Mirror Lust Tower

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The Mirror Lust Tower from the side facing the city (2014)
South side (2010)
Side far away from the city (2012)

The Kaiser Wilhelm Tower ( popularly known as the Spiegelslustturm ) is a lookout tower on the Lahn Mountains , which are located near Marburg an der Lahn in the Hessian district of Marburg-Biedenkopf . It was built from 1887 to 1890, is 36 m high and has 167 steps inside.

Long before the tower was built, the nearby restaurant "Spiegelslust" was a popular and much-visited destination, which was particularly valued for its panoramic view over the city and Marburg Castle . For a long time the restaurant and the tower were run by the same owner; this contributed to the mixing of the names of both destinations.

Geographical location

The observation tower is located east of the city center of Marburg in the Lahn valley - around 900 m west-southwest of the summit of the Ortenberg (approx.  380  m above sea  level ) at 371.7  m . It is located about 1200 m west of the Marburg University Clinic , about 250 m north of the historic Spiegelslust and about 220 m southwest of the summit of the Klamberg. The Marburg transmitter of the Hessischer Rundfunk is located almost 100 m north-north-west .

The tower can be reached - branching off northeast of the university clinic from Landesstrasse  3092 ( called Auf den Lahnbergen there) and then passing the university clinic to the north - via Baldinger Strasse and Hermann-Bauer-Weg.


In the early 19th century, Marburg was a center of Romanticism , and its medieval architecture was often a projection screen for the zeitgeist. A clerk named Köhler discovered a place in the forest on the Lahn Mountains that offered a particularly beautiful view of the castle, the Elisabeth church and the city. It soon became popular as an excursion destination under the name "Köhlersruhe".

After Köhler's death in 1821, the student Werner Friedrich Julius Stephan von Spiegel zum Desenberg took over the maintenance of this excursion site, which he had some extensions added in the following years - an iron music pavilion, a stone grotto and a drinks cellar, which significantly increased the number of visitors. In the vernacular, the term “mirror lust” became common at this time. When Spiegel left Marburg, he transferred the property to the city, which had a restaurant built in the 1860s. Since then, the Spiegelslust has been a café - restaurant with home-style cuisine, homemade cakes and a large beer garden . Nowadays a playground is attached.

From 1874 onwards, a civic association built the first tower, planned from 1863, with donations to commemorate the establishment of the German Empire and the Franco-German War . A height of 34.5 m was planned for the tower. The structure, which was only 29 m high at the time, collapsed in a hurricane on the night of March 12th to 13th, 1876 , before the construction work was completed. Architect Carl Schäfer and building contractor Gutmann were sentenced to fines.

Then the second, slightly higher tower was built from 1887 to 1890, which was reinforced with buttresses and still stands on the Lahn Mountains today. On September 2, 1890, the anniversary of the Battle of Sedan , the new tower was inaugurated after three years of construction and named "Kaiser Wilhelm Tower" after Wilhelm I , the German Emperor at the time of the battle.

In 1994 the tower room was opened, in which drinks are served to visitors and cultural events such as readings and concerts take place. The tower can also be climbed through the tower room. Since 2005 the tower and the associated tower café have been run by a non-profit association.

On December 1, 2006, the light installation Siebensiebenzwölfnullsieben by the Marburg artist Helmi Ohlhagen was installed on the Spiegelslustturm . It was put into operation on January 1, 2007 on the occasion of the Elizabeth Year. The photo is activated by calling the chargeable telephone number 09005-771207. 100 percent of the net income from the fees (99 cents per minute) benefit non-profit organizations.

Meaning for students

There is a superstition among Marburg students from various faculties that anyone who climbs the tower before passing the physics course (medicine), intermediate diploma or other intermediate exams will never pass this examination.

More pictures

Individual evidence

  1. a b c history  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. in: Spiegelslustturm , on the homepage of the restaurant Spiegelslust, on spiegelslust.de@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.spiegelslust.de  
  2. a b c history ( memento of March 4, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) in: Gaststätte Spiegelslust , on the homepage of MObiLO e. V. (operator of the Turm-Café in the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Turm), on spiegelslustturm.de
  3. Map services of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation ( information )
  4. Light art project "Siebensiebenzwölfnullsieben" , accessed on May 1, 2016, on marburg.de


  • The Marburg light art work Seven Seven Twelve Zero Seven by Helmi Ohlhagen. Jonas Verlag , Marburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-89445-392-3 .
  • Gabriele Holthuis: The Kaiser Wilhelm Tower in Marburg. On the social history and political function of observation towers in the 19th century. Hessische Heimat, 1988, issue 2/3, pp. 59–66.
  • Karl-Heinz Gimbel: The Marburg Kaiser Wilhelm Tower. Small series from Marburg, Vol. 6, Marburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-89703-781-6 .

Web links

Commons : Spiegelslustturm  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
  • History in: Spiegelslustturm , on the homepage of the restaurant Spiegelslust, on spiegelslust.de
  • History ( Memento from March 4, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) in: Gaststätte Spiegelslust , on the homepage of MObiLO e. V. (operator of the Turm-Café in the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Turm), on spiegelslustturm.de

Coordinates: 50 ° 48 ′ 53.9 "  N , 8 ° 47 ′ 20.5"  E