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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the city of Giessen
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Map of Germany, position of the city of Giessen highlighted

Coordinates: 50 ° 35 '  N , 8 ° 40'  E

Basic data
State : Hesse
Administrative region : to water
County : to water
Height : 159 m above sea level NHN
Area : 72.55 km 2
Residents: 89,802 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 1238 inhabitants per km 2
Postcodes : 35390-35398
Primaries : 0641, 06403
License plate : GI
Community key : 06 5 31 005
City structure: 6 districts

City administration address :
Berliner Platz 1
35390 Giessen
Website :
Lord Mayor : Dietlind Grabe-Bolz ( SPD )
Location of the city of Giessen in the district of Giessen
Niederdorfelden Biebertal Wettenberg Lollar Staufenberg (Hessen) Allendorf (Lumda) Rabenau (Hessen) Heuchelheim an der Lahn Gießen Buseck Grünberg (Hessen) Fernwald Linden (Hessen) Langgöns Pohlheim Reiskirchen Lich Hungen Laubach Wetteraukreis Vogelsbergkreis Landkreis Limburg-Weilburg Landkreis Limburg-Weilburg Landkreis Marburg-Biedenkopf Lahn-Dill-Kreismap
About this picture
Aerial view of Giessen's city center and the Lahn

Gießen is a university town in the district of Gießen in central Hesse and with 89,802 inhabitants (December 31, 2019) the seventh largest city in the state of Hesse and one of the state's seven special status cities . The seat of the administrative district of Gießen and the district is the administrative center of Middle Hesse, an important transport hub and one of the main centers of the region.

With Wetzlar , located ten kilometers to the west in the Lahn-Dill district , the city forms an agglomeration area with around 200,000 inhabitants; in the closer region there are around 275,000 inhabitants. The cities of Marburg ( district of Marburg-Biedenkopf ) upstream of the Lahn , Fulda ( district of Fulda ) beyond the Vogelsberg , Siegen ( district of Siegen-Wittgenstein ) in South Westphalia , Friedberg (Hesse) and Bad Nauheim in the Wetterau district and Limburg an der Lahn ( district of Limburg-Weilburg ) on the edge of the Westerwald .

In the city are the Justus Liebig University , several areas of the Technical University of Central Hesse , the Free Theological University of Giessen and a department of the Hessian University for Police and Administration as well as the Hessian initial reception facility for refugees.


Geographical location

Gießen is located on the course of the Lahn , where it changes its course from south to west, in one of the rare widenings of the Lahn valley. Coming from the north, the Lahn flows from Marburg through the Lahn valley towards the city. The foothills of the Gladenbacher Bergland occupy the northwest . In front of this is the Gleiberger Land with the castles Gleiberg and Vetzberg and the Dünsberg , the highest elevation in the wider Gießen area with 498 meters. In the west the Lahn valley opens up to Lahnau - Atzbach . Here are gravel deposits that were dredged, then a local recreation area including a water sports center was established there. In the southwest of the city begins the Hintertaunus , the northeasternmost natural spatial unit of the Taunus , to which the Wetterau and the Rhine-Main lowland connect in the south (see list of natural spatial units in Hesse ). In the east, the Gießener Land merges into the low mountain range of the Vogelsberg .

Larger cities near Giessen are the two regional centers Wetzlar 12 kilometers west and Marburg 30 kilometers north, both also on the Lahn, as well as Fulda 80 kilometers east, Butzbach 18 kilometers south and Frankfurt am Main 70 kilometers south.

Neighboring communities

Neighboring municipalities are (clockwise, starting in the west):

City structure

Giessen and its five districts
The statistical districts of Giessen

The old core city of Giessen forms the main part with a size of around 40 km² and around 65,000 inhabitants. In addition to it, according to the main statute, five other districts belong to the city area as formal local districts with local advisory boards. The districts of Wieseck in the northeast and Kleinlinden in the southwest were incorporated in 1939, the districts of Allendorf an der Lahn in the southwest and Rödgen in the east in 1971. Lützellinden in the southwest followed in 1979 .

Existing settlements and new residential and commercial areas, which are only partially intertwined with the core city, are only named by the population and are officially part of the core city. This concerns the industrial area "An der Automeile" with the former Rivers barracks, the Europaviertel, the Anneröder settlement, the Dulles settlement, the Eulenkopf , the so-called " Gummiinsel " in the Weststadt - a workers' settlement of a rubber factory that was formerly located there Marshall-Siedlung, the Philosophenviertel, the new development areas Sandfeld and Schlangenzahl, the Lower and Upper Hardthof as well as the Ursulum / Oberlachweg industrial area. The Petersweiher settlement , located in the southeast at the foot of the former Schiffenberg monastery , is also part of the core city of Gießen. It was built in 1973 when the then uninhabited district of Schiffenberg passed into the ownership of the city. Although this had been attached to the city since 1939, it was owned by the country until then. The settlement In der Hunsbach , which is located around Badenburg , has officially been part of Wieseck since 1752, despite the relatively large distance to the city - just like the ruins of Badenburg and Wellersburg.

For statistical purposes, Giessen is still divided into eleven statistical districts :

No. Area Residents on
June 30, 2014
01 Downtown 18,758
02 North 9964
03 east 13,113
04 south 10,391
05 west 7552
06 Wieseck 9428
07 Rödgen 1852
08 Schiffenberg 619
09 Kleinlinden 4588
10 Allendorf 1775
11 Lützellinden 2382
total to water 80,422


The climate in Giessen is one of the humid and temperate in Germany. The coldest month is January with -0.1 ° C, the warmest July with 18.2 ° C. In early spring it is generally dry. The month with the least rain is March with 31 mm of precipitation. Compared to other stations in Hesse, Gießen is the driest in March (Frankfurt / Main: 51 mm, Fulda: 48 mm, Kassel: 51 mm, Marburg / Lahn: 56 mm, Darmstadt: 49 mm). The rainiest month is June with 66 mm, which is again in the lower area compared to other Hessian stations (Frankfurt / Main: 70 mm, Fulda: 73 mm, Kassel: 79 mm, Marburg / Lahn: 66 mm, Darmstadt: 74 mm). The annual precipitation is also comparatively low.

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Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Giessen
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 4.4 6.8 10.4 15.4 19.4 24.1 26.1 25.3 20.6 14.4 8.4 6.1 O 15.2
Min. Temperature (° C) −1.0 −0.6 1.1 3.3 7.2 11.7 13.0 12.6 8.8 5.9 2.5 1.2 O 5.5
Temperature (° C) 1.8 3.1 5.8 9.6 13.6 18.0 19.8 19.0 14.5 10.0 5.6 3.7 O 10.4
Precipitation ( mm ) 34.3 32.4 32.2 22.6 34.8 35.7 37.0 47.9 28.5 20.5 38.0 38.7 Σ 402.6
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 1.3 2.8 4.3 6.9 6.9 7.6 7.7 7.2 5.5 3.0 1.3 0.9 O 4.6
Rainy days ( d ) 18th 14th 15th 13 11 15th 13 12 12 14th 18th 17th Σ 172
Humidity ( % ) 84 80 75 69 68 69 68 71 77 82 85 85 O 76.1
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


View of pouring; Vetzberg Castle on the left in the background , Gleiberg Castle on the right , and the Dünsberg behind it
Regional council of Giessen

First settlement

Wilhelm von Gleiberg founded a moated castle in the valley below in 1152 and later moved his seat from Gleiberg Castle there; this laid the foundation stone for the future city of Giessen. Gleiberg Castle, about 8 km northwest of today's city, was built by the Conradins around the 10th century and passed to the Luxembourgers at the end of the 10th century , who thus established the county of Gleiberg on the central Lahn.

On the way to the city

The first written mention of the name (by the) "Giezzen" comes from the year 1197. In 1248 Gießen was first attested as a city . In 1264 Gießen came to the Landgraviate of Hesse through the sale of Count Ulrich I von Asperg from the house of the Count Palatine of Tübingen , to whom it had inherited, to the Landgraviate of Hesse , which had today's Old Palace built around 1300 . The new town was founded around 1325. From around 1370 there were mayors in Gießen who were on an equal footing with the lordly castle men, as well as a council representing the citizens. The old town hall on the market square, which was destroyed in 1944 as a symbol of bourgeois power, was built around 1450, the town church until 1484. In 1442, Gießen received market privileges . Today's "Marktplatz" was still used as a marketplace, while the weekly market is held today on Lindenplatz, in the Marktlauben (Alte Marktlauben 1894, Neue Marktlauben around 1910) and at Brandplatz.

Foundation of the university

Around 1535, Landgrave Philip the Magnanimous had the city fortified. In the same decade, the old cemetery and the new castle were built . On May 27, 1560, a major fire destroyed the northern part of the city around the Walltor. When the Landgraviate was divided in 1567, Gießen became part of Hesse-Marburg , and in 1604 Hesse-Darmstadt . In 1605, Landgrave Ludwig V founded the Ludovicianum grammar school in Giessen as a Latin school . On May 19, 1607, a privilege granted by Emperor Rudolf II enabled the university to be founded as a counterpart to that in Marburg . Two years later the botanical garden , today one of the oldest in Germany, opened in its original location. In 1634/35 a severe plague epidemic decimated the city's population. In the 18th century, the region was repeatedly ravaged by wars and the city was occupied by foreign troops.

19th century

View of Giessen at the beginning of the 19th century
P. Weber: Gießen market place around 1840

In 1803 Gießen became the capital of the new province of Upper Hesse in the Grand Duchy of Hesse . In the following years the city fortifications were razed and the ramparts (green spaces) were created in their place. From 1824 to 1852 Justus Liebig taught at the University of Giessen, which was named after him after the Second World War. On January 14th, 1838 the "School for Technical Drawing" was founded, a forerunner of today's TH Mittelhessen (THM).

In the revolutionary year of 1848 there were also unrest in Giessen; one student was killed. August Becker published the radical democratic daily newspaper “ Jüngster Tag ” in Giessen . In 1849 the city was connected to the German rail network with the opening of the Main-Weser-Bahn (Frankfurt-Kassel). The railway to Cologne followed in 1862, followed by the connection to the Lahn Valley Railway from Wetzlar to Koblenz in 1864. From around 1860, especially during the tenure of the first professional mayor , August Bramm (1875–1889), the city grew beyond the ramparts.

In 1855 the works fire brigade of the Gail'schein Werke was founded, in the same year the municipal volunteer fire brigade of Giessen.

From 1867 Gießen was a garrison town and a military base for Infantry Regiment No. 116 . The Vogelsbergbahn to Fulda opened in 1870, and the Lahn-Kinzig-Bahn to Gelnhausen in 1872. From 1879 to 1888 Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen taught at the University of Giessen. In 1893 what is now the largest church in the city, the Protestant St. John's Church on the southern complex, was inaugurated. The town theater , initiated by the citizens, opened in 1907 . From 1894, there was public transport in Gießen , initially with horse-drawn buses , and since 1909 with an electric tram.

20th century

Memorial stone for the synagogue that was destroyed in 1938

In 1903 the new cemetery was opened as a non-denominational municipal cemetery. A year later the progressive sewer system in Giessen was inaugurated. The professional fire brigade was founded in 1914 . The “Volkshalle” on today's Grünberger Strasse and the Giessen airport were opened in 1925.

With effect from November 1, 1938, the Reichsstatthalter in Hesse, in his function as leader of the state government , decreed not only the spin-off of the cities of Darmstadt, Mainz, Offenbach and Worms, but also the city of Gießen from their previous district. Giessen became an independent city . By incorporating Wieseck , Kleinlinden and Schiffenberg, the population rose to 42,000 in 1939. On September 10, 1955, the Hessen State Fire Brigade Association, founded the year before, held its first association meeting in Giessen.


After the First World War and the provisions of the Versailles Treaty of 1919, Gießen was interesting as a military location because it was just outside the demilitarized zone. In the 1930s and 1940s, around 467 hectares of urban land were given to the army and air force for a small price when they were upgraded . Further barracks were built : Artillery barracks (Bleidorn barracks, later Pendleton Barracks) and Waldkaserne (Verdun barracks, later Rivers Barracks). A training area was between the former Steuben Barracks and the Hohenwarte furnished. The other barracks included Zeughauskaserne and Neue Kaserne ( mountain barracks ).

From 1936 to 1939 a military hospital was built on the corner of Schubertstrasse and Karl-Franz-Strasse. It remained undestroyed during World War II and, like the Giessen barracks, was initially used by the US Army after 1945 and by the French armed forces from 1951 . In 1957 it was returned and put into service as a military hospital; later renamed the Bundeswehr Hospital . In 1997 it was closed; After a conversion, the building is now being used by the tax office , among others .

The Wehrmacht maintained the Gisela news bunker on the current site of today's Rivers Barracks, which was used , among other things, to coordinate the attack on France in 1940. Large parts of the facility still exist today.

Gießen has most of the angular bunkers still in existence in Germany . There are still eight copies distributed throughout the city.

Air raids in World War II

The No. 5 Bomber Group of the Royal Air Force bombed on December 2 and in the night of 6 to 7 December 1944 in the context of the area bombing directive casting. In the second attack ('operation hake'), almost the entire historic city center of Giessen was destroyed by a firestorm ; around 390 people died and around 30,000 were left homeless. The train station, the railway systems and the numerous military installations, however, remained largely intact. It could have been worse for Gießen: A not inconsiderable part of the bomb load of the second air raid was accidentally dropped over the mine forest. Many of the circular pools there are bomb craters.

On December 11, 1944 353 threw B-17 bombers of the USAAF closed cloud cover 731 tonnes of high explosive bombs and 1,116 tons of incendiary bombs. An area between Ludwigstrasse and the industrial area / mining forest was hit primarily. In the months that followed, many more people died from low-flying attacks . On March 28, 1945, the entry of US troops ended the war for the people of Giessen. Two thirds of the city was destroyed, 90 percent of the inner city.

Emergency reception center after 1946

The military government of the United States informed the end of October 1945, the provincial government wholesale Hesse that the country in 1946 some 600,000  displaced persons and refugees must take up. At the beginning of February 1946, the first 1200 people reached the city by freight wagons. The initially provisional “refugee transit camp” was not far from the train station. Since Gießen was a rail junction, it became a government transit camp for all refugees to Greater Hesse on May 7, 1947 by the State Commissioner for Refugees. In 1948 the Lord Mayor Otto-Heinz Engler asked the regional council in Darmstadt to relocate the camp due to the high burden on the city's social budget by the refugees. Later, the mayor Hugo Lotz achieved financial compensation for the city through the country.

On September 1, 1950, the camp was renamed Gießen emergency reception center and was given nationwide competence. At that time, the proportion of displaced persons was already a fifth of the total population of Giessen. The Gießen emergency reception center was also a transit camp for refugees from the Soviet occupation zone who wanted to stay in the American zone . Since the 1960s, it was the first stop for many be traveled DDR Nationals; In 1989 it experienced first the onslaught of East Germans who fled via Hungary and in autumn that of those who crossed the now open border legally. In 1986 it was renamed the Federal Reception Center , today it is the central reception center of the State of Hesse with a location on Rödgener Straße.


Architecture from the 1950s and remaining buildings from the Wilhelminian era shape the cityscape

The reconstruction was based on the teachings of modern urban planning : Old town plots were combined into large units, streets and plazas were expanded, and public space was largely adapted to the interests of car traffic . In 1953 the last line of the Giessen tramway , which had previously been laboriously rebuilt, was shut down, and trolleybuses ran instead until 1968 .

Many of the few streets in the city center that were spared from the bombing raids were torn down, as well as partially preserved ruins such as the rebuildable ruins of the 500-year-old town hall. New buildings in the style of the 1950s were built, including the (already demolished) high-rise office building on Berliner Platz or the congress hall and the townhouse built in 1961 and demolished in 2006.

The last war ruin in the city center was a rear building on Goethestrasse; it was removed in 2004. The arterial roads, the ramparts and the most important axes in the city center were expanded into multi-lane roads (plant ring). By 1975, numerous sections of the autobahn were built around Gießen , including the Gießener Ring (partly expressway).

