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Conference Excursions

There will be a choice of excursions on Friday afternoon.

1) The Castle of Rauischholzhausen: a fairy-tale manor house with an English flair

The Castle of Rauischholzhausen was designed by the architect Carl Schaefer, who supervised its construction from 1871 to 1878, and was soon after redesigned and redecorated by two students of the prominent German architect, Gottfried Semper (architect of the famous opera house in Dresden, the Semperoper). The main building, reminiscent of an English manor house, and the half-timbered wing of the building were the last to be completed in 1878. Today, the castle is most famous for its fairy-tale design and its spacious landscaped garden, which contains almost 300 different types of trees, two streams and several ponds connected by artificial cascading waterfalls.
For centuries, the castle lands belonged to the Lords Rau of Holzhausen and were later on sold to the German ambassador in Madrid. After the Second World War, the castle was confiscated by the allied forces and was given to the state of Hesse. Today, the castle is a regular host of conferences and other events of the Justus Liebig University of Giessen.
Our tour will include the Rauischholzhausen's classic English-style "Cream Tea" (tea or coffee with scones) and a 30-minute guided walk through the castle's facilities, after which we will have some time to walk through the park and enjoy the (hopefully) bright May weather.

2) Trip to Wetzlar

On this trip we will visit the historic town of Wetzlar on the banks of the River Lahn. A guided tour leads us through the tightly woven ensemble of historic buildings and houses in the Old Town with its half-timbered houses and its unique mixture of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings. We will visit the cathedral, Wetzlar's famous landmark, which dates back to 1280 and incorporates many different styles of German ecclesiastical architecture. The town was also temporary home to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (see picture. 1749-1832) in 1772 and it was the local beauty, Charlotte von Buff, who inspired Goethe to write his famous tragedy Werther. We will wander in Goethe's steps and visit the Lottehaus where their romantic encounter took place. There will also be time to stroll through the picturesque streets and discover local products in the small shops.

3) Botanical Gardens

This trip will take you to the Botanical Gardens of Giessen. You will be taken through the outdoor facilities and the greenhouses by a tour guide who will tell the story of the Botanical Gardens, which dates back to 1609, and show you a number of the 7,500 species of plants the gardens have to offer. The Botanical Gardens of Giessen are the oldest in Germany that are still situated in their original location. When the Botanical Gardens were founded, they lay at the eastern borders of the former ramparts of the city. Over the centuries, the town of Giessen has grown around it and so today the gardens belong to the centre. Before 1609, there were already three botanical gardens in Germany: in Heidelberg, Leipzig and Eichstätt. However, these had to be relocated several times in their history, which makes the Botanical Gardens of Giessen a unique attraction.
Landgrave Ludwig V founded the University of Giessen in 1607 and donated the gardens two years later. In the early years, the gardens were mainly used by the medical faculty, one of the first faculties of the University, for research purposes, as botany was understood mainly as phytomedicine in those times. Today’s purpose of the gardens is to serve in the area of research and the teaching of biology, agricultural science, geography, and human and veterinary medicine. However, it is also a place of cultural interest and a beautiful venue for concerts, exhibitions and the popular Sunday afternoon guided tours.
After our tour, there will be time to visit some of Giessen's attractions, such as the "Altes Schloss", the Mathematikum or the Liebig Museum. If you like, you can also use the time for a stroll through Giessen's shopping streets, which also have a lot to offer.

Riversight Gala dinner (Frankfurt)

On Saturday evening, we will be afloat on the River Main in Frankfurt for a “Riversight Dinner & Dance”.


Post-Conference Excursion to Marburg

In this picturesque town about 20 miles north of Giessen, we will enjoy a guided tour featuring two of the most prominent former inhabitants on Sunday afternoon: the Brothers Grimm (German: Die Gebrüder Grimm; Jacob 1785-1863 and Wilhelm 1786-1859, who were both law students in Marburg. The tour guide will tell the story of their lives and work in Marburg and also recount some of their tales. The Brothers Grimm are among the best-known storytellers in Europe. Their work includes e.g. "Rumpelstiltskin", "Snow White", "Rapunzel", "Hansel and Gretel", "The Frog Prince", "Sleeping Beauty", and "Cinderella". What is generally not so well known is the Grimm Brothers' work on the Deutsches Wörterbuch (German Dictionary), an extensive work on the German language, which was started by the Brothers Grimm in 1838 and finished in 1961. The dictionary contains 33 volumes (including a supplement with references added in 1971) and includes about 350,000 main entries.