A home for creatives
FAU’s two main sites, the cities of Erlangen and Nuremberg, are located at the heart of the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region. Both Erlangen with its 100,000 inhabitants, former home of the Huguenots and a key location for Siemens, and Nuremberg, a city with a population of half a million and a metropolitan flair, have their own unique charms. The opera, theatre and museums, along with a lively pub scene and night life, offer plenty of opportunities to relax after a day in the lecture theatre, lab or library.
Erlangen is one of the best preserved examples of Baroque city planning in Germany and has an incredibly rich history. It gained its reputation as a cosmopolitan city in the 17th century when it became a second home to the Huguenots. The atmosphere is as international today as it was back then.
This is partly due to FAU with its 38,771 students and 13,000 staff from all over the world, and partly due to the international companies which are based in Erlangen and the surrounding area. The mixture of people of all ages, both native Franconians and those who have moved to the area, has ensured that the savoir-vivre of the former French immigrants is still present today.
In light of this, a diverse range of cultural events can be found in Erlangen today. Acoustic art and puppet theatre are just as at home here as the poetry festival, the International Comic Salon, and of course the Erlanger Bergkirchweih – the city’s beloved beer festival which is popular with everyone, not just the students. All of this, combined with the special flair of Erlangen’s old town and the Schlossgarten park in the centre of the city, makes Bavaria’s smallest city a unique location for a university.
Outside of Bavaria and Germany, the first things people associate with Nuremberg are often the Christmas market and Lebkuchen, the city’s gingerbread-like speciality, followed by the Castle and the old town’s half-timbered houses.
But Nuremberg is also a modern metropolis which has plenty more to offer. Many industrial companies and service providers are located here and it is an international transport hub, trade fair centre and a key location for academic work and research. Nuremberg is also very concious of its 950-year history.
Visitors to the city see evidence of its importance as a medieval imperial city and trade centre in its Castle, churches and half-timbered houses. Nuremberg was also home to many important artists, such as Albrecht Dürer, Veit Stoß and Hans Sachs. Of course, the city also recognises the unpleasant side of its past. The documentation centre deals with the city’s role during the Third Reich as the location of the Nuremberg Rallies.
The highlights of the cultural calendar in Erlangen include the Hörkunstfestival (acoustic art festival), International Comic Salon, Figurentheater-Festival (puppet theatre festival), Poetenfest (poetry festival), and the theatre and performance festival ‘ARENA… of the young Arts’. A wide range of cultural institutions open their doors to visitors during the Blue Night in Nuremberg and once every two years the Long Night of Sciences gives the public a chance to take a look inside research institutions in Erlangen, Nuremberg and Fürth.
In summary, the mixture of academia, innovative companies, art and culture makes the region the perfect place for creative minds. There is also plenty on offer for keen athletes and nature lovers. Fränkische Schweiz, a paradise for climbers and walkers located to the north of Erlangen, is on FAU’s doorstep and water sports enthusiasts will love the Franconian Lakes to the south of Nuremberg with the University’s water sports centre.