US Army

In the period after the Second World War, Gießen became a location for troops of the US Army. Among other things, the Steuben barracks were under her control . The US depot Gießen and the location of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) had an important supply function for the US Army in Europe. The properties managed during the Cold War included the Gießen special ammunition depot and the Alten-Buseck special ammunition depot with nuclear warheads and the Patriot position at Hohe Warte . The Americans still have a military training area on the Hohe Warte . The permit was granted in 2000, although it is now a nature reserve.

The cityscape, the social structure and especially the gastronomy (many bars) of the city were strongly influenced by the US Army and its relatives in the 50s and early 60s. Shortly after the end of the war until 1947/48, there was a pronounced black market and trade in the Gießen station district, especially in cigarettes and discarded - also new - uniform parts (trousers, jackets, parkas) of the Americans. “American cigarettes” were also used as a means of payment at this time. They were so popular that smokers even picked up discarded butts and, if they continued smoking long enough, or removed the tobacco and rolled them into new cigarettes. “Butt engravers”, as they were called, had needle-shaped pins attached to a shoe heel with which they speared the butts, lifted their feet and removed them. Others also had needles attached to walking sticks to pick up the butts. Some GI purposely threw away cigarettes after they had smoked, in order to make fun of the "dump readers" afterwards. At that time, the Giessen "tipping Reader Blues" was created with the text: "gugg Babbe, do thin laid en Dump, vo E'R gure Chesterfield, heeb s off because hu M'R aut ze avenge so eh gure Chesterfield ..." by the melody of "In the Mood".

The withdrawal of the Americans in Giessen resulted in a high loss of jobs.

The episode "City of Lahn"

On January 1, 1977, in the course of the regional reform in Hesse , the city of Lahn was created as an upper center of Central Hesse with 155,247 inhabitants by means of state law from Gießen, Wetzlar and 14 surrounding communities . After only 31 months of existence, it was disbanded on August 1, 1979. In the course of this, Gießen received the Lützellinden district .

21st century

In 2005, after a year of construction, the Neustädter Tor gallery was opened. It combines several shops in one building complex. There is a direct bus and train connection through the two stops at Oswaldsgarten. An integrated car park has 1,100 parking spaces.

In 2006, after the old town hall from the 1950s was demolished, construction began on the new town hall on Berliner Platz. It was ceremoniously opened on May 16, 2009 and brought together almost all the authorities in the city of Gießen. In addition, new medical centers such as the day clinic in the north facility, an extension to the university clinic, the new Martinshof next to the St. Josefs hospital and the care center in Grünberger Strasse have been built.

In 2012 the new biomedical research center of the Justus Liebig University was inaugurated on Seltersberg. It stands out due to its striking colors and distinctive architectural style.

In 2014, the Protestant hospital in Central Hesse opened in Gießen, which has been located on the Hardt since 1982 (previously the Gießen Association for the Care of the Elderly, Sicknesses and Children), the first hospice in Gießen.


In 1939 the surrounding communities of Wieseck (north) and Kleinlinden (south) were incorporated. Before the independent city of Gießen became part of the city of Lahn, the communities of Allendorf an der Lahn and Rödgen were incorporated. Lützellinden followed in 1979, making it the youngest district in Giessen.

Population development

Population development of Gießen.svg Population development of Giessen - from 1871
Population development in Giessen. Above from 1495 to 2016. Below an excerpt from 1871. The episode “Stadt Lahn” is marked with a light green bar

Gießen only had a few hundred inhabitants in the Middle Ages and only a few thousand in the early modern period . The population grew only slowly and fell again and again due to the numerous wars, epidemics and famine. In 1634/35, numerous residents died from a severe plague epidemic . Only with the beginning of industrialization in the 19th century did population growth accelerate. In 1800 only 4,800 people lived in the city, in 1900 there were already 25,000. The effects of the Second World War are clearly visible . By the end of the war, two thirds of the buildings were partially or totally destroyed by the Allied air raids. It is estimated that around a thousand people died. The population decreased from 47,000 in 1939 to 25,000 in March 1945.

In 1971 the population rose to 78,109 through the incorporation of Allendorf and Rödgen - a historic high by 2011. On June 30, 2005, the official population was 73,358 according to the Hessian State Statistical Office (only main residences and after comparison with the other state offices). Since 1963 the population of the city - except for 1987 - has been above the limit of 70,000. The 80,000 mark was exceeded in 2014. Due to the current population, Gießen is one of the hundred largest communities in Germany .

The following overview shows the number of inhabitants according to the respective territorial status. Until 1828 it is mostly an estimate, then census results (¹) or official updates from the State Statistical Office. From 1871, the information relates to the “local population”, from 1925 to the “ resident population ” and since 1987 to the “population at the location of the main residence”. Before 1871, the number of inhabitants was determined according to inconsistent survey procedures.

year Residents
1495 1200
1577 3000
1675 4450
1782 4600
1800 4800
1805 5174
1828 7251
December 1, 1834 ¹ 7878
December 3, 1846 ¹ 8696
December 3, 1855 ¹ 9000
December 3, 1861 ¹ 9210
December 3, 1864¹ 9600
December 3, 1867 ¹ 10,200
December 1, 1871 ¹ 12,245
December 1, 1875 ¹ 13,900
December 1, 1880¹ 17.003
December 1, 1885 ¹ 19.001
December 1, 1890¹ 20,416
December 2, 1895 ¹ 22,702
year Residents
December 1, 1900 ¹ 25,491
December 1, 1905 ¹ 28,769
December 1, 1910¹ 31,153
December 1, 1916 ¹ 26,591
December 5, 1917 ¹ 26,806
October 8, 1919 ¹ 33,402
June 16, 1925 ¹ 33,600
June 16, 1933 ¹ 35,913
May 17, 1939 ¹ 46,560
December 31, 1945 34,907
October 29, 1946 ¹ 39,709
September 13, 1950 ¹ 46,712
September 25, 1956 ¹ 58,178
June 6, 1961 ¹ 66.291
December 31, 1965 72,395
May 27, 1970 ¹ 75,555
year Residents
December 31, 1975 75,481
December 31, 1980 76,374
December 31, 1985 71,104
May 25, 1987 ¹ 69,824
December 31, 1990 74,497
December 31, 1995 73,889
December 31, 2000 73,138
June 30, 2005 73,358
December 31, 2006 73,958
June 30, 2007 74.123
December 31, 2008 75,140
December 31, 2009 76,090
December 31, 2011 78,584
year Residents
December 31, 2014 83,280
December 31, 2015 84,455
December 31, 2016 86,543
December 31, 2018 88,546
December 31, 2019 88.507

¹ census result



The interior of the evangelical Pauluskirche

The Protestant parishes in Gießen belong to the Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau ; Gießen is the seat of the Deanery Gießen. The Lützellinden district , which belongs to the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, is an exception . Michael, Paulus and Thomas congregations united on January 1st, 2020 to form the “Evangelical General Church Community Gießen Nord” with a common household. A congregation with around 7000 members emerged, more than half of whom were Michael. In 1900 the Paulus community brought 1440 souls with them to the new connection. The largest Protestant church is the Johanneskirche on the south side.

In the Catholic Church, Giessen belongs to the diocese of Mainz . Until the 1950s, St. Bonifatius on Liebigstrasse was the only Catholic parish church in the city. In 1957 St. Albertus was founded in the north complex, in 1963 St. Thomas More on Grünberger Straße.

There are also some congregations that belong to the Free Churches , including a Confessing Evangelical Reformed Congregation (BERG), two Brethren congregations , an Evangelical Free Church Congregation ( Baptists ), a Free Christian Congregation , a Church of Jesus Freaks and a Free Evangelical Congregation .

In the Central Hesse region, Gießen is considered to be a stronghold of evangelical Protestants in regional and free churches. In the city there is the Christian private school August-Hermann-Francke-Schule and the private Free Theological University Giessen with an evangelical orientation. Giessen is also the seat of numerous organizations and companies from the Christian area, such as the student mission Campus for Christ and the Brunnen Verlag .

There are also three, up to the turn of the millennium even five New Apostolic congregations. Giessen is also a center of various small congregations that have developed since 1989 from the New Apostolic Church or a split, the Apostolic Community of Wiesbaden .

Giessen also has a considerably large Syriac community (also known as Assyrians , Arameans or Chaldeans ), with more than 1000 families living in the district. Almost all of the Syriacs in Giessen belong to the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch . There are now five communities in Giessen and the surrounding area, including three in Pohlheim and two in Giessen. Three of the five churches were recently rebuilt. Most Syriacs live in Pohlheim, where the majority of the churches are located. The Syriacs are a Semitic Christian minority, which has its roots in ancient Mesopotamia . Today this refers to the four-country corner of southeast Turkey ( Tur-Abdin ), northern Iraq , eastern Syria ( Gozarto ) and western Iran ( Urmia ). These early Christians speak Aramaic to this day , and the community based in Gießen almost without exception uses the New East Aramaic dialect Surayt (also known as Turoyo ).

Other religious communities

  • The Jehovah's Witnesses are represented in Giessen with the Kingdom Hall in the Margaretenhütte.
  • In addition, there are a large number of Muslims from different schools in Giessen who maintain four mosques . One of them is the Buhara Mosque of the Islamic Community Association in Giessen, which opened in 2001.
  • There is also an Alevis community in the city.
Synagogue from 1872 to 1938 in the Wieseck district
  • In the 19th century, the rabbi Benedikt Levi worked in Giessen . He retired after 68 years of service. Today there is a synagogue in a back alley of the city center near the church square. Up until the Nazi era there were two, one on Berliner Platz and one on Steinstrasse.
  • Due to its relatively high proportion of Asians or people of Asian origin, a culture of Buddhism has developed . In 2005 the Buddhist temple Wat Pah Puritattaram was inaugurated (sand field 12).
  • There has been a Yazidi church since 2008 .
  • There is a Baháí community on Liebigstrasse .


City Council

The city council is the highest body of the city. Its political composition is determined every five years in local elections by the city's electorate. Whoever has reached the age of 18 and is a German citizen or a citizen of one of the other member states of the European Union may vote . Everyone has to have been registered in the city for at least three months.

In the local elections on March 6, 2016 , the members of the city council and the city councils were elected for the legislative period from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2021.

Out of 62,275 eligible voters, 27,958 went to the polls. The turnout increased from 42.3 percent in 2011 to 44.9 percent.

Distribution of seats in the 2016 city council
A total of 59 seats

(preliminary result)

Parties and constituencies b 2016 2011 2006 2001 1997
Share a Seats Share a Seats Share a Seats Share a Seats Share a Seats
Social Democratic Party of Germany SPD 28.0 16 33.6 20th 33.2 20th 33.4 20th 34.8 22nd
Christian Democratic Union of Germany CDU 22.0 13 26.5 16 36.0 21st 38.6 23 33.8 21st
Alliance 90 / The Greens Green 14.8 9 20.7 12 12.8 8th 9.7 6th 12.5 8th
Alternative for Germany AfD 12.9 8th - - - - - - - -
Giessen Left (previously Left Alliance ) left 8.3 5 2.3 1 - - - - - -
Free Democratic Party FDP 5.2 3 3.6 2 5.7 3 5.5 3 3.3 -
Free voters (until 2001 FWG) FW 4.3 3 4.6 3 3.8 2 7.4 4th 7.6 5
Pirate Party Germany Pirates 2.2 1 2.8 2 - - - - - -
Citizens register pouring BLG 2.2 1 1.9 1 2.4 1 1.1 1 - -
Die Linke (until 2007 PDS ) left - - 4.0 2 5.9 4th 3.8 2 1.7 -
percentage of invalid votes 3.2 4.3 2.9 3.7 1.7
Seats of the city council as a whole 59 59 59 59 59 b
voter turnout 44.9% 42.3% 37.9% 47.2% 61.6%
City council election 2016
percentage distribution
Gains and losses
compared to 2011
 % p
a percentage of the valid votes cast
b The table does not include: 2006 ABG with 0.1%; 2001 Gate5 with 0.5%; 1997 DKP with 0.4%; 1997 REP with 5.3% and 3 seats.

After the local elections on March 27, 2011, a red-green coalition replaced the previously ruling Jamaica coalition of CDU, Greens and FDP. Since the mayor election on June 7, 2009, Dietlind Grabe-Bolz, an SPD mayor, had faced a city council meeting dominated by the Jamaica coalition.

The Jamaica coalition had already indicated itself in the run-up to the local elections in 2006, as the city budget was only passed in a second meeting in February 2006 with the help of some votes from the ranks of the then opposition Greens. In the meeting of December 8, 2005, the budget of the magistrate initially did not receive the approval of the city council, as the city councilor of the Free Voters Bernhard Hasenkrug had switched to the Gießen Citizen List (BLG) shortly before, whereby the then incumbent civic coalition of CDU, FDP and FW had lost their majority in the city council.

The list of the Linkspartei.PDS, which successfully appeared in the local elections in Gießen in 2006, represented a de facto voter community of Linkspartei.PDS, WASG , DKP , left-wing non - party members and members of the university fraction Democratic Left at the Justus Liebig University Gießen. For the first time since In 1956, Michael Beltz (DKP) was once again a member of a communist party in the Giessen city council. The KPD was represented in parliament until it was banned in 1956 .

Lord Mayor and Magistrate

In the direct election on June 7th, 2009 Dietlind Grabe-Bolz (SPD) was elected as the new mayor ; she received 55.5 percent of the vote, the incumbent Heinz-Peter Haumann 44.5 percent. The turnout was 43.4 percent. The term of office began in November 2009. In the direct election on June 14, 2015 Dietlind Grabe-Bolz was confirmed in office with 53.6 percent in the first ballot.

Together with 15 other members, the Lord Mayor forms the City of Gießen Magistrate, which is responsible for day-to-day administration. The three other full-time members are elected for a six-year term, the 12 honorary members for five years in parallel with the election period of the city councilors.

coat of arms

Blazon : In silver, a black-winged, blue-armored and blue-tongued red lion.

The coat of arms was awarded to the city on April 29, 1916 by Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig .

City partnerships and friendships

Town partnerships exist with:

They had been friends with Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province since 2004. The title “Friendship City” was used and in 2011 it was converted into an official city partnership.

There has been a sponsorship with the city and the district of Mohrungen since 1954 .

Since 2001, a Lufthansa Airbus A340-300 with the D-AIFD designation has also been named "Gießen". Furthermore, the ICE-1 with the number 401 101 was christened "Gießen" .

Culture and sights


The Stadttheater Gießen , influenced by Art Nouveau, was planned by Fellner & Helmer with the same floor plan as those in Klagenfurt and Gablonz and executed by the architect Hans Meyer (1867–1949). As a three-division house with its own ensemble and guest performances, it offers 600 spectators / listeners for theater, opera, operetta, musical, dance and concert performances. The small theater at the large theater (taT) was opened in the immediate vicinity as a new secondary theater of the city theater for the 2014/2015 season. It is mainly used for chamber theater work as well as children's and youth theater.

Giessen Concert Association

The Giessen Concert Association is one of the most traditional associations in Giessen. It goes back to the Musical Society founded in 1792 . This makes it one of the oldest civil concert associations in Germany (the oldest, the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin , was founded in 1791). Important composers such as Carl Maria von Weber and famous soloists gave their concerts in Gießen in cooperation with the Musical Society , which in 1863 was given the name Gießener Konzertverein , which is still valid today . In 1935, the close cooperation between the Stadttheater Gießen and the concert association was established, which is still a successful partnership today. Every year two large oratorio concerts are performed in the city theater. The choir director of the concert association is the respective choir director of the city theater.

Rock / pop music

Gießen has a large music scene, also due to the "Kulturinitiative Gießen" (KiG), which provides around one hundred rooms for local bands in the former Steuben barracks .

Nationally known bands are:


The "Giennale" has been taking place as a biennale since 2017 . The art and cultural event will take place at different locations in the city and district. The program includes exhibitions, performances, installations, readings, concerts and workshops.

3 steps

Street art from DOME

The street art collective 3Steps has been designing facades throughout the city since the early 2000s, also with the support of international artists.

Museums and exhibition venues

Lettering of the Liebig Museum

Science and math


  • The municipal museum in the city center is the Upper Hessian Museum with the three departments in the Old Castle , the Wallenfels'schen Haus and the Leib'schen Haus . The Wallenfels'sche Haus and the Leib'sche Haus are the two oldest surviving houses in Gießen and are located directly on the church square. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of prehistory and early history, archeology and ethnic art in the Giessen area as well as a large exhibition on the city's history. In the old castle on Brandplatz there is a collection of works of art by local artists from the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • The Vitos Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy has had the exhibition On the Value of Man since 1998 , which documents the history of this clinic. It mainly provides information about the period after 1933 and also addresses the crimes of the National Socialists.


  • In the Kunsthalle Gießen in the town hall on Berliner Platz, works by regional and national artists are shown in regularly changing exhibitions.
  • The Neue Kunstverein Gießen has been dedicated to contemporary art since 1998 and has found its home in a former kiosk on the Licher Gabel since 2003.
  • The KiZ - Kultur im Zentrum is located in the same building complex as the congress hall. It regularly shows changing exhibitions by regional artist groups.

Other museums and exhibition venues

  • The watering can museum is unique in Germany and was founded on the occasion of the State Garden Show in Gießen in 2014. It is now in the immediate vicinity of the Botanical Garden. Most of its collection consists of donations.
  • The private book printing museum Setzkasten in Gießen-Wieseck shows exhibits from the history of printing and book printing.
  • In the exhibition room of the university library of the Justus Liebig University there are regular exhibitions. Many of these exhibitions are designed and organized as part of courses.
  • Exhibitions are regularly shown in the foyer of the town hall on Berliner Platz.

Manic language

Another peculiarity in Giessen is the manic language , which today only exists in relics . Manisch was spoken in Gießen on the " Gummiinsel ", a small brick housing estate that was built as a workers' settlement for a rubber factory (hence the name), in the western part of Gießen, which was laid out and built around the turn of the century, and in other peripheral residential areas such as the Owl Head , the Heyerweg and the Margaretenhütte, but also in the neighboring Wetzlar “ Finsterloh ” or in Berleburg in Wittgenstein .


Church square with the preserved tower of the former town church

Due to the devastating destruction caused by the air raids of the Second World War and the urban planning of the post-war period, there are hardly any buildings from the pre-industrial era in the actual center. In the districts outside the ramparts, however, there are numerous, in some cases quite remarkable, architectural evidence from the city's two major growth phases, the Wilhelminian era and the 1950s, as well as some districts that were built in the style of the late 1920s (Wartwegviertel, rear Asterweg ).

Old castle
New lock

The sights in Gießen include some rebuilt half-timbered houses , such as the “Zum Löwen” inn in Neuenweg, where Goethe once stayed and dined more often, the old and new castles of the Landgraves of Hesse (on Brandplatz) and the Burgmannenhaus on Kirchplatz.

Facade of the armory

The main building of the Justus Liebig University Giessen in Giessen is also one of the sights. It is located in the city center and on the Giessen “celebration mile”, Ludwigstrasse. In this context, the armory that is used by the university should also be mentioned.

The classicist town church was destroyed in the air raids in 1944, only the Gothic west tower was restored and serves as a memorial against the war. From the ruins of the destroyed city church was built on the opposite side of Georg-Schlosser-Straße the Pankratius chapel .

Not far from the city theater is the Johanneskirche , the largest Protestant church in Giessen, built between 1891 and 1893 according to plans by the Berlin architect Hans Grisebach . The tower of the neo-Romanesque church towers over the surrounding buildings with a height of 75 meters.

Student double tombstone in the old cemetery

The old cemetery is located on the mountain of food . It was laid out outside the ramparts in 1530 during the expansion of the city. The grave of Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen , who was buried here at his request, is located in the cemetery. Also worth seeing are the cemetery chapel , built between 1623 and 1625 under the supervision of Johann Ebel zum Hirsch and restored by Hugo von Ritgen in 1869, as well as the tombstones with Latin inscriptions that are gathered around the chapel and also date from around 1530 (or earlier) .

The synagogue of the Jewish community is a half-timbered building with an eventful history. The building, built in 1835, originally stood in Wohra and served as a farm building. From 1867 to 1940 it served as a synagogue in Wohra. In 1940 the local Jewish community had to forcibly sell the building. In 1990 the Gießen Jewish community acquired the building and in 1992 moved it to the center of the new Jewish community center. The synagogue holds 35 men and 25 women.

With the construction of the fish ladder at the weir near the listed Klinkel'schen Mühle , the Hessian Water Information Center Lahnfenster was set up by the Gießen Regional Council in 2007 . In 2014 it was reopened after an expansion on the occasion of the State Garden Show.

Urban development and architectural monuments

City center and train station

1968 built pedestrian overpass on Selterstor in Giessen, commonly known Elefantenklo called
Building of the Giessen train station by Ludwig Hofmann

Nationally known and a landmark of the city is the massive pedestrian overpass at Selterstor , which is nicknamed the " elephant toilet " because of its appearance .

The station building south of the city center was built by Ludwig Hofmann between 1904 and 1906 with echoes of Darmstadt Art Nouveau ; parts of the previous building of the Main-Weser Railway from 1854 were retained.

There is a Bismarck tower in the north-west of the city near the Protestant hospital .

The Villa Leutert , built between 1884 and 1885, is located in the east complex and is today, among other things, the seat of the registry office.

Demolished old town hall

Berlin Square

Extensive construction work has taken place on and around Berliner Platz in recent years. The old town hall, a building from the 1950s, was demolished in favor of a new building. Since the beginning of the 21st century, Berliner Platz has been dominated by the sand-colored new town hall, which also houses the city library, and the externally similar new large cinema. In the course of the construction work, some of the neighboring authority buildings on the east facility were also demolished.

If the city visitor now looks at the square from the north-west, he sees the city theater on the right, the new town hall and the cinema building on the left and the congress hall halfway on the right.

Diagonally behind on the neighboring Ludwigsplatz you can see a high-rise complex. These skyscrapers are some of the tallest buildings in Giessen and a typical example of the rapid (and probably not always conceptually well thought-out) reconstruction after the Second World War. On the top floor of the corner building is the “roof café”, which offers a panoramic view of the city.

Barracks / river barracks

As a result of German reunification , the US armed forces gradually gave up their locations in Giessen. The areas freed up in the process will be maintained by the city itself and gradually incorporated into the concept. An example of this is the auto mile; Numerous car dealers have set up their branches here on old barracks.


Schiffenberg Monastery

A popular excursion destination is Gießen's "local mountain" Schiffenberg (281 m), around five kilometers away . It was bought by the State of Hesse in 1972 and incorporated into the city. In the buildings of a former monastery complex (Augustinian Canons' monastery), an excursion restaurant is managed today.

The Romanesque substance of the double-choir pillar basilica with transept and eight-sided crossing tower dates in part from the second quarter of the 12th century. The western with pilasters articulated apse of the 12th century were, and two accompanying round towers (almost completely destroyed) grown in the course. The south aisle has not been preserved. The building almost completely dispenses with architectural decorations. In 1323 the complex was taken over by the Teutonic Order, which built the former commandery on the south side and the building of the former provost on the west side. In 1809 the order was repealed. Among other things, an early Gothic baptismal font (13th century) made of basalt in the choir has been preserved. The Schiffenberg Madonna , an enthroned statue of Our Lady from around 1320, is in the collections of the Hessian State Museum in Darmstadt .

As part of the "Musical Summer" series of events that has been taking place on the Schiffenberg since 1975, numerous open-air concerts are held in the summer months. From folk music and bands that play in regional dialect, to jazz, pop, hit songs, to choir concerts and theater performances, culture lovers will find a wide range of options here. Well-known artists beyond the city limits have already given guest performances here, for example in 2002 the Cologne band BAP , Rose Nabinger , 2003 Götz Alsmann , and 2007 July .

Air defense towers

Air defense tower in Grünberger Strasse (March 17, 2006)
Air protection tower in Grünberger Strasse (April 12, 2009)

Eight total in Giessen and the surrounding area air defense towers of the design angle condition, known for her appearance as "concrete cigar" or "Sugar". This gives Giessen the highest density of air protection towers of this type. Two of the air defense towers are located in the former Pendleton barracks of the US Army, formerly Bleidorn barracks on ( Hannah-Arendt- Strasse), which was converted into a residential area in 1996. Two more can be found in the former Verdun barracks (Rivers Barracks), which is now the administrative center of the Gießen district. The location of the other towers can be found in the list of bunkers of the Winkel type .



