In the center of Göttingen, you can wander down narrow streets, looking at wide-eaved, half-timbered houses. Many of the facades are carved and painted, and some bear marble plaques noting the famous people who lived inside, such as the more than 40 Nobel Prize winners who temporarily made their home here.
Altes Rathaus (bus: 4, 8, 10, 11, or 14) was originally built for trade purposes around 1270, but it wasn't completed until 1443. Its highlights are the open arcade, the Gothic heating system, and the Great Hall, in which the people of Göttingen once received princes and dignitaries, held courts of law, and gave feasts. Marktplatz, in front of the Town Hall, is the most interesting section of Göttingen. Here, since 1910, stands the "most-kissed girl in the world," the smiling statue of the Ganseliesel on the market fountain. By tradition, every student who attains a degree must plant a kiss on the lips of the little goose-girl.
The Stadtisches Museum, Ritterplan 7-8 (tel. 0551/4002845; bus: 3, 8, or 9), chronicles the history and culture of southern Lower Saxony. The most intriguing exhibits are in the Göttingen history wing on the second floor. Surprisingly, the museum takes an uncompromising look at the town's Nazi past -- most German towns tend to downplay it. Everything is here, from Hitlerjugend memorabilia to pages ripped from the local Nazi-run newspaper. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm and Saturday and Sunday 11am to 5pm. Admission is 2€ for adults and 1€ for children.
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