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Snapshots of Life in Erlangen, Germany

The Markgrafenschloss in Erlangen, Germany.

“This is a company town,” the hotel desk attendant in Erlangen, Germany told me. “People here either work for the company or its suppliers.”

As I wandered the quaint streets and explored local life in Erlangen, Germany, I noticed they were all related to the company in some way. My hotel on Werner von Siemens Strasse was no exception.

Aerial view of life in Erlangen, Germany, including the Siemens Healthineers MedMuseum.

Aerial view of Erlanagen, Germany

But while the Siemens company dominates this town in the Franconia Valley in both size and importance, Erlangen is also home to an important medical university: The Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. The students gather on the lawns of the Schloss Garden to read or play sports (soccer and a form of tight-rope walking known as slacklining between trees seem to be the favorites).

The divided sidewalks throughout town give the right-of-way to bicycles and you need to be careful not be run over by the two-wheel terrors.

Life in Erlangen, Germany is characterized by sculptures  and bike racks.

Sculptures and bike racks in Erlanagen

Life in Erlangen, Germany takes on a slow pace. Time just seems to move slowly here. Given the local university and an international population, there are restaurants in town from all over the world, but Italian cuisine seems to be particularly popular here. Long, relaxed lunches and protracted dinners are the norm in Erlangen. The days are filled with the tranquil atmosphere of a slower life in Erlangen.

The small details on the buildings add character to life in Erlangen.

Details on the buildings in Erlangen

Despite being a workaday factory town that was essentially obliterated in World War II, there is still a charm here. Sure, Erlangen lacks the medieval charms of neighboring Nuremberg or Bamberg. And you won’t find the grand palaces and majestic views of neighboring Wurzburg, but its uniqueness comes through in the small details found in the corners of this town. We found some older appearing buildings in Erlangen, but one of them had a corner stone from 1952.

A house in Erlangen, Germany.

House in Erlangen

For tourists and visitors, there aren’t many things to do in Erlangen, Germany. The one real highlight in town is the Siemens Healthineers MedMuseum (Siemens Unternehmensmuseum für Medizinische Technik). While owned and operated by the company, the MedMuseum really is the history of medicine and medical innovation.

The Siemens Healthineers MedMuseum in Erlangen, Germany.

However, Erlangen, Germany is perhaps best known for the International Beer Festival (known as the Bergkirchweih) which takes place every Pentecost. Obviously not as well known as as Oktoberfest in Munich, the Erlangen International Beer Festival has existed since 1755 and is for serious beer aficionados. For the 12-day festival, it is one of Europe’s open-air beer gardens for over 12,000 people and receives over a million visitors per year.

The park in Erlangen, Germany.

Life here is positively bucolic. Visiting this little town in Franconia is less about the things to do in Erlangen than it is about experiencing the daily life in Erlangen.

A few more photos:

Fountain in Erlangen, Germany.

Main street in Erlangen, Germany.

Classic car in Erlangen, Germany.

Church in Erlangen, Germany.

Sculpture in Erlangen, Germany.

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What do you think about Snapshots of Life in Erlangen, Germany?

  1. elaine @ July 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    your photo of “A Quiet Square in Erlangen” reminds me of a Google Map pin drop. =)

  2. Lance July 17, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    Thanks Elaine! I thought the same thing when I saw it.

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