In 1885 the Prussian government established the districts of Göttingen, Münden and Duderstadt within the Province of Hanover. These districts existed for 88 years, before they were merged in 1973 to form the present district of Göttingen. In 2016, it will be reformed by the addition of the Osterode District.
The western half of the district is occupied by the Weserbergland mountains. The Weser River receives it name near the town of Hannoversch Münden, