Home to the world’s first museum dedicated to mathematics, Giessen is a lively university town in the German state of Hesse. It was established around a moated castle in the 12th century and it was here that chemist Justus von Liebig invented stock cubes in the 19th century. While much of Giessen was destroyed during World War II, its historic botanical garden and several half-timbered residences remain.
Things to do in Gießen
Occupying three buildings in the heart of Giessen is the Oberhessisches Museum, which houses exhibits dedicated to art, archaeology, folklore and history. Browse the sculptures and paintings on display within the Old Castle and marvel at the centuries-old half-timbered residence of Leib'sches House, then delve into the history of mankind at Wallenfels' House.
Travelling with kids? Don’t miss a visit to the Mathematikum, a maths-focused museum packed with hands-on experiments and engaging exhibits. They can build bridges, play puzzles and learn all about soap films or discover the basics of numbers, shapes and patterns in the Mini-Mathematikum. Coincide your visit with the weekly mathematician talk on Beutelspacher's Couch.
Green thumbs shouldn’t miss a visit to the Akademischer Forstgarten Giessen, a botanical garden and arboretum that dates back to 1778. Originally used for research purposes by the Hessian Forest College, it later became part of the University of Giessen. It’s now home to more than 200 different species of trees and shrubs, including several rare species that include sorbus and tulip trees.
Getting around Gießen
Giessen is about a one-hour drive from Frankfurt and 45 minutes from Frankfurt Airport. Regular trains connect from Frankfurt to Giessen and buses travel throughout the town. The centre of Giessen can easily be explored on foot.