University and student city of Siegen
Mining and metallurgy have shaped the structure and development of Siegen for centuries. Steel production, steel processing and mechanical engineering continue to be the mainstays of the city’s economic life. Thanks to innovative small to medium-sized companies that are strongly oriented towards exports, the city and region occupies a leading position nationwide with its labour market data. Yet Siegen isn’t just a place of industry. The city is also a centre for retail and services, medical care, education, culture and leisure for 600,000 people in the catchment area. If you are looking for trendy brands or cool meeting places for dining and entertainment you will find them. Plays and concerts take place at the Apollo Theatre, large show events in the Siegerlandhalle, and the Medien- und Kulturhaus Lÿz is the top location for cabaret. The Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen is in the top league of locations for contemporary art and the collection of original Rubens paintings in the Siegerlandmuseum is an artistic treasure of national importance. Siegen’s calendar of events is further enhanced by openair events and many private cultural initiatives in the fields of music, visual and performing arts and literature. Another advantage: from any point in the city you can be in the middle of a green area within five minutes by foot. Closeness to nature and environmental quality are the characteristics that distinguish Siegen and contribute to the high quality of leisure time that the city can offer. Find out more at: www.siegen.de | www.siegen-guide.de
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 of Siegen-Wittgenstein 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.