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Tübingen seen from above in June 2018
Wappen Tuebingen.svg
Coat of arms
Location of Tübingen within Tübingen district
Karte Tubingen.png
Germany adm location map.svg
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Baden-Wuerttemberg location map.svg
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Coordinates: 48°31′12″N09°03′20″E / 48.52000°N 9.05556°E / 48.52000; 9.05556 Coordinates: 48°31′12″N09°03′20″E / 48.52000°N 9.05556°E / 48.52000; 9.05556
Country Germany
State Baden-Württemberg
Admin. region Tübingen
District Tübingen
   Lord mayor Boris Palmer (Greens)
  Total108.12 km2 (41.75 sq mi)
341 m (1,119 ft)
 (2019-12-31) [1]
  Density850/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes 07071
07073 (Unterjesingen)
07472 (Bühl)
Vehicle registration
Website www.tuebingen.de

Tübingen (German: [ˈtyːbɪŋən] , Loudspeaker.svg listen  , Swabian: Dibenga) is a traditional university city in central Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated 30 km (19 mi) south of the state capital, Stuttgart, and developed on both sides of the Neckar and Ammer rivers. As of 2014 [2] about one in three of the 90,000 people [3] living in Tübingen is a student. As of the 2018/2019 winter semester, 27,665 students attend the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. [4] The city has the lowest median age in Germany, in part due to its status as a university city; as of December 31, 2015, the average age of a citizen of Tübingen is 39.1 years. [5]


Immediately north of the city lies the Schönbuch, a densely wooded nature park. The Swabian Alb mountains rise about 13 km (8 mi) (beeline Tübingen City to Roßberg - 869 m) to the southeast of Tübingen.

The Ammer and Steinlach rivers are tributaries of the Neckar river, which flows in an easterly direction through the city, just south of the medieval old town. Large parts of the city are hilly, with the Schlossberg and the Österberg in the city centre and the Schnarrenberg and Herrlesberg, among others, rising immediately adjacent to the inner city.

The highest point is at about 500 m (1,640.42 ft) above sea level near Bebenhausen in the Schönbuch forest, while the lowest point is 305 m (1,000.66 ft) in the city's eastern Neckar valley. The geographical centre of the state of Baden-Württemberg is in a small forest called Elysium, near the Botanical Gardens of the city's university.

Regional structure

Tübingen is the capital of an eponymous district and an eponymous administrative region (Regierungsbezirk), before 1973 called Südwürttemberg-Hohenzollern.

Tübingen is, with nearby Reutlingen (about 15 km (9.3 mi) east), one of the two centre cities of the Neckar-Alb region.

Administratively, it is not part of the Stuttgart Region, bordering it to the north and west (Esslingen district in the north and Böblingen district in the west). However, the city and northern parts of its district can be regarded as belonging to that region in a wider regional and cultural context.


The area was probably first settled by ancient humans in the 12th millennium BC. The Romans left some traces here in AD 85, when they built a limes frontier wall at the Neckar River. Tübingen dates from the 6th or 7th century, when the region was populated by the Alamanni people. Some historians argue that the Battle of Solicinium was fought at Spitzberg, a mountain in Tübingen, in AD 367, although there is no evidence for this.[ citation needed ]

Tübingen first appears in official records in 1191. The local castle, Hohentübingen, has records going back to 1078, when it was besieged by Henry IV, king of Germany. Its name was transcribed in Medieval Latin as Tuingia and Twingia.

From 1146, Count Hugo V (1125–52) was promoted to count palatine as Hugo I. Tübingen was established as the capital of a County Palatine of Tübingen. By 1231, Tübingen was a civitas, indicating recognition by the Crown of civil liberties and a court system.

In 1262, an Augustinian monastery was established by Pope Alexander IV in Tübingen; in 1272, a Franciscan monastery was founded. In 1300, a Latin school (today's Uhland-Gymnasium) was founded. During the Protestant Reformation, which Duke Ulrich of Würtemmberg converted to, he disestablished the Franciscan monastery in 1535.

In 1342, the county palatine was sold to Ulrich III, Count of Württemberg and incorporated into the County of Württemberg.

Tubingen, Neckarfront Tubingen - Neckarfront 04.jpg
Tübingen, Neckarfront
Shops lining the city square Tubingen Markt BW 2015-04-27 15-43-00.jpg
Shops lining the city square

Between 1470 and 1483, St. George's Collegiate Church was built. The collegiate church offices provided the opportunity for what soon afterwards became the most significant event in Tübingen's history: the founding of the Eberhard Karls University by Duke Eberhard im Bart of Württemberg in 1477, thus making it one of the oldest universities in Central Europe. It became soon renowned as one of the most influential places of learning in the Holy Roman Empire, especially for theology (a Protestant faculty, Tübinger Stift, was established in 1535 in the former Augustinian monastery). Today, the university is still the biggest source of income for the residents of the city and one of the biggest universities in Germany with more than 26,000 students.

Between 1622 and 1625, the Catholic League occupied Lutheran Württemberg in the course of the Thirty Years' War. In the summer of 1631, the city was raided. In 1635/36 the city was hit by the Plague. In 1638, Swedish troops conquered Tübingen. Towards the end of the war, French troops occupied the city from 1647 until 1649.

In 1789, parts of the old town burned down, but were later rebuilt in the original style. In 1798 the Allgemeine Zeitung , a leading newspaper in early 19th-century Germany, was founded in Tübingen by Johann Friedrich Cotta. From 1807 until 1843, the poet Friedrich Hölderlin lived in Tübingen in a tower overlooking the Neckar.

In the Nazi era, the Tübingen Synagogue was burned in the Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938. The Second World War left the city largely unscathed, mainly because of the peace initiative of a local doctor, Theodor Dobler. It was occupied by the French army and became part of the French zone of occupation. From 1946 to 1952, Tübingen was the capital of the newly formed state of Württemberg-Hohenzollern (as French : Tubingue), before the state of Baden-Württemberg was created by merging Baden, Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern. The French troops had a garrison stationed in the south of the city until the end of the Cold War in the 1990s.

In the 1960s, Tübingen was one of the centres of the German student movement and the Protests of 1968 and has ever since shaped left and green political views. Some radicalized Tübingen students supported the leftist Rote Armee Fraktion terrorist group, with active member Gudrun Ensslin, a local and a Tübingen student from 1960 to 1963, joining the group in 1968.

Although noticing such things today is largely impossible, as recently as the 1950s, Tübingen was a very socioeconomically divided city, with poor local farmers and tradesmen living along the Stadtgraben (City Canal) and students and academics residing around the Alte Aula and the Burse, the old university buildings. There, hanging on the Cottahaus, a sign commemorates Goethe's stay of a few weeks while visiting his publisher. The German tendency to memorialize every minor presence of its historical greats (comparable to the statement "Washington slept here" in the United States) is parodied on the building next door. This simple building, once a dormitory, features a plain sign with the words "Hier kotzte Goethe" (lit.: "Goethe puked here").

In the second half of the 20th century, Tübingen's administrative area was extended beyond what is now called the "core city" to include several outlying small towns and villages. Most notable among these is Bebenhausen, a village clustered around a castle and Bebenhausen Abbey, a Cistercian cloister about 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Tübingen.


In 2011, the city had 89,000 inhabitants. Life in the city is dominated by its roughly 25,800 students. Tübingen is best described as a mixture of old and distinguished academic flair, including liberal and green politics on one hand and traditional German-style student fraternities on the other, with rural-agricultural environs and shaped by typical Lutheran-Pietist characteristics, such as austerity and a Protestant work ethic, and traditional Swabian elements, such as frugality, order, and tidiness. The city is home to many picturesque buildings from previous centuries and lies on the River Neckar.

In 1995, the German weekly magazine Focus published a national survey according to which Tübingen had the highest quality of life of all cities in Germany. Factors taken into consideration included the infrastructure, the integration of bicycle lanes into the road system, a bus system connecting surrounding hills and valleys, late-night services, areas of the city that can be reached on foot, the pedestrianised old town, and other amenities and cultural events offered by the university. Tübingen is the city with the youngest average population in Germany.

Main sights

In central Tübingen, the Neckar divides briefly into two streams, forming the elongated Neckarinsel (Neckar Island), famous for its Platanenallee with high plane trees, some of which are more than 200 years old. Pedestrians can reach the island via stairs on the narrow ends leading down from a bridge spanning the Neckar. During the summer, the Neckarinsel is occasionally the venue for concerts, plays, and literary readings. The row of historical houses across one side of the elongated Neckarinsel is called the Neckarfront and includes the house with adjoining tower where poet Friedrich Hölderlin stayed for the last 36 years of his life, as he struggled with mental instability.

