Offenburg, where the Mission-Net Congress is going to take place, is located in the South West of Germany, adjacent to the French border (opposite Strasbourg) on the edge of the Black Forest.
Since Offenburg does not have a major airport we suggest that you fly into one of the major airports near Offenburg (for example, Strasbourg (France), Stuttgart, Munich or Frankfurt) and then take a train to Offenburg. Further information about various travel arrangements are available here. Please be aware that every participant needs to make his or her own travel arrangements. For some countries the National Motivator has arranged transportation. Please check out your Country's page for further information!
The Congress will take place at Messe Offenburg, the address is:
Schutterwälder Straße 3
1148 Offenburg was first mentioned in historical documents. Remainders of the Roman settlements were found within the city’s territory.
“After World War I Offenburg was occupied by French troups until 1924. Following the rise to power of the NSDAP in the 1930s the Jewish population fell victim to acts of repression that in the pre-war era culminated in the vandalisation of the local synagoge in November 1938. After the war had begun, those members of the Jewish population that had not managed to emigrate were deported in October 1940 to the concentration camp of Gurs and in 1942 from there to Auschwitz.
In World War II, owing to the geographical proximity to the French border, Offenburg was either exposed to temporary evacuations during the Battle of France in 1940 or artillery fire towards the final stages of World War II. Though only being a primary target on one occasion during World War II on 27 November 1944 when a force of more than 300 USAAF B-17 and Liberator bombers attacked the marshalling yards, many tactical attacks were flown during 1944 and 1945 against the railway installations. The French Forces entered Offenburg on 15 April 1945 and hence Offenburg became part of the French Zone of Occupation until the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany in May 1949.
Since then Offenburg has been constantly developing, both in size, inhabitants and prosperity. Between 1971 and 1975 eleven adjacent villages were incorporated into the commune of Offenburg and are now an integral part of the city.
Things to do and see in Offenburg
Fish Market / Sankt-Andreas-Hospital
“The Fischmarkt is a picturesque square in the town centre with the Hirsch Pharmacy, the Lions Fountain (1599) and the Salzhaus (Salt House) (1786). […] Adjacent to the Fischmarkt there is the Sankt-Andreas Hospital, which was founded for the care of the ppor and sick in 1300. The present building dates back to the beginning of the 18th century.”
“The Kapuzinerkloster, Gymnasiumstrasse, was built from 1641. It was the only building in Offenburg that survived the great town fire of 1689. The church with one nave contains late Baroque wooden altars, a Martin organ from the year 1822 and a pulpit in Empire style. It also has a remarkably picturesque cloister with plan wooden columns. The building was completely renovated from 1982 – 1984.”
“On 12 September 1847, the “Resolute Friends of the Constitution” met in the Salmen inn. Before a total of 900 further participants, they agreed the “Demands of the People of Baden”, and thus formulated the first democratic programme in Germany. 155 years after the memorable event, the Salmen was transferred to civic ownership. Federal President Johannes Rau underlined with his presence the significance of this ceremonial act for the whole Federal Republic of Germany. […] The Salmen is an important memorial site for democratic traditions in Germany. It shows that democracy developed not only in the metropolises, but also in the German provinces. And it is still more. It is also a memorial to our Jewish community, which used the hall of the Salmen as its synagogue for nearly 60 years until the November pogrom in 1938.” Nowadays it is used for cultural events like concerts, theater, comedy, readings, ...
On the left: “The 20 metre high aluminium sculpture [called freedom] by the American artist Jonathan Borofsky stands in the “Platz der Verfassungsfreude” in the Culture Forum in Offenburg, a reminder of the important role of the city in the German democracy movement.”
On the right: “In 1984 the large sculpture “Death out of love” by the Moskow artist Vadim Sidur was erected. The wellknown Russian artist donated the model to the town.”
“A barracks from the Imperial times as a place of meeting and artistic activity – the successful re-creation of the Ihlenfeld area is proof of the creative power of modern architecture. The conversion of the former French barracks was the largest structural engineering project of the city in the 20th century. Straddling yesterday and tomorrow, built of steel, glass and concrete, it provides an ambience for the City Library, Music School, Youth Arts School and some 20 associations and groups which have come together since 1992 under the aegis of the umbrella society KiK – Kultur in der Kaserne, Culture in the Barracks.”
Jews Bath (Mikwe)
“Among the five still existing Jews’ Bath of the Middle Ages in the Rhine area the bath at Offenburg with its style elements occupies a special architectural position. Following comprehensive renovation works it was opened to the public in 1978”
Have fun discovering those places! Don’t forget, when you are in a new city often when walking around you find even more to explore!