My last night has been spent in Marburg, student bourg. I never heard about before have been invited by my friend. I am really thankful to her because I trusty like the city, small with a lot of charm!
Informations about Marburg
Marburg is an old city in the north of Frankfurt, cross by the river Lahn the small town was at the crossing between two important commercials roads. From 1140 the city has developed an important trading activity and even had its on coins.
If the city seems still living in the middle age it is actually now a dynamic youth city. An important part of its inhabitants are students. The University is the social and economic engine of the city thanks to its famous professors.
During the Second World War except the train station the city wasn’t bombarded. It result an untouched Old Town. It have been preserved from modern architecture, you can find a lot a parks and green areas. Nature is an important thing for the city life.
Four personality are attached to the town. First Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm who have studied in the University, but also the first Nobel Price of medicine Emil von Behring (1901).
Since the beginning of my road trip it the first time I could expect to be early at my destination. I left Berlin around 11:00 and had a five hours drive in the German countryside. The road was easy once outside Berlin.
Not far from a problem
I wrote some days ago the address of my friend on my computer, but to go there I set the Marburg’s center. Quicker than to open computer. Imagine when I arrive in the city and I open computer: I had the street name but not the building number. I checked, the street is really long. I could call her, her phone was broken. I think and think again. Finally I remember having save her address months ago in my phone! Yipi! Hundred meter to find a place to park the car and I was ringing at her door. The last time we met was when I was going to Vilnius by car. She was exceptionally in Stuttgart the weekend I planed to visit this city! Height months ago, already in Germany. I was really exited to see her, we haven’t talk for a while.
Charming city at first
From her place we walked to the center and the Town Hall square. The first buildings I saw impressed me. It was the Philipp University, a huge building between old times and modern city.
The German style with timber framing walls is unique and special. Far away from our standards. You leave our world to another, and this is what I like the most when traveling, to see something different The Town Hall square is use for the market. At its center is a fountain and next to the Town Hall building a statue dedicated to Sophie Von Brabant. The daughter of Saint Elisabeth, major historical personality of Marburg. My friend as actually the same taste as me: she like small uncommon city. We both liked Tallinn, I will like Marburg. The tour she did for me took less than 4 hours and we visit almost everything.
The Landgrave Castle
From the Town Hall square, we were going to the Castle. On the way to the top of the hill we had different stops on seeing points like behind the Saint Mary’s church, the view on the city is perfect, medieval and modern parts are both visible. The city seems don’t have any horizontal way, everything is going down or up, sometime with stairs, around 400 from the Lahn to the Castle! Actually, according the the Grimm brothers, Marburg has more stairs in the street than in every houses. I can say that it is true.
We have reach the Caslte easily and saw many reference to the Grimm brothers (quotation, statues), the building is quite big, with a terrace giving a better overview on the city than near Saint Mary’s church. Normal isn’t it? I saw from there the Kaiser Wilhelm Tower on the other hill of the city.
After have turn around the building we took a small way behind it. The sky start to become dark and I made some interesting photos from down. The other side of the hill was very silent, despite of some students union having parties outside for the of 1st may celebration. A lot of nice houses with garden and flower.
The way lead to the historical center. The Wettergasse used to be the limit between rich and poor part of the city. The poor part was in the low city while rich had their houses built on the upper part. On this street you can see the difference by comparing the fronts of buildings: if they seem similar, there are more details on the richest houses, with sometime little statues on it!
The street goes down to the Saint Elisabeth church after passing a old fountain ‘Steinweg’ and some pubs. Here my friend taught me who this lady was. She was an Hungarian Princess who came centuries ago and made lot of good stuff for Marburg’s people. She launch the construction of a hospital, and you can admire the rest of it one 100 meters away from the Cathedral.
The brothers Grimn and Marburg
Something I noticed is the amount of references of the authors. Almost in all strategic places are statues directly coming from their books. I don’t know all the stories they have written but I recognized some of them (Cinderella).
A city animated by students
We left the historical center to cross the bridge and be student house (Mensa). The street has a cinema called Cineplex where you can see movie for less than 2 euros, but you can’t choose which movie, it will be a surprise from unseen production. I think that’s a good way to discover new movies: they should make it in France.
We took beers to drink on the way, and continued our tour on the other side of the Lahn river. There is a small district with good looking houses and small street as well, but the major difference with the Old Town is that everything is plate!
More than before students were everywhere and because drinking is tolerated outside, everybody is sitting in the streets, in parks or by the river. I felt a good atmosphere in this town, maybe because it was holiday and summer time? We have stop and sat by the river for resting and talking about the Erasmus after life, watching the city and the sun going lower and lower. Ducks didn’t try to join conversation but they were listening us, I don’t think they understood us.
An old lady went to us asking for a beer bottle chilling not far from me, she took it. That was not the first time I saw it in Marburg, and confirm me that the system is fair enough. Like in eastern Europe, people can get money from glass bottle, so some are searching all day for it. If it’s not a decent way to get money, at least it will let the city clean. I also noticed some cigarettes machine outside along pedestrians way; unbelievable when you are French: how these machines can exist?
We finished the day on the green way along Lahn and were in the house before the night to have dinner and probably our last moment before a long period.
Wednesday morning. Early morning. I woke up sooner than the other day because my friend had to leave to pass exam. If I could stay longer with her flatemate I choose to meet her a last time for breakfast. We could leave building together and I would have a morning tour. Goodbye session was short and easy, I will try to arrange other meeting when it will be possible. Never forget your friends.
I moved my car from her district to the center of Marburg, in an outside parking next to the tourism office. There is the hardest stairs I have ever seen. It not a surprise they built a lift 15 meters farther…
By taking the stairs you will do some efforts, and see houses and chickens (yes). I did quite the same tour as the day before. Same street, same photos, same weather. Wait. Nooo! At first I had a clear sky but it turn to quickly into a super rainy sky with storm. And when the huge rain came I just reached the Castle hill. It was funny to think about the umbrella I took, and left in my car *stupid me* moment.
I tried to go to my car as fast as I can, the streets were so wet that I almost fell two times. Once on the market square rain stopped. I bought some food there for the road because it was almost 1pm and I start to be hungry: two bananas and 4 apples for less than 2 euros.
Leaving Marburg for France
GPS didn’t let me use the highway to Frankfurt. I understood why later: when on its database it was written « 100km/h » the actual speed limit was 50km/h. Anyway roads were nice, in the countryside, among little villages and tiny streets! I had to enjoy moment because after it became much more complicated when the rain started. It follow me in Germany, Belgium, until I came home! Really guys it was terrible to drive on higway with crazy Belgium guys around.