View from the Stiftskirche TuebingenNeckar.jpg
View from the Stiftskirche
Tubingen city hall Tuebingen Rathaus.jpg
Tübingen city hall
Neckar and Holderlinturm TuebingenNeckarfront3.jpg
Neckar and Hölderlinturm
Stiftskirche TuebingenStiftskirche.jpg
Tubingen street art near Blaue Brucke Tubingen street art.jpg
Tübingen street art near Blaue Brücke

Tübingen's Altstadt (old town) survived the World War II due to the city's lack of heavy industry. The result is a growing domestic tourism business. as visitors come to wander through one of the few completely intact historic Altstädte in Germany. The highlights of Tübingen include its crooked cobblestone lanes, narrow-stair alleyways picking their way through the hilly terrain, streets lined with canals, and well-maintained traditional half-timbered houses.

Old city landmarks include the city hall on Markt Square and the Hohentübingen Castle, now part of the University of Tübingen. The central landmark is the Stiftskirche (Collegiate Church). Along with the rest of the city, the Stiftskirche was one of the first to convert to Martin Luther's protestant church. As such, it maintains (and carefully defends) several "Roman Catholic" features, such as patron saints. Below the Rathaus is a quiet, residential street called the Judengasse, the former Jewish neighborhood of Tübingen until the city's Jews were expelled in 1477. On the street corner is a plaque commemorating the fate of Tübingen's Jews.

The centre of Tübingen is the site of weekly and seasonal events, including regular market days on the Holzmarkt by the Stiftskirche and the Marktplatz by the Rathaus, an outdoor cinema in winter and summer, festive autumn and Christmas markets and Europe's largest Afro-Brazilian festival.

Students and tourists also come to the Neckar River in the summer to visit beer gardens or go boating in Stocherkähne, the Tübingen equivalent of Oxford and Cambridge punts, only slimmer. A Stocherkahn carries up to 20 people. On the second Thursday of June, all Stocherkahn punts take part in a major race, the Stocherkahnrennen.

Bebenhausen Abbey lies in the village of Bebenhausen, a district of Tübingen. A subdivision of the pilgrimage route known as the Way of St. James starts here and runs through Tübingen.


Tübingen has a notable arts culture as well as nightlife. In addition to the full roster of official and unofficial university events that range from presentations by the university's official poet in residence to parties hosted by the student associations of each faculty, the city can boast of several choirs, theatre companies and nightclubs. Also, Tübingen's Kunsthalle (art exhibition hall), on the "Wanne", houses two or three exhibits of international note each year.


There are several festivals and open air markets on a regular basis:

A Stocherkahn (poled boat) Neckar Stocherkahn.JPG
A Stocherkahn (poled boat)


Tubingen (lower right) on the Neckar, in southwest Germany Neckar watershed closer.gif
Tübingen (lower right) on the Neckar, in southwest Germany

Tübingen is divided into 22 districts, the city core of twelve districts (population of about 51,000) and ten outer districts (suburbs) (population of about 31,000):

Core city districts:

Outer districts:


Population development

Since World War II, Tübingen's population has almost doubled from about 45,000 to the current 88,000, also due to the incorporation of formerly independent villages into the city in the 1970s.

Currently, Lord Mayor Boris Palmer (Green Party) has set the ambitious goal of increasing the population of Tübingen to reach 100,000 within the next years. To achieve this, the city is closing gaps between buildings within the city proper by allowing new houses there; this is also to counter the tendency of urban sprawl and land consumption that has been endangering the preservation of rural landscapes of Southern Germany.

Historical population

Historical population

Twin towns – sister cities

Tübingen is twinned with: [6]

For their commitment to their international partnership, the Council of Europe awarded the Europe Prize to Tübingen and Aix-en-Provence in 1965. [7] The city's dedication to a European understanding is also reflected in the naming of several streets and squares, including the large Europaplatz (Europe Square) outside the railway station.


By plane: Tübingen is about 35 km (21.75 mi) from the Baden-Württemberg state airport (Landesflughafen Stuttgart, also called Stuttgart Airport).

By automobile: Tübingen is on the Bundesstraße 27 (a "federal road") that crosses through Baden-Württemberg, connecting the city with Würzburg, Heilbronn, Stuttgart and the Landesflughafen (Stuttgart Airport) to the north and Rottweil and Donaueschingen to the south.

