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Göttingen(göt`ĭng-ən), city (1994 pop. 128,420), Lower Saxony, central Germany, on the Leine River. It is noted for its university, founded in 1734 (opened 1737) by Elector George Augustus (George II of England). Manufactures include printed materials, optical and precision instruments, textiles, and aluminum. Known in the 10th cent., Göttingen was granted (1210) a city charter and joined the Hanseatic League. When, in 1837, King Ernest Augustus of Hanover revoked the liberal constitution of Hanover, seven professors at the Univ. of Göttingen issued a strong protest and were summarily dismissed. They were the brothers Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, the founders of comparative philology; the historian and critic G. G. Gervinus; the historian F. C. Dahlmann; the physicist W. E. Weber; the Orientalist and theologian G. H. A. von Ewald; and the jurist Wilhelm Eduard Albrecht. This celebrated incident led to the decline of the university's reputation. It was revived at the end of the 19th cent. by the growth of world-famous departments of mathematics and physics. The university's reputation in mathematics dates back to 1807, when Karl Friedrich Gauss, who was born in the city, began to teach there. Göttingen was the seat of the Göttinger Dichterbund or Göttinger Hainbund, a group of early Romantic poets, formed there in 1772 by J. H. Voss and others. The city was virtually undamaged in World War II and has retained numerous historic buildings, including a 14th-century town hall, half-timbered houses, and student taverns. There are several museums.
a city in the Federal Republic of Germany, located in Lower Saxony on the Leine River. Population, 114,000 (1969). The city’s chief industries are metalworking and the manufacture of electrical and optical equipment and scientific precision instruments. Göttingen also has printing firms and publishing houses, and it is one of Germany’s major scientific centers. The city is an important scholarly center, with a division of the Academy of Sciences, a university (founded in 1737), the Max Planck Scientific Society, and an aerodynamics research center.
In the Middle Ages, Göttingen was an important cloth manufacturing center, and it was a member of the Hanseatic League from the 14th century. At that time it was best known as a university town. As part of the province of Hannover, Göttingen joined Prussia in 1866.