Otto von Guericke (1602-1686) has his place among the city's most famous sons. From 1646 to 1676 he was Lord Mayor of Magdeburg and he also made a name for himself as diplomat and scientist. In 1907, the City Council decided to erect a monument on a square in front of the main watch house in order to commemorate Magdeburg's universal genius. The famous sculptor Carl Echtermeyer created the bronze statue showing a sitting Otto-von Guericke, and the artist mounted the statue upon a pedestal made of natural stone and decorated with reliefs. The decorations recall the city before its destruction in 1631 and they also show von Guericke's famous experiment with the Magdeburg Hemispheres: A teams of sixteen horses could not pull apart the two joined hemispheres when the air within had been evacuated. It was probably in 1656 or 1657 that the hemisphere experiment with horses was performed in Magdeburg for the first time. With a bit of luck, you can even witness the celebration of an old tradition in front of the Guericke monument. Young scientists honoured with the conferral of a doctorate by the Magdeburg Otto von Guericke University use to dress up in historical costumes and celebrate their recently acquired academic degree right here.