Gottingen , a city of Prussia, in the province and 57 m. S. by E. of the city of Hanover; pop. in 1871, 15,841. It is the seat of a university (Georgia Augusta), which was founded in 1734 by King George II. of England and elector of Hanover, and inaugurated Sept. 17, 1737. Through the eminence of several of its professors, among whom were Gesner, Heyne, Michaelis, and the two Eichhorns, it became toward the end of the century the most famous university in Europe. Its fortunes were not materially changed until the foundation of the university of Berlin (1810), which proved a formidable rival. The students, however, still numbered 3,000 in 1825, but the political disturbances of 1831 caused a great diminution in the attendance, which in 1834 was reduced to about 900. Yet the university could still boast of a brilliant array of names on its staff, among whom were Blumen-bach, Ewald, Mitscherlich, Muller, Gervinus, Heeren, and the brothers Grimm. The new university building was inaugurated on the day of its 100th anniversary in 1837, but before the end of the year the government expelled seven of the ablest professors, who had protested against the abrogation of the Hanoverian constitution by King Ernest. Two of the expelled professors, Ewald and Weber, resumed their functions in 1848, but Gottingen has never recovered from the shock which it had received, although it numbered in 1873 101 professors and 925 students.
The university library comprises 360,000 volumes and 5,000 manuscripts; it surpasses almost all other German libraries in its copious collections of modern works, and is one of the best arranged libraries in Europe. The academy of sciences comprises sections for mathematics, natural sciences, and history. The Gelehrte Anzeigen, the oldest learned periodical in Germany, is published under its auspices. The museum of natural history contains a collection bequeathed to it by Blumenbach, including human skulls of natives of all quarters of the globe, a large collection of coins, and some few works of art. Connected with the university are seminaries for theology, philology, mathematics, and natural sciences; hospitals, cliniques, and an anatomical theatre; a botanical and economical garden, a school for veterinary surgeons, a chemical laboratory, a fine physiological institution, an observatory, and an agricultural school. Prominent among the other educational establishments is the industrial school of Wagemann. There are five Lutheran churches, including the university church, a Reformed and a Roman Catholic church, and a synagogue. The charitable institutions are numerous.
The manufactures consist of cloth, woollen stuff, surgical instruments, soap, leather, turnery, gold and silver wares, etc.