By rail: Tübingen Hauptbahnhof is on the regional train line Neckar-Alb Railway-Bahn (Neckar-Alb-Bahn) from Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof via Esslingen and Reutlingen to Tübingen. The average time of travel to Stuttgart is 1:01 hrs., with some trains taking only 45 mins. Other regional lines are the Hohenzollerische Landesbahn , connecting the city with Hechingen and Sigmaringen (so-called Zollernalb Railway), Zollernalbbahn and connections to Herrenberg (Ammer Valley Railway, Ammertalbahn) and Horb (Upper Neckar Railway, Obere Neckarbahn). Since 2009, there is also a daily direct Intercity link to Mannheim, Cologne and Düsseldorf as well as to Berlin.

Local public transport: The city, due to its high student population, features an extensive public bus network with more than 20 lines connecting the city districts and places outside of Tübingen such as Ammerbuch, Gomaringen and Nagold. There are also several night bus lines in the early hours every day. A direct bus is available to Stuttgart Airport (via Leinfelden-Echterdingen) as well as to Böblingen and Reutlingen.


Tigers Tübingen are the city's only professional sports team, playing basketball.


Higher education

Tubingen University Main Building (Neue Aula) TuebingenUniNeueAula.jpg
Tübingen University Main Building (Neue Aula)
Tubingen student Germany Tubingen Student.jpg
Tübingen student

The Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen dates from 1477, making it one of the oldest in Germany. The city is also host to several research institutes including the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, The Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the MPG (and formerly the Max Planck Institute for Biology) and the Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research. The university also maintains an excellent botanical garden, the Botanischer Garten der Universität Tübingen.


More than 10,000 children and young adults in Tübingen regularly attend school. There are 30 schools in the city, some of which consist of more than one type of school. Of these, 17 are primary schools while the others are for secondary education: four schools are of the lowest rank, Hauptschule , three of the middle rank, Realschule , and six are Gymnasien (grammar schools). There also are four vocational schools ( Berufsschule ) and three special needs schools.

Primary schools

  • Freie Aktive Schule Tübingen
  • Grundschule Innenstadt / Silcherschule
  • Grundschule Weilheim
  • Ludwig-Krapf-Schule
  • Grundschule Hügelstraße
  • Französische Schule
  • Dorfackerschule Lustnau
  • Grundschule Hirschau
  • Grundschule Hechinger Eck
  • Grundschule auf der Wanne
  • Grundschule Aischbach
  • Grundschule Winkelwiese / Waldhäuser Ost
  • Grundschule Bühl
  • Grundschule Bühl
  • Grundschule Kilchberg
  • Grundschule Hagelloch
  • Grundschule Pfrondorf
  • Grundschule Unterjesingen



  • Walter-Erbe-Realschule
  • Albert-Schweitzer-Realschule
  • Geschwister-Scholl-Schule


  • Carlo-Schmid-Gymnasium
  • Geschwister-Scholl-Schule
  • Kepler-Gymnasium
  • Uhland-Gymnasium
  • Wildermuth-Gymnasium
  • Freie Waldorfschule

Vocational schools (Berufsschulen)

  • Gewerbliche Schule
  • Wilhelm-Schickard-Schule
  • Mathilde-Weber-Schule
  • Bildungs- und Technologiezentrum

Notable people

Associated with the university

See also

Related Research Articles

Baden-Württemberg Third-largest state in Germany

Baden-Württemberg is a state (Land) in southwest Germany, east of the Rhine, which forms the southern part of Germany's western border with France. With more than 11 million inhabitants as of 2017 across a total area of nearly 35,752 km2 (13,804 sq mi), it is the third-largest German state by both area and population. As a federated state, Baden-Württemberg is a partly-sovereign parliamentary republic. The largest city in Baden-Württemberg is the state capital of Stuttgart, followed by Mannheim and Karlsruhe. Other cities are Freiburg im Breisgau, Heidelberg, Heilbronn, Pforzheim, Reutlingen, Tübingen, and Ulm.

Esslingen is a Landkreis (district) in the centre of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Neighboring districts are Rems-Murr, Göppingen, Reutlingen, Böblingen and the district-free city Stuttgart.

