market place with fountain (January 2016) Town hall Marburg and market place fountain in fog-night 2016-01-25.JPG
Town hall and market place with fountain (January 2016)

Marburg remains a relatively unspoilt, spire-dominated, castle-crowned Gothic or Renaissance city on a hill partly because it was isolated between 1600 and 1850. Architecturally, it is famous both for its castle Marburger Schloss and its medieval churches. The Elisabethkirche, as one of the two or three first purely Gothic churches north of the Alps outside France, is an archetype of Gothic architecture in Germany.

Much of the physical attractiveness of Marburg is due to Hanno Drechsler who was Lord Mayor between 1970 and 1992. He promoted urban renewal, the restoration of the Oberstadt (uptown), and he established one of the first pedestrian zones in Germany. Marburg's Altstadtsanierung (since 1972) has received many awards and prizes. [5]

Parks in the town include the Old Botanical Garden, as well as the new Botanical Garden outside the town proper.

The Marktplatz is the heart of Marburg's old town. In the center is a fountain dedicated to St. Georg, a popular meeting place for students. To the south is the old town hall and the path leading north winds its way up to the palace overlooking the town.

Sons and daughters of the town

Nineteenth century

Karl Knies Karl Gustav Adolf Knies.jpg
Karl Knies
Adolf Fick Adolf Fick.png
Adolf Fick

Twentieth century

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References

  1. "Bevölkerungsstand am 31.12.2018". Hessisches Statistisches Landesamt (in German). July 2019.
  2. "Partnerstädte". City of Marburg (in German). Retrieved 3 April 2010.
  3. German college town Marburg becomes first in the nation to require solar panels on new buildings, International Herald Tribune
  4. Marburger Solarsatzung vor dem aus (in german)
  5. Der Städtetag (in German). 1992. ISBN   9783555009018.

Further reading

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