University and student city of Siegen
Siegen, the birth-place of Peter Paul Rubens, is located in the foothills of the Rothaar mountain range in southern Westphalia. Some 102,000 inhabitants live in this green, mountainous region with its young university, which is enriching community life in many ways. The university is home to 16,808 students and 1,594 scientists, as well as non-scientific staff. Situated in the heart of the border triangle of the federal lands of Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, Siegen's history has been shaped by its heritage of iron mines, the basis of steel and other metal-based industries.
Places of interest in Siegen
Although it was not possible to reconstruct everything that was destroyed in the city of Siegen shortly before the end of World War II, there are many places that have been restored with a great love for detail, giving a special flair to Siegen's upper town today. The square in front of the lower castle offers a site for events including open air cinema and concerts in the summer, and Christmas markets with a homely atmosphere in the winter. Historically important churches add to the special atmosphere: St Martin’s, Siegen's oldest church, is near the lower castle, while St Nicholas’ church and the catholic St Mary’s church are located in the old town. The tower of St Nicholas’ church is topped with a coronet (Krönchen), today the symbol of the city. Very close to the town hall, the "Krönchen-Center" hosts a cultural centre, the city archives and the city library as well as the local adult education centre. Inns and cafés underpin the special atmosphere.
True to its motto "Meet at the Apollo", Siegen's theatre has been offering a varied and ambitious repertoire since 2007. Whether your interest is for concerts, plays, dance, music, readings or own productions, this is a central meeting point for all those who enjoy highly artistic events. The current programme can be found on the Apollo Theatre's website.
Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Museum of contemporary art)
Siegen's museum of contemporary art exhibits influential artwork, from paintings to photography and from video to contemporary space- and time-related installations. The work of Bernd Becher, a native of Siegen, and his wife Hilla Becher, form a major starting point.
The Lambrecht-Schadeberg collection is on permanent show, featuring large, representative workgroups of all artists that have been awarded the Rubens award by the city of Siegen since 1955/57: Hans Hartung (1957), Giorgio Morandi (1962), Francis Bacon (1967), Antoni Tàpies (1972), Fritz Winter (1977), Emil Schumacher (1982), Cy Twombly (1987), Rupprecht Geiger (1992), Lucian Freud (1997), Maria Lassnig (2002), Sigmar Polke (2007).
Siegen's upper castle, first mentioned in records as early as 1259, was the home castle of the Nassau dynasty in the middle ages. Since 1905 it has been home to the Siegerland regional museum for art and cultural history. Besides a large collection of portraits showing members of the Nassau and Orange dynasties, it exhibits paintings and graphics by the baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) who was born in Siegen.
The upper castle is adjoined by a park with a splendid view of the city from an idyllic setting. You can just relax in the park, study for your classes in this green environment or visit the Siegerland museum to learn about regional history.
The region is ideal for friends of nature who can enjoy hiking trails and mountain-biking paths all year round. With more than 60% forest cover, the district of Siegen-Wittgenstein is one of Germany's most forested regions. The varied landscape, with its low mountain range (up to 800 m above sea level), the "Rothaargebirge" national park and the springs of Sieg, Lahn and Eder, offers clean, healthy air to revitalise you. Recreational athletes will find plenty of alternatives in summer and winter alike, ranging from football to tennis, from cross-country skiing to ice skating, cycling and hiking with some 3,500 km of marked hiking trails. In particular, the Rothaarsteig hiking trail offers a gorgeous route to enjoy the landscape. In summer, lake Bigge near Olpe is an ideal location for water sports and a great place to spend the day in the sun outside the city of Siegen. In winter, cross-country ski trails at Ginsberger Heide and the neighbouring Sauerland region provide a full range of winter sports options. An especially exciting combination of nature and culture can be found around Whitsunday each year with "KulturPur", one of Europe's largest tent festivals.