The ruins of the Badenburg in the north-west of the city are in the “In der Hunsbach” settlement and near the neighboring town of Lollar . It was built in 1358 by the von Weitolshausen vassal family after a fiefdom of the Hessian Landgrave Heinrich II and served as a residence until it was destroyed in the Thirty Years War . Even Georg Buchner was staying on the Badenburg and wrote there his Hessian Courier . There is now a restaurant in its ruins.


Ivy-covered entrance to the "Hortus medicus"
View of the swan pond
  • The botanical garden belonging to the university from 1609 is the oldest university plant garden in Germany, which is still in the original location. Two years after the university was founded, it was created by the botanist and physician Ludwig Jungermann (1572–1653) as " Hortus medicus ".
  • At the back of the Botanical Garden is the park on the east side . It exists as an urban ornamental complex with a small pond and fountain, which was built towards the end of the 19th century and was bordered by a moat.
  • The theater park of the Stadttheater Gießen is located between Südanlage and Johannesstraße near Berliner Platz. It houses a sculpture collection from the Giessen Sculpture Symposium and the X-ray monument . In addition to events in summer, the area around the theater invites you to linger and stay.
  • The Giessen Art Trail, which runs through the university sections of Philosophikum I and II, connects the city center via the park-like green strip along the Old Cemetery on Licher Straße. The Neue Kunstverein Gießen is located at the confluence of the Food Mountain .
  • The partly still swampy local recreation area between Wieseck and the Philosophenwald , the Schwanenteich (Gießen) , is worth mentioning. It consists of several sections and is surrounded by sidewalks, an avenue of deciduous trees and green nature. The area is the foothills of the border along the Wieseck, the Wieseckaue , which Gießen reaches from the north approximately at the level of the THM on the outskirts of the city and from there flows as an ingrown canal around the Wilhelminian-style districts around the old city center. It is a popular place to sunbathe with its close proximity to the Ringallee swimming pool , an equally popular leisure destination in Giessen.
  • In 2014, Giessen hosted the 5th Hessian State Garden Show under the motto “On to new shores”. In the course of the state horticultural show, the mill gardens were created on the Lahn and the area around the swan pond subsequently became the Wieseckaue city park .


Giessen has a number of well-known sports clubs. This is where the team of the men's basketball league is at home; it played under the name MTV 1846 Giessen , now Giessen 46ers . So far she has won five German championships (1965, 1967, 1968, 1975, 1978) and three German cup victories (1969, 1973, 1979). After two years in the 2nd basketball league , the team will play again in the basketball league from the 2015/2016 season . In addition, the MTV 1846 Giessen is one of the oldest still existing sports clubs in Germany.

In the past, the Bundesliga volleyball players from USC Gießen (German champions 1982, 1983, 1984; German cup winners 1984), the handball women from TV Lützellinden and the table tennis players from Gießener SV (GSV) won national titles. The handball players of TV Lützellinden, one of the most successful German teams of the 1990s, no longer received a license for the handball Bundesliga in 2004 and were finally withdrawn from the game in 2005.

In table tennis , the women's team of Giessener SV played in the Bundesliga in the 1970s . Well-known players were Christa Federhardt-Rühl , Britta Heilmann, Heidrun Röhmig-Flick, Bärbel Zips, Gerlinde Glatzer , Gertrud Potocnik, Gisela Jakob, Karen Senior , Ulla Licher, Heike Kohl, Miriam Jupa, Angelika Schreiber and Evelin Ogroske. In 1982 this team disbanded.

The rowing with three clubs (WSV Hellas Giessen, Giessen Rowing Club Hassia 1906 represented Giessen Rudergesellschaft). The most successful and at the same time oldest of them is the Gießener Rudergesellschaft 1877. In 1954 the three clubs founded the Regatta-Verein Gießen, which acts as the host and organizer of what is now Germany's largest rowing regatta , the International Gießen Whitsun Regatta . More than 2000 rowers from all over Germany and other European countries have competed on the regatta course on the Lahn in recent years. The Gießen Whitsun regatta is also one of the oldest regattas in Germany - the first rowing regatta took place in Gießen as early as 1882. Since 2012, the Giessen Rowing Club Hassia and the Giessen Rowing Society have jointly provided the Giessen eighth, which starts in the rowing Bundesliga .

In 1953 , the VRGB Gießen is a successful representative of the city of Gießen in disabled sports . The women's team in Bosseln (rehab sport) won the title of Hesse champion in 2014.

There is also Germany's oldest dance school in Gießen, the Bäulke dance school - founded in 1787. It is currently being run by the sixth generation. There is also a shooting club in Gießen with the largest archery department in Hesse. With the TSG Wieseck women's team , Gießen also had an athletics Bundesliga team up to and including 2009. In addition to the clubs mentioned, Gießen also has a large number of football clubs, such as VfB Gießen (after the merger with SC Teutonia Watzenborn-Steinberg, FC Gießen in the future), TSG Wieseck and the football department of MTV 1846 Gießen and TSV Rödgen.


Image of the monument

The term Schlammbeiser , also used contemptuously , is the local nickname of the people of Giessen. The term goes back to the "Schlamp-Eisen", a tool of a sewer cleaner ("Schlamp-Eissers"), who - before there were closed sewers - removed the garbage and dirt of the houses ("Schlammp") with a long iron rod ("Eisen “) And disposed of with wooden carts outside of town. There were often small alleys between the houses with buckets in them. The toilets of the houses hung in the open space above these alleys. The Schlammbeiser used their long poles to pull the buckets out of the little alleys and empty them.

In November 2005, a donation-financed memorial for the historic Gießener Schlammbeiser was inaugurated on the Gießener Kirchenplatz. The statue seems to have a resemblance to the initiator of the fundraising campaign to erect the monument, Axel Pfeffer. As the regionally known carnival figure Schlammbeiser, the master locksmith represents the Gießen population “in the Bütt”.

The name is also used:

  1. for the Schlammbeiser fair at Messeplatz and the Schlammbeiser shopkeeper market
  2. for the festival "Schlammbeisers Lahnlust" organized by the city and the Lahn residents
  3. for a beer from Gießener Brauerei GmbH & Co. KG, founded in 2017
  4. as namesake for Gießen clubs
  5. Ship name at Gießener Marineverein eV
  6. for the Schlammbeiser Science Camp run by Gießener Stadtwerke for primary school children

In 1991 Charly Weller was awarded the Max Ophüls Award for his feature film “Schlambeisser” .

Economy and Infrastructure

Gießener Ring between A 5 and A 45


Gießen is a traffic junction in Central Hesse and Hesse and connects, for example, Fulda , Kassel , Frankfurt am Main and Siegen with each other. The Lahn valley bundles the traffic flows from the north ( Marburg , Kassel) and west ( Wetzlar , Limburg , Koblenz ), the Wetterau creates the connection to the south ( Frankfurt ).

Road traffic

Gießen is surrounded by a partial motorway network, the Gießener Ring . This consists of the regional motorways A 480 (from Wettenberg to the Reiskirchener Dreieck) and A 485 , the B 429 running in the western part of the ring and the national B 49 ( Trier - Wetzlar - Alsfeld ). The A 485 replaces the federal highway 3 in the Giessen area , which used to run right through Giessen.

The motorway network is rounded off with the nationally and internationally important motorways A 5 from Frankfurt to Kassel and A 45 from Dortmund to Aschaffenburg . The federal highway 457 also runs in a south-easterly direction to Lich and Hungen .

After the severe war damage, the city ​​area was rebuilt to make it suitable for cars; wide roads lead to a four-lane ring road in the course of the former ramparts . The individual sections of the system ring are among the most frequented places in the city. The city center within the former ramparts has been largely closed to car traffic since the 1980s.

In addition, Gießen has had a parking guidance system since 2005 that divides the city into four parking zones (north, south, east and west) and lists the number of free parking spaces in the respective areas.

There are two Lahn crossings in the Giessen city area: The Sachsenhausen Bridge connects Giessen Weststadt directly with the city center at the level of the Oswaldsgarten . 300 m further south is the Konrad-Adenauer-Brücke and starts traffic in the direction of Heuchelheim. On the occasion of the State Garden Show 2014, a new bicycle and footpath bridge was planned in the extension of Sudetenlandstrasse, which connects the northern part of the city with the Gießen-West district. The Christoph-Rübsamen-Steg , named after a rowing athlete from Giessen, was opened on May 1st, 2014.

Rail transport

Train station at Oswaldsgarten

The station casting is still a hub for rail traffic. The construction of the high-speed line Hanover – Würzburg in the 1980s, which now directs long-distance traffic between Frankfurt and Kassel via Fulda instead of Gießen , shifted its importance in the rail network in favor of the East Hessian city.

The most important railway line in Giessen is the Main-Weser Railway from Frankfurt to Kassel , which runs in north-south direction . The Cologne-Giessen railway via Wetzlar and Siegen connects Central Hesse with the Rhineland and the Ruhr area . Connection to the Lahn Valley Railway to Wetzlar. From Wetzlar the connection follows the river via Limburg to Koblenz. The Vogelsbergbahn to Alsfeld and Fulda bypasses the mountains, as does the A 5 motorway, on its north side. The Gießen – Gelnhausen railway runs past the southern foothills of the Vogelsberg, through the eastern Wetterau into the Kinzig valley. It leads through the cities of Pohlheim , Lich, Hungen, Nidda and Büdingen .

Giessen has a train station and the following stops:

There is also the freight station and the Gießen-Bergwerkswald branch station in the Kleinlinden district, which enables a direct connection between the routes to / from Frankfurt and Wetzlar, bypassing the Gießen station. Until 2003 there was a depot in Gießen .

Bus transport

Local public transport in Giessen is now provided by Stadtwerke Giessen, among others, with 16 bus routes. Gießen owned a tram from 1909 to 1953 and trolleybuses from 1941 to 1968 . Since October 2008, two hourly night bus routes have been operated on the weekend on behalf of the city, the use of which is free of charge.

Air traffic

To the southwest, Gießen has a sports airfield near Lützellinden with an asphalt runway and a glider airfield in the Wieseckaue. The former commercial airport was closed after the Second World War and the US depot in Gießen was established here .

The Frankfurt airport is about 70 kilometers away.


Giessen is one of the few German cities with less than 100,000 inhabitants that has two independent daily newspapers. Both the Gießener Anzeiger , one of the oldest daily newspapers in Germany (from 1750 as the Gießener Wochenblatt ), and the Gießener Allgemeine Zeitung (from 1946 to 1966 as the Gießener Freie Presse ) provide the population with news. Both newspapers have their own printing and publishing houses. In addition, the Gießener Zeitung , which provides all around 38,000 households in the city with information from hobby reporters twice a week, as well as the Mittelhessische Advertisement Newspaper and the Sunday Morning Magazine , which are published free of charge on Wednesdays and Sundays, are distributed. On Thursdays, the Express - a magazine for Marburg and Gießen - is available free of charge in shops, pubs and other establishments. In addition to editorial articles, it mainly contains classifieds, TV programs and an event calendar.

The Hessischer Rundfunk maintains its studio for the Central Hesse region in the city, and the Hessian private broadcaster Hitradio FFH and RTL Hessen are also represented with regional studios. There is also a citizens' television station, the Gießen Open Canal , which is located in the Lower Hardthof near the Evangelical Hospital.


The city's most important and best-known educational institution is the Justus Liebig University (JLU). It was founded in 1607 by Landgrave Ludwig V and was called after him until 1945 Ludwig University or Ludoviciana . The university is still connected to the Landgrave today: The main building of the JLU is on Ludwigstrasse in the southern city center. In 2005, 21,177 students were enrolled at JLU, and in the 2011 winter semester the mark of a total of 25,000 students and 6000 freshmen was exceeded for the first time. The focus of teaching is on the natural sciences and medical subjects. JLU is one of the few universities in Germany that also offers veterinary medicine and agricultural sciences .

In addition to the buildings on Ludwigstrasse, the university's institutes are concentrated in two large areas, Philosophikum I and II in the east of the city and the medical and natural science institutes in the south of Gießen, where the privatized University Hospital Gießen and Marburg are also located. The independent campus for economics and law is located around 500 meters northwest of Philosophikum I.

The second university in Gießen is the Technical University of Central Hesse , founded in 1971 , formerly the University of Applied Sciences Gießen-Friedberg (origin: the trade school founded in 1838), with a good 17,500 students, 10,600 of them on the Gießen campus (summer semester 2018).

As the third, but private university, the Free Theological University of Giessen started operations as the first evangelical university in Germany in October 2008. It emerged from the former Free Theological Academy .

In 2015, 410 students were enrolled in the Giessen department of the Hessian University for Police and Administration .

191 students are registered at the Gießen site of the Administration and Business Academy .

With a student quota of 44 percent, Giessen is the city with the highest student density in Germany. There are around 37,000 students for every 84,000 inhabitants.

The Upper Hesse Catholic Education Center is responsible for the Catholic adult education in the diocese of Mainz in the Vogelsberg, Gießen and Wetterau districts.

Two years before the university was founded, the Landgraf-Ludwigs-Gymnasium was founded as a Latin school .

  • Elementary schools
    • August Hermann Francke School
    • Brothers Grimm School
    • Georg Büchner School
    • Goethe School
    • Giessen-West primary school
    • Lützellinden elementary school
    • Elementary school Rödgen
    • Kleebach School Allendorf
    • Korczak School
    • Käthe Kollwitz School
    • Ludwig Uhland School
    • Pestalozzi School
    • Sand field school
    • White School Wieseck


In the justice center, sorted from east to west, are the local court Gießen I, the social court Gießen , the regional court Gießen , the correctional facility , the district court Gießen , the administrative court Gießen and the Gießen public prosecutor's office. The Rockenberg correctional facility also has a branch here for open execution. There is also a labor court in Giessen .


Gail used to be a well-known ceramic and clay company and manufactured products for the Elbe tunnel , stadiums , Olympic halls and swimming pools and space shuttles , among other things . Some parts of the company have now split off, but the basis is still there. The facilities for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing were also equipped by Gail, among others.

Giessener Pilsner

The Gießener Brauhaus was the only private brewery in the region still in existence until the beginning of 2015 (apart from small breweries like "Alt-Gießen", who only sell their products in their brewery ).

The only European printer and copier factory from Canon was located in Giessen until production was temporarily stopped in 2008. Since then, the Giessen location has been limited to service, organization and planning. After the tsunami disaster in Japan in 2011 , parts of the plant were reactivated. However, a complete production is no longer located there. The Giessen plant, founded in 1972, was also the first Canon opened in Europe .

Pascoe Naturmedizin is an international family business that has been based in Giessen since 1918. The company produces herbal and homeopathic medicines as well as dietary supplements and vitamin preparations.

The Giessen-based company Lakewood has been producing high quality acoustic guitars since 1986 .


The fire brigade of Giessen guarantees that the university town of Giessen does not have to avert danger . It consists of a professional fire brigade and six volunteer fire brigades and is subordinate to the Office for Fire and Civil Protection of the University of Giessen. In addition, the intensive care transport helicopter Christoph Gießen is stationed in the city .


Justus von Liebig around 1860

Famous personalities of the city include Justus Liebig , the inventor of the artificial fertilizer, after which the Giessen University was named, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen , 1901 the first Nobel Prize winner for physics , who taught and is buried here, and Wilhelm Liebknecht , the co-founder who was born in Giessen the SPD .

See also

Portal: Mittelhessen  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the topic of Central Hesse


  • Dehio-Handbuch der Deutschen Kunstdenkmäler: Hessen. Deutscher Kunstverlag, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-422-00380-0 .
  • Erwin Knauß: Between the church and the gate. 1200 years of Wieseck. Gießen-Wieseck 1975. (Ed .: City of Gießen)
  • Karlheinz Lang: University town of Giessen. Vieweg, Braunschweig / Wiesbaden 1993, ISBN 3-528-06246-0 . (= Monument topography Federal Republic of Germany , cultural monuments in Hesse. )
  • Thomas Michael Martin u. a. (Ed.): Festschrift for Erwin Knauß on his 70th birthday. In: Communications from the Upper Hessian History Association, Giessen , New Series ( ISSN  0342-1198 ), Volume 77 (1992).
  • Otto Stumpf: Population lists of the Gießen office from the 15th to the 17th century (1470–1669). Giessen 1983.
  • Thomas Weyrauch: Municipal office and trade regulations of the early modern period in central Hesse. In: Messages from the Upper Hessian History Association, Giessen , New Series, Volume 72 (1987).
  • Thomas Weyrauch: Gießener legal sources for offices and trades 1528–1737. In: Publications of the Upper Hessian History Association Gießen e. V. ISSN  0342-1198 , Giessen 1989.
  • Thea Altaras : Places of the Jews in Giessen from the beginning until today. (= The Blue Books. ) Königstein im Taunus 1998, ISBN 3-7845-7793-8 .
  • Friedrich Kraft: History of Giessen and the surrounding area from the earliest times up to the year 1265. Darmstadt 1876.
  • Wolfgang Meyer: City and fortress Gießen in the French period 1796/1797. Giessen 1918.

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Individual evidence

  1. Hessian State Statistical Office: Population status on December 31, 2019 (districts and urban districts as well as municipalities, population figures based on the 2011 census) ( help ).
  2. ↑ Numbers of students with details of the departments. (PDF) Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen, p. 2 , accessed on April 14, 2019 (as of March 29, 2019).
  3. Main statute of the city of Gießen (PDF file; 21 kB), accessed on March 30, 2011.
  4. residents with main residence according to statistical areas , city of Gießen (unfortunately, more recent data are not available); PDF, 30 kB
  5. Source: DWD climate tables
  6. In historical documents, the spelling of the place name appears different over the centuries: 1197 Giezzen, 1245 Giezin, 1248 Gizen, 1262 Gezen, 1308 Geyzen, 1321 Gizzen, 1326 Giezin, 1332 Gyssin, around 1334/49 Giessen, 1340 Gezin, 1343 Gyzen and 1352 Gizsin. ( Gießen, district of Gießen. Historical local dictionary for Hesse. In: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS).)
  7. ^ Landesfeuerwehrverband Hessen (Hrsg.): All the strength of the fire brigade! - 50 years of the State Fire Brigade Association of Hesse . Kassel 2004, ISBN 3-927006-48-3 , p. 128 .
  8. Ludwig Brake: Gießen - a location determination. ( Memento from June 5, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  9. Conversion of Berg-Kaserne ( Memento of October 24, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  10. ^ Heavy bombing raid on Gießen, December 6, 1944. Contemporary history in Hessen. (As of December 11, 2018). In: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS).
  11. A. C. Grayling: The Dead Cities: Were Allied Bombing War Crimes? , Munich 2009 (original: London, 2006) wrote 813 deaths (p. 382, ​​without naming a source)
  12. ^ Third heavy air raid on the Gießen core city within a few days, December 11, 1944. Contemporary history in Hesse. (As of December 11, 2018). In: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS).
  13. ^ Charles B. MacDonald (ed.): United States Army in World War II, European Theater of Operations: The Last Offensive , 1973, p . 351 .
  14. Zoning plan for Steuben barracks
  15. Law on the reorganization of the Dill district, the districts of Gießen and Wetzlar and the city of Gießen (GVBl. II 330-28) of May 13, 1974 . In: The Hessian Minister of the Interior (ed.): Law and Ordinance Gazette for the State of Hesse . 1974 No. 17 , p. 237 , § 1 ( online at the information system of the Hessian state parliament [PDF; 1,3 MB ]).
  16. a b Federal Statistical Office (ed.): Historical municipality register for the Federal Republic of Germany. Name, border and key number changes in municipalities, counties and administrative districts from May 27, 1970 to December 31, 1982 . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Mainz 1983, ISBN 3-17-003263-1 , p. 345-346 .
  17. [1]
  18. BERG Gießen website .
  19. ^ Editing by Giessener Allgemeine: Doctors of the Aramaeans and Assyrians meet. In: . Giessener Allgemeine, June 13, 2019, accessed on June 29, 2019 (German).
  20. Stefan Schaal: Turkish groups demonstrate against the memorial in Pohlheim - the reactions to it are clear. In: . Giessener Allgemeine, June 26, 2019, accessed on June 29, 2019 (German).
  21. ↑ Cohesion and understanding of each other as the goal. Founding event of the Aramaic Youth Association Gießen 2009. Gießener Anzeiger, May 25, 2010, archived from the original on June 8, 2010 ; accessed on April 14, 2019 .
  22. ^ Society for Threatened Peoples: Assyrians - Christian Minority in the Middle East. Society for Threatened Peoples, April 22, 2005, accessed on June 29, 2019 (German).
  23. Ed. Shabo Talay: Slomo Surayt. In: . Bar Habraeus Verlag, 2017, accessed on June 29, 2019 (German).
  24. ^ Mosques in Giessen
  25. according to
  27. ^ Cultural monuments in Hesse: Gießen Wieseck, Karl-Benner-Strasse 3. Former synagogue
  28. ^ Result of the municipal election on March 6, 2016. Hessian State Statistical Office, accessed in April 2016 .
  29. ^ Hessian State Statistical Office: Result of the municipal elections of March 27, 2011
  30. ^ Hessian State Statistical Office: Result of the municipal election of March 26, 2006
  31. a b Hessian State Statistical Office: Results of the municipal elections of 2001 and 1997
  32. ^ "Giessener Linke" ends the split. Gießener Allgemeine Zeitung from November 10, 2015.
  33. ^ Giessener Linke is running for local elections. from November 13, 2015
  34. Election supervisor of the university town of Gießen: Election of the mayor of the university town of Gießen 2009 - preliminary election result. ( Memento of June 12, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Retrieved June 8, 2009
  35. Mayor election on June 14, 2015 Giessen. Hessischer Rundfunk, archived from the original on July 6, 2015 ; accessed on April 14, 2019 .
  36. ^ City of Giessen Magistrate
  37. City friendships . Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  38. Photos of the Lufthansa Airbus A340-313X Giessen D-AIFD
  39. The KiG. Accessed March 9, 2020 (German).
  40. GIENNALE. Retrieved March 10, 2020 .
  41. Eckart Roloff , Karin Henke-Wendt: War trauma, the horror of the Nazi era, the reflection afterwards. (On the value of man, pouring) In: Visit your doctor or pharmacist. A tour through Germany's museums for medicine and pharmacy. Volume 2, Southern Germany. Verlag S. Hirzel, Stuttgart 2015, pp. 191–192, ISBN 978-3-7776-2511-9
  44. ^ Fritz Neuschäfer: The history of the "Yenish" and "Manic" in Giessen. In: Manfred H. Klös (arrangement): A piece of Giessen history. Giessen 1988, pp. 51-55.
  45. Randolf Fügen: Highlights in Central Hesse. P. 102.
  46. Schiffenberg Madonna
  48. State Garden Show 2014 in Giessen. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. March 20, 2008
  49. Siggi Richter: On the farewell of a team and the end of an era: Table tennis: wedding and fall of the Bundesliga women of Giessener SV. ( Memento from September 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) In: Gießener Allgemeine Zeitung. April 1, 1982.
  50. bottled in Lauterbach, Vogelsbergkreis
  51. Traffic figures for the city of Gießen on page 100.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / in: Gießener Allgemeine Zeitung of August 21, 2008.
  52. Christoph-Rübsamen-Steg officially opened. Giessener Anzeiger, May 2, 2014, archived from the original on June 15, 2015 ; accessed on April 14, 2019 .
  53. Gießener Anzeiger: City of Gießen is planning more buses on main routes
  54. night bus line "Saturn" , night bus line "Vensus"
  55. ↑ number of students. (PDF) Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen, accessed on February 14, 2019 .
  56. a b c Facts and Figures - Gießen. University town of Giessen, December 2014, accessed on December 4, 2015 .
  57. Website of the Catholic Education Center in Upper Hesse
  58. ^ Giessen private brewery: all employees terminated. ( Memento from July 7, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Gießener Anzeiger from February 26, 2015.
  59. Pascoe Natural Medicine: Pascoe Natural Medicine. Retrieved March 8, 2017 .