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.
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.
Main sights and points of interest
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. 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.