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CERN School of Computing 2009 17 August-28 August 2009 - Göttingen, Germany







Lecturer Bios


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Pauliner Kirche

Location of the opening ceremony

The Pauliner Church – which now forms part of the historical building compound of Göttingen State and University Library – is an architectural monument of the highest rank.

It was the first church in Göttingen built in Gothic style and was used by the Dominicans as part of their monastery (founded in 1294). The building reflects the architectural tradition of the mendicant order.


When the Reformation started in Göttingen in 1529, the Dominicans had to struggle for the survival of their monastery. Since the town council had no authority over parish churches – these were under ducal patronage – the city leaders decided to hold Lutheran services in the mendicant churches, in particular in the Dominican church, as it was the town’s largest. Thus, the Pauliner Church was the place in Göttingen where the earliest protestant baptism was administered.


After secularization in the sixteenth century, a grammar school was set up in the former Dominican monastery and soon enjoyed widespread reputation. The school formed the heart of what later became the university (founded in 1737) and its library (founded in 1734 already).


Initially the church was used for religious services, but soon these were held elsewhere since there was not sufficient space for the rapidly growing library. Gradually it took over the entire building complex including the Pauliner Church itself.

In 1812, Jérôme Napoleon had a mezzanine floor inserted into the church. The upper storey thus created was transformed into a library hall, in a harmonic blend of Gothic and Classic style as it can be seen again today.


Goethe, Heinrich Heine, and the Grimm Brothers visited the library frequently. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was one of the most ardent admirers of the library and a keen user of its holdings. For Christian Gottlob Heyne, professor and librarian in Göttingen, the "Historical Hall" (the name stems from the fact that the history books were kept here), constituted the culmination of decades of hard work. Heinrich Heine made this hall the climax of the library dream in his Harzreise.


Since moving into its new building in 1992, Göttingen State and University Library has used the hall as an exhibition room. Successful exhibitions of national importance, such as "Wagnis der Aufklärung – Georg Christoph Lichtenberg" [Venturing the Enlightenment – Georg Christoph Lichtenberg], "700 Jahre Paulinerkirche" [Seven-hundred years Pauliner Church], and "Goethe, Göttingen und die Wissenschaft" [Goethe, Göttingen, and science] were presented there.


With "Gutenberg und seine Wirkung" [Gutenberg and his effects] in June 2000, the hall was reopened to the public again in its historical form – with the addition of the air-conditioned and high-security Schatzhaus, allowing for the display of very valuable items. The Pauliner Church is not only a venue for exhibitions; it provides a special ambience for public events as well.



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The Pauliner Church was conference site for the first German-wide D-GRID all-hands meeting in September 2007 in Göttingen.
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