Hohentübingen Castle rises above the city atop of the 372m high Spitzberg hill. The castle is a mighty renaissance construction with four wings and a round tower. First mention of a castle on this site dates back to 1078, referring to the former medieval castle. The rulers of Tübingen, who were promoted to Counts Palatine in the 12th century, lived in the castle until 1342 when they sold it to the Counts of Württemberg.
Hohentübingen Castle’s importance as the residence of the Dukes of Württemberg began to diminish in the 16th century. Beginning in the mid-18th century, the university acquired its first rooms in the castle and in 1816 the King of Würrtemberg, Wilhelm I, transferred ownership of the castle to the university. The university library of nearly 60,000 bands was temporarily housed in the hall of knights, a chemistry laboratory was set up in the kitchen, and an astronomical observatory was housed in the northeast tower.
After thorough renovation of the castle from 1979 – 1994, the rooms of the castle were made available to the Cultural Studies and Archeology Departments of the Eberhard-Karls-University. Current displays of the collections of these departments can be found in the east and north wings, as well as in the pentagon-tower of the Museum of the Hohentübingen Castle. Behind the fountain at the back of the courtyard, a tunnel leads through the west wing of the castle to the Schänzle (little entrenchment). Between the tunnel and the next doorway you will be able to look down upon the western castle moats, the so called „rabbit hole“.
The museum consists of a permanent exhibitionm which includes the collections of pre- and early history, classical Archeology, Egyptology, Ancient Orientalism, Numismatics, Ethnology as well as the Replica Collection (replicas of famous Greek and Roman sculptures). The work of the different institutes is documented on the basis of important findings and results of latest research and shown in special exhibitions.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.