Tübingen is a traditional university town in central Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated 30 km south of the state capital, Stuttgart, on a ridge between the Neckar and Ammer rivers. About one in ten people living in Tübingen is a student.Immediately north of the city lies the Schönbuch, a densely wooded nature park. The Swabian Alb mountains rise about 20 kilometres to the southeast of Tübingen.
The Ammer and Steinlach rivers discharge into the Neckar river, which flows right through the town, just south of the medieval old town in an easterly direction. Large parts of the city are hilly, with the Schlossberg and the Österberg in the city centre and the Schnarrenberg and Herrlesberg, among others, rising immediately adjacent to the inner city.The highest point is at about 500 m above sea level near Bebenhausen in the Schönbuch forest, while the lowest point is 305 m in the town's eastern Neckar valley. Nearby the Botanical Gardens of the city's university, in a small forest called Elysium, lies the geographical centre of the state of Baden-Württemberg.Tübingen is the capital of an eponymous district and an eponymous administrative region,before 1973 called Südwürttemberg-Hohenzollern.Tübingen is, with nearby Reutlingen, one of the two centre cities of the Neckar-Alb region.Administratively, it is not part of the Stuttgart Region, bordering it to the north and west. However, the city and northern parts of its district can be regarded as belonging to that region in a wider regional and cultural context.The area was probably first settled in the 12th millennium BC. The Romans left some traces here in AD 85, when they built a Limes frontier wall at the Neckar. Tübingen itself dates from the 6th or 7th century, when the region was populated by the Alamanni. Some even argue that the Battle of Solicinium was fought at Spitzberg, a mountain in Tübingen, back in AD 367, though there is no evidence for this.In 1007, Hugo I, Count of Tübingen, was invested with the royal estates of Holzgerlingen and the Imperial forest at Schönbuch. The city first appears in official records in 1191, and the local castle, Hohentübingen, has records going back to 1078 when it was besieged by Henry IV, King of Germany. From 1146, Count Hugo V was promoted to count palatine, as Hugo I. The concept of a county palatine was no longer connected to the traditional task of supervising a royal palace, but became a kind of supervisory role, representing the king within the tribal duchies, being second only to the duke within the duchy of Swabia. This was accompanied by rights of justice, hunting, customs and mints, as can be seen from coins minted in Tübingen since 1185.Hugo II gained Bregenz and other property in Raetia, Tettnang and Sigmaringen by marriage and, in 1171, founded Marchtal Abbey; his second son founded the Montfort dynasty, as Hugo I, Count of Montfort. In 1183, his first son, Rudolph I founded Bebenhausen Abbey. In 1264, Gießen, acquired with the county of Gleiberg by Rudolph I's marriage, was sold to the landgrave of Hesse.By 1231, the city was a civitas indicating recognition of civil liberties and a court system. Its name ends with the familiar suffix -ingen, indicating it was originally settled by the Alemanic tribes. In 1262, an Augustinian monastery was established by Pope Alexander IV in Tübingen, in 1272, a Franciscan monastery followed. The latter existed until Ulrich, Duke of Württemberg disestablished it in 1535 in course of the Protestant Reformation, which the Duchy of Württemberg followed. In 1300, a Latin school was founded.In 1342, the county palatine was sold to Ulrich III, Count of Württemberg and incorporated into the County of Württemberg and has since been part of the Duchy of Württemberg, the Kingdom of Württemberg , the Free People's State of Württemberg and Baden-Württemberg.Tübingen, Neckar front. Left: plane trees growing on the Neckarinsel. Far end: the yellow tower where Hölderlin lived in utter seclusion.Shops lining town square.Between 1470 and 1483, St. George's Collegiate Church was built. The collegiate church offices provided the opportunity for what soon afterwards became the most significant event in Tübingen's history: the founding of the Eberhard Karls University by Duke Eberhard im Bart of Württemberg in 1477, thus making it one of the oldest universities in Central Europe. It became soon renowned as one of the most influential places of learning in the Holy Roman Empire, especially for theology.