23 November 1999
Extra Highlighting for the Attractions in the Old University Building

Students' prison an integral part of the University's history – Museum has interesting holdings and exhibitions – Academy of Senior Citizens doing sterling work – Students' prison open Saturdays from next summer – Vice-Rector Horner: "Tourist guides can approach us any time".

The University of Heidelberg is setting out to systematically heighten public awareness of the attractions it has to offer in the Old University building. "The significance of the Students' Prison is only really appreciable against the background of the 614-year-old history of the University," says Chief Administrative Officer Romana Gräfin vom Hagen. That is why from now on the three attractions can be viewed as a "three-in-one package". Special highlighting is to be given to the Museum with its interesting holdings and exhibitions, at the same time emphasising the sterling work of the Academy of Senior Citizens whose members act as supervisory attendants at the Museum in an honorary capacity.

In the past the Students' Prison has been the focal point of interest for tourists. Established in 1790 it served up to the beginning of World War One as a "penitentiary" for reprobate students whose incarceration could last anything from 3 to 14 days depending on the severity of their misdemeanours. So far, the Great Hall – a focal point in the academic life of the University – was only open for tourist inspection after prior contact with the Museum personnel, while the Museum itself has tended to be overlooked or neglected. "So now we're offering a three-in-one option providing access to all attractions on one ticket." (Romana vom Hagen)

For groups the tickets cost 4 marks a head. Individuals pay 5 marks. "With the financial situation in the public sector as tight as it is at the moment," said Gräfin vom Hagen when asked to comment on the entrance fee charged, "the University has to make sure it covers its costs." Without the much-appreciated honorary help from the Academy of Senior Citizens it would not be possible to keep charges so low. Plans are afoot to make the sites in question even more attractive for tourists.

Open Saturdays from 1 April 2000

In the winter months (November to March) there are significantly fewer tourists coming to Heidelberg and the three University attractions are only open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays to Fridays. But starting next summer, they are to be accessible six days a week. From 1 April next, the Great Hall, the Museum and the Prison will be open to visitors on Saturdays as well (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). "We're very glad to be able to offer the public improved access and are hoping for a big response," said Gräfin vom Hagen, adding that the Heidelberg Tourist Board had been informed of the move. By opening its doors on Saturdays the University is also fulfilling a long-held wish on the part of the official tourist guides. "They can approach us on the matter at any time," said Vice-Rector Prof. Dr. Heinz Horner.

Please address any inquiries to:
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone 06221/542310, fax: 542317
michael.schwarz@rektorat.uni-heidelberg.de


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