Seminar Visits

Pre-seminar visits – Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bibliothèque national et universitaire (BNU)

The Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire de Strasbourg with its more than three million items is one of the largest libraries in France, second only to the Bibliothèque nationale. It acts as a legal deposit library for the region of Alsace and as university library of the University of Strasbourg. The interdisciplinary research library is primarily focused on the humanities.

The library was built from 1889 to 1894 after designs by August Hartel and Skjøld Neckelmann at the Kaiserplatz (today's place de la République). The architects were inspired by historicist ideas and incorporated elements of the Italian Renaissance. The building, especially its interior, was heavily damaged during World War II and was rebuild between 1951 and 1956.

After four years of renovations, it reopened in November 2014. The renovations aimed at bringing the BNU in line with the 21st century requirements for libraries, especially with regards to its lighting concept and climate control.

More information can be found on the library's website.


André Malraux Public Library

The Médiathèque André-Malraux is Strasbourg's largest public library and part of a network of twenty-eight municipal media centres and libraries. It is situated on the Malraux peninsula near Austerlitz harbour and the Place de l'Etoile.

The library was build inside the shell of an old warehouse and inaugurated in 2008. It was designed by architects Jean-Marc Ibos and Myrto Vitart, who set out to keep the general appearance of the redbrick building, which dated back to the 1930s, while adding a glass and metal facade. Two large derricks standing outside the building serve as a reminder of its original role.

Inside, the media library is built over six floors, with a surface area of 11,800 m² and 20 km of shelving which are used to stock over 160,000 documents.

More information on the library's homepage.


Meeting points

Meeting point for bus transfer from Freiburg to Strasbourg:
Konzerthaus Freiburg (Konrad-Adenauer-Platz 1, 79098 Freiburg, cf.
at 08:00 a.m., return to Freiburg at about 05:15 p.m.

Meeting points in Strasbourg:
Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire: 6 Place de la République, 67000 Strasbourg, cf. at 10:00 a.m.

Médiathèque André Malraux: Presqu'île André Malraux, 67100 Strasbourg, cf. at 14:00 a.m.

see also:


Visits to Freiburg area – Wednesday, April 13, 2016

St Peter's Monastery

The Benedictine abbey of St Peter is situated at the Black Forest Panorama Road, about 20km from Freiburg. For more than 160 years the abbey was used as a seminary, since 2006 it serves as a spiritual retreat for the arch-diocese Freiburg. The former abbey with its rococo library and grand baroque church counts among the most impressive examples of baroque architecture in all of southern Germany.

The library of the former Benedictine abbey was completed in 1752, built after plans by the architect Peter Thumb from the Vorarlberg region. Build in the rokoko style, it is adorned by the works of two notable monastic masons – Christian Wenzinger and Matthias Faller. The magnificent ceiling frescoes were painted by Benedikt Gambs.

You can find more information (in German) on the monastery here.

Meeting point for bus transfer from Freiburg to St. Peter:
Konzerthaus Freiburg (Konrad-Adenauer-Platz 1, 79098 Freiburg, cf.
at 08:00 a.m., return to Freiburg at about 12:00 a.m.


German Diary Archive

The German Diary Archive has its seat in the Old Town Hall of Emmerdingen and serves as an archive for contemporary, personal documents collected from all German-speaking regions. Since 1998, diaries, memoires and letters are collected and archived here and made accessible to scholars as well as to the public.

One motivation for the Archive's effort is rooted in the more and more noticeable disappearance of such documents in the age of e-mail, twitter and blogs. Against these ephemeral communications the Diary Archive wishes curate a collection of messages reflective of a more leisurely and, arguably, more intimate nature.

More information can be found on their page.

Meeting point for bus transfer from Freiburg to Emmendingen:
Konzerthaus Freiburg (Konrad-Adenauer-Platz 1, 79098 Freiburg, cf.
at 08:00 a.m., return to Freiburg at about 12:00 a.m.


Quartier Vauban

The Vauban district is a shining example of Green City Freiburg: thanks to an ambitious environmental policy and its citizens' commitment to renewable energy and a strong sense of community, the district is striving to achieve sustainable and eco-friendly urban development.

Covering an area of 38 hectares, Vauban was built on a site formerly occupied until 1991 by barracks of the French military. Committed residents played a significant role in driving forward the district's development, resulting in the founding of the Forum Vauban in 1994. The Stadtteilverein Vauban e.V. has been supporting citizen participation and neighbourhood work since 2005. Both associations have been and continue to be influential in shaping the sustainable district. As a result, the planning process was expanded to include important ecological and social topics, and private developers and cooperative residential projects were given priority over bigger developers and investors.

More information can be found here:,Lde/208732.html

Please take tram 3 from Stadttheater, direction Vauban, at 9:06 a.m. to Paula-Modersohn-Platz, arrival at 09:20 a.m. and collect an individual ticket inside the tram (Einzelfahrschein, Preisstufe 1) at 2,20 EUR.

way back: tram 3, direction Haid to Stadttheater. Please collect an individual ticket inside the tram at 2,20 EUR.


Post-seminar visit – Saturday, April 16, 2016

Vitra Campus, Weil am Rhein

Vitra Campus: The remarkable ensemble of contemporary architecture brings together the commercial and cultural aspects of the Swiss furniture manufacturer: for decades, the buildings designed by renowned architects have made the production site a magnet for fans of design and architecture from all over the world.

The architectural park at the Campus in Weil am Rhein is as characteristic of Vitra as the home and office furniture that it produces. In 1981, after a major fire destroyed most of the factory buildings built in the 1950s, this site was developed into a heterogeneous ensemble of contemporary architecture.

The Vitra Design Museum is among the world’s leading museums of design. It is dedicated to the research and presentation of design, past and present, and examines design’s relationship to architecture, art and everyday culture. In the main museum building by Frank Gehry, the museum annually mounts two major temporary exhibitions. Smaller parallel shows are presented in the Vitra Design Museum Gallery, a neighbouring exhibition space. Often developed with renowned designers, many of the museum’s exhibitions cover highly relevant contemporary themes, such as future technologies, sustainability or questions like mobility and social awareness. Others address historical aspects or protagonists.


Meeting point for bus transfer from Freiburg to Weil am Rhein:
Konzerthaus Freiburg (Konrad-Adenauer-Platz 1, 79098 Freiburg, cf.
at 08:30 a.m., return to Freiburg at about 15:00 p.m.

Address of Vitra Design Museum:
Charles-Eames-Str. 2
79576 Weil am Rhein

From the Vitra.Museum, you can reach the Airport (EuroAirport Basel / Mulhouse / Freiburg; ca. 45 min.) or the German or French railway station in Basel (ca. 30 min.) easily on your own via public transport; details during the seminar.

At Vitra Museum, you will have a guided tour (at 10:00 a.m. or 10:20 a.m.) which lasts one hour.