Gregory Brown
513 Agnes Arnold Hall
Department of Philosophy
University of Houston
Houston, TX 77204-3004


City, Lower Saxony Land (state), central Germany, on the Leine River. First mentioned as Gutingi in 953, it was chartered c. 1211 and was a powerful member of the Hanseatic League in the 14th century. After accepting the Reformation in 1531, it suffered in the religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries. The establishment there in 1737 of the University of Göttingen by George II of England (the elector George Augustus of Hanover) began a new period of prosperity. The university soon became one of the most famous in Europe. Political disturbances, however, including the expulsion (1837) of seven professors, the Göttinger Sieben ("Göttingen Seven"), reduced its prosperity. Strong mathematics and physics faculties led to its revival in the late 19th century. The university library is one of the richest collections in Germany. In the city are also several museums and theatres and a botanical garden.

Göttingen was virtually undamaged in World War II. It is surrounded by ramparts, and many old streets with medieval half-timbered houses, the 14th-century town hall, and several Gothic churches survive. Predominantly a university city, it also has diversified industry including printing and the manufacture of optical and precision instruments. Pop. (1993 est.) 128,299.

Copyright © 1994-2002 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.


  • Encylopedia Britannica 2002, Expanded Edition DVD