Idyllically located on the northern bank of the Neckar River is Hölderlin Tower – the emblem of Tübingen. The yellow tower with the pointed roof is flanked by a weeping willow and in the summer the Stocherkähne (punts) below it. The tower was built in the late 18th century on the base of an old tower that was part of the city fortification.
The path from the Neckar Bridge to Hölderlin Tower leads over the “Zwingel”, or the space between the inner and outer city walls. The tower is named after the poet Friedrich Hölderlin (1770–1843), who lived in the tower from 1807 to his death on June 7, 1843.
Hölderlin studied together with Hegel and Schelling in the Protestant Seminary and started writing poetry during his studies. Hölderlin was successful as a private tutor and freelance writer. Unhappy and restless in his numerous positions, Hölderlin was brought to the first Tübingen University Clinic in 1806, where he was diagnosed as “mad”.
After it was determined that further hospitalization would not improve Hölderlin’s condition, he was taken in by the family of master carpenter, Ernst Zimmer, and given the room in the tower on the Neckar. “His poetic spirit still shines through” wrote Ernst Zimmer about Höderlin’s time in the tower. At the time he was publishing his work under the pseudonym “Scardanelli”. Hölderlin’s work holds a special place in German literature between the classical and the romantic periods. The building that the tower belongs to was burnt to the ground in 1875 and was rebuilt to its original form. Today there is a literary memorial and a museum in Hölderlin Tower.
Opening Hours: Tues–Fri 10–12 a.m., 3–5 p.m.; Sat, Sun, holidays 2–5 p.m.
Public Guided Tours: Sat, Sun, holidays at 5 p.m.