University of Tübingen

The University of Tübingen, officially the Eberhard Karl University of Tübingen, is a public research university located in the city of Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Heilbronn Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

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Tübinger Stift

The Tübinger Stift is a hall of residence and teaching; it is owned and supported by the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Württemberg, and located in the university city of Tübingen, in South West Germany. The Stift was founded as an Augustinian monastery in the Middle Ages. After the Reformation, in 1536, Duke Ulrich turned the Stift into a seminary which served to prepare Protestant pastors for Württemberg. To this day the scholarship is still given to students in preparation for the ministry or teaching in Baden-Württemberg. Students receive a scholarship which consists of boarding, lodging and further academic support.

Ludwigsburg Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Ludwigsburg is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, about 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) north of Stuttgart city centre, near the river Neckar. It is the largest and primary city of the Ludwigsburg district with about 88,000 inhabitants. It is situated within the Stuttgart Region, and the district is part of the administrative region (Regierungsbezirk) of Stuttgart.

Horb am Neckar Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Horb am Neckar is a town in the southwest of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. It is located on the Neckar river, between Offenburg to the west and Tübingen to the east. It has around 25,000 inhabitants, of whom about 6,000 live in the main town of Horb, and the remainder in 18 associated villages and districts which form part of the same municipality. If the entire municipality is counted, it is the largest town in the District of Freudenstadt.

Rottenburg am Neckar Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Rottenburg am Neckar  is a medium-sized town in the administrative district (Landkreis) of Tübingen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It lies about 50 kilometres southwest of the provincial capital Stuttgart and about 12 km (7 mi) southwest of the district town Tübingen. Rottenburg is the second-largest town of the district after Tübingen and makes up a secondary centre for the surrounding community. Since 1 May 1972, Rottenburg am Neckar has been a district town. Rottenburg agreed to an administrative collective with the municipalities of Hirrlingen, Neustetten and Starzach.

Plochingen Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Plochingen is a town in the district of Esslingen in Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany.

Kirchheim unter Teck Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Kirchheim unter Teck is a town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, in the district of Esslingen. It is located on the small river Lauter, a tributary of the Neckar. It is 10 km near the Teck castle, approximately 35 kilometres southeast of Stuttgart. It is the fourth city in the Esslingen district, forming a district centre for the surrounding communities.

Mössingen Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

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Bad Urach Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Bad Urach is a town in the district of Reutlingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated 14 km east of Reutlingen, at the foot of the Swabian Alb, and is known for its spa and therapeutic bath.

Ammerbuch Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Ammerbuch is a municipality in the district of Tübingen, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated 7 km northwest of Tübingen.

Schönaich Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Schönaich is a municipality in the district of Böblingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated 5 km southeast of Böblingen, and 16 km southwest of Stuttgart.

Gomaringen Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Gomaringen is a municipality located about 10 km south of Tübingen in the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

Weil im Schönbuch Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Weil im Schönbuch is a municipality in the Böblingen district, middle Neckar region, Stuttgart governmental district, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Its unusual name is derived from the presence of a Roman villa in the area. Two smaller villages, Neuweiler and Breitenstein, are incorporated into Weil im Schönbuch. Portions of the Schönbuch Natural Park belong to Weil im Schönbuch; the forested park has many scenic paths, ponds, streams and protected areas for animals and rare plants.

Hülben Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Hülben is a municipality in the district of Reutlingen in Baden-Württemberg in Germany.

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Tübingen Hauptbahnhof Largest station in Tübingen and the district of Tübingen

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The Tübingen–Horb railway is a railway line in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, continuing the Plochingen–Tübingen railway from Tübingen to Horb. Historically the line from Plochingen to Rottweil, including the Plochingen–Tübingen railway and part of the Stuttgart–Hattingen railway was known as the Obere Neckarbahn.


  1. "Bevölkerung nach Nationalität und Geschlecht am 31. Dezember 2019". Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg (in German). September 2020.
  2. On student statistics, see here.
  3. "Tübingen", Wikipedia (in German), 2020-02-21, retrieved 2020-02-26
  4. "Tübingen", Wikipedia (in German), 2020-02-21, retrieved 2020-02-26
  5. "Tübingen", Wikipedia (in German), 2020-02-21, retrieved 2020-02-26
  6. "Partnerstädte". tuebingen.de (in German). Tübingen. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
  7. "Sister Cities". Universitätsstadt Tübingen. Archived from the original on 17 April 2009.