Giessen, spelled Gießen in German ( [ˈɡiːsn̩]), is a town in the German federal state (Bundesland) of Hesse, capital of both the district of Giessen and the administrative region of Giessen. The population is approximately 78,000, with roughly 24,000 university students.
The name comes from Giezzen, as it was first referred to in 1197, which refers to the position of the town between several rivers, lakes and streams. The largest river in Giessen is the Lahn, which divides the town in two parts (west and east), roughly 50 kilometres (31 miles) north of Frankfurt am Main.
In 1969, the town hosted the ninth Hessentag state festival.
Giessen came into being as a moated castle in 1152 built by Count Wilhelm von Gleiberg, although the history of the community in the northeast and in today's suburb called "Wieseck" dates back to 775. The town became part of Hesse-Marburg in 1567, passing to Hesse-Darmstadt in 1604. The University of Giessen was founded in 1607. Giessen was included within the Grand Duchy of Hesse created in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. After the First World War, it was part of the People's State of Hesse.
During the Second World War, a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp was located in the Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Licher Straße. Heavy bombing destroyed about 75% of Gießen in 1944, including most of the town's historic buildings. It became part of the modern state of Hesse after the war.
In 1977, Giessen was merged with the neighbouring city Wetzlar to form the new city of Lahn. However, this attempt to reorganize the administration was reversed in 1979. It was bounded to Darmstadt (region) between 1945 and 1981 until Giessen (region) was founded on 1 January 1981.
An American military base was located in Giessen after the Second World War. The U.S. Army Garrison of Gießen had a population of 500 Americans. The base is a converted German Army Air Field which is reflected in some of the buildings including the housing area. A theatre, known as the Keller Theatre, is a converted German Army Officers' Club. As of 28 September 2007, the Giessen Depot and all other communities in the greater Giessen area were turned back over to the local German authorities.
After the war, the city was twinned with Winchester, UK.
Giessen is twinned with:Akademischer Forstgarten Gießen, botanical gardens
Botanischer Garten Gießen, established in 1609, is the oldest botanical garden in Germany still at its original location.
Old Cemetery, (German: Alter Friedhof), is the resting place of Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen and Hugo von Ritgen.
Liebig-Museum was established in 1920 to honor the chemist Justus von Liebig.
Mathematikum was established in 2002, offering a huge variety of mathematical hands-on exhibits.
University of Giessen
Rubber Island is a residential area near the Lahn River.
Giessen is home to the basketball club Giessen 46ers, five-time champion of the Basketball Bundesliga. Its home games take place at the Sporthalle Gießen-Ost. Also, Giessen has an American football team called Giessen Golden Dragons.Ernst Dieffenbach, born Johann Karl Ernst Dieffenbach (27 January 1811 – 1 October 1855), German physician, geologist and naturalist
Georg Christian Dieffenbach (1822-1901), German poet and theologian
Johann Friedrich Dieffenbach (1792–1847), German surgeon
Joseph Dieffenbach (1796–1863), German gardener
MBML: The International Graduate Programme "Molecular Biology and Medicine of the Lung" of the University of Giessen Lung Center
University hospital Giessen und Marburg
Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences
University of Giessen
Manisch is a dialect of rotwelsch spoken in and around Giessen by people in lower income neighbourhoods, some of which are known as "Eulenkopf", "Gummiinsel", "Heyerweg" and "Margaretenhütte". Approximately 700–750 residents spoke the dialect fluently as of 1976. Although the dialect still influences the Giessen vernacular, it is nearly extinct in terms of fluent speakers.
Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb". (Marine West Coast Climate).