Germersheim, the seat of a regional administrative district, is located on the upper Rhine between the cities of Speyer and Karlsruhe. It has 20,000 inhabitants of which 2,400 are students enrolled at the university. The high percentage of young people has a significant impact on the town’s public life. There is a wide variety of cafés, restaurants and numerous student bars in Germersheim. Being small with a warm and welcoming atmosphere newcomers in Germersheim soon feel at home. Located in the beautiful Rhine valley, life in Germersheim is characterised by the mild climate of the Southern Palatinate with its own fruit-growing and wine-producing culture giving the whole area its distinctive character. Germersheim is not far from the Rhine-Neckar region and very close to France. Belgium and Luxembourg are also just a short distance away.
More information about the town can be found at http://www.germersheim.de/index-stadt.html.
The faculty, the student organisations within the respective language departments and ASTA offer numerous leisure activities such as workshops, readings, excursions, parties, concerts, various sports programs, self-defence courses, conversation evenings, movie nights and much more – not to mention the famous weekly (every Thursday) disco, which for many has now acquired cult status!
The student theatre has a long tradition at the faculty in Germersheim. The theatre groups include students as well as German and non-German lecturers who stage plays not only in German but also in English, Spanish, Italian and Russian. The performances – held either in the town hall, the community centre, the faculty’s main auditorium, the small amphitheatre or the university’s own ‘theatre cellar’ – are frequently sold out and attract great interest amongst the local press.
In terms of culture, Germersheim has a lot going for it. The German Road and Transportation Museum in the armoury of the town’s former fortress, the town and fortress museum housed within the walls of the Ludwig Gate, the fortress, the Catholic church with its crypt, the sculpture trail in Fronte Beckers Park, the theatre and concert program of the municipal Culture Office as well as an active art association ensure the town’s varied and vibrant cultural scene. The Festungsfest, a local festival held every two years, is part of the Germersheimer Kultursommer (cultural summer festival). With its varied programme including music, culinary gastronomic specialties, numerous art exhibitions and parades it attracts thousands of visitors each year and is always an unforgettable experience.
Leisure Activities In and Around Germersheim
While studying is important, there are other aspects of student life that are just as important, like accommodation, recreational activities and social life. Taking breaks and making time for relaxation is an imperative for students to ensure well-being and helps with stress management in everyday academic life.
Germersheim offers a wide variety of recreational and outdoor activities for everyone. Well-maintained hiking trails and bikeways make it easy to explore the town’s green areas with it’s impressive buildings of the former fortress as well as the woodlands and scenic pasture landscape along the River Rhine. Several lakes and outdoor swimming pools in the immediate vicinity of Germersheim offer further recreational opportunities.
Speyer, located about 17 km north of Germersheim, is an interesting small city with a variety of friendly and welcoming cafés, restaurants and bars. The city is approximately a 15 minute journey away from Germersheim or can also be reached by bike along a very scenic route on a well-maintained paved bikeway). The city’s most impressive sight is the 900 year-old Romanesque cathedral, which is also considered to be one of the largest and most beautiful cathedrals in Germany. Eight German emperors are buried in the cathedral‘s crypt. Nearby, there is the Historical Museum of the Palatinate, widely acclaimed for hosting a number of major exhibitions in the past (for example of the works of “Leonardo da Vinci”). City maps and more information on the different museums as well as their opening hours are available at the city‘s tourist office (http://www.speyer.de).
Karlsruhe, seat of the German Federal Constitutional Court, is about a 50 minute train or 20 minute car journey (after rush hours!) from Germersheim. The city‘s palace, built between 1715 and 1775, is now home to the Badisches Landesmuseum (Baden State Museum) and is surrounded by botanical gardens and the castle’s own gardens. Located in the immediate vicinity, the Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe‘s famous art gallery, exhibits a superb collection of European paintings from the 15th through to the 20th century.
Wit its extensive range of unique shops, shopping malls, cinemas and numerous student bars, Karlsruhe is today a very popular destination amongst students from Germersheim. For more information please go to: http://www.karlsruhe.de/stadt/tourismus/
Heidelberg, one of Germany‘s oldest university towns, is located approximately 40 km from Germersheim along the Neckar River and is definitely worth a visit. The cheapest way to get there is by train (the whole network has been recently modernised).
Heidelberg‘s historic part of town and its castle overlooking the city are especially worth seeing. City maps and further information are available from the tourist office located in front of the city’s central station and under: http://www.goruma.de/Staedte/H/Heidelberg/Kurzinfo.html.
Mannheim, Baden-Wuerttemberg’s second largest city, is located about 40 km from Germersheim. Its convenient location at the junction of the rivers Rhine and Neckar has made this city with its geometrical layout home to Europe’s second largest inland harbour. In addition, over the past couple of years Mannheim has improved the range of cultural attractions on offer and now also hosts a jazz and international film festival, a variety of cultural events with classical, electronic, rock and soul music, numerous museums, galleries, the National Theatre, popular cabarets and vaudeville shows. Mannheim has everything that characterizes a modern, multicultural city of the 21st century. Find out more under:
Mainz is located about 120 km north of Germersheim. It is the hometown of Johannes Gutenberg and the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate. The main campus of the Johannes-Gutenberg Universität is also located in Mainz.
A tour of the old town should always include a visit to the cathedral and the Gutenberg-Museum where visitors can learn about the history of letterpress printing. If possible, try and Mainz between February and March during German’s carnival season when people dress up in colourful costumes and celebrate day and night. The experience is unforgettable!
For further information see the following website: http://www.mainz.de/WGAPublisher/online/html/default/hpkr-5nkgnz.de.html
The following website provides information on all events concerning student life in Mannheim, Heidelberg, and surrounding areas: http://www.schneckenhof.de/.