Marburg’s 80,000 inhabitants make it the largest city in central Hessen. Its high proportion of students also makes it a very young city. The Philipp University of Marburg, founded in 1527, is the oldest Protestant university in Germany. The first Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Emil von Behring, a Marburg professor. He founded the Behring works, which live on in global pharmaceutical companies such as CSL Behring, Novartis, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics and Pharmaserv. Intensive co-operation between the university and pharmaceutical companies has helped Marburg develop into an internationally important centre for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. Major research institutions such as the Max Planck Institute and the BSL 4 high-security laboratory have also moved to the city. These high-tech structures find a backdrop in the painstakingly restored old town with its historic streets, picturesque alleyways and the largest botanical garden in Europe. All this has helped Marburg win numerous awards for conservation and sensitive town planning since the 1970s. Marburg Castle, with its knights’ hall, and the early gothic Church of St Elisabeth are always worth a visit. There is a rich cultural scene featuring many musical performances and 3TM, central Hessen’s largest city fair, on the second weekend in July.