The symposium will be held in the historical Erlangen castle, which is located in the center of Erlangen. Erlangen castle was built 1702 as the residence of the margrave Friedrich, who is also the founder of the University. Today Erlangen castle is the head office of the University administration and features several halls which are used for official receptions and conferences.

Erlangen - History

Erlangen was first mentioned officially in 1002 under the name of "villa erlangon". In 1361, the village was sold to Emperor Karl IV. Three years later, a city was built close to the village, which in 1374 got its own coining station. In 1398, the municipal rights were confirmed. In 1402, the city was vested to the Hohenzollern as part of the principality of Brandenburg-Kulmbach (from 1603 on Bayreuth), staying under their rule until 1806. Erlangen was the capital of the so-called "Low County" (Unterland) of the principality, encompassing the area until Neustadt an der Aisch and separated from the "High County" (Oberland) by a land corridor. After a four-year French occupation, it finally became part of the Kingdom of Bavaria, together with the Bayreuth prinicipality.

While being part of the Bayreuth county, the first French Huguenot refugees arrived in Erlangen in 1686. The Bayreuth count Christian Ernst built a "new town" (Neustadt) for them. In 1706, the old town (just below the site of the annual Bergkirchweih) was almost completely destroyed by a fire, but soon rebuilt. In 1812, the old and new towns were finally merged into one. In 1742, Count Friedrich of Bayreuth founded a university for the residency town Bayreuth, but due to the rebelliousness of the local students, the university was transferred to Erlangen. Only later did it obtain the name of "Friedrich-Alexander-University" and become a Prussian state university. Famous students of these times were Johann Ludwig Tieck and Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder. Already during the Bavarian municipal reform of 1818, the city was endowed with its own administration. In 1862, the canton administration Erlangen was founded, from which later on arose the administrative district of Erlangen. In 1972, this district was merged with the administrative district of Höchstadt. Erlangen became the capital of this newly founded district Erlangen-Höchstadt. During this municipal reform, Erlangen was effectively enlarged considerably, so that by 1974 it had more than 100,000 inhabitants.

Erlangen - Bergkirchweih

The Bergkirchweih is an annual beer festival similar to the Oktoberfest in Munich, but smaller in scope, and therefore more intimate. It takes place during the twelve days before and after Pentecost, under the spring trees of the "Berg" and draws more than one million visitors each year. American soldiers from the former Ferris Barracks in Erlangen called it the "Strawberry Fest", although it is much more commonly known by local residents as "Bergkerwa" (pronounced "bairg'-care-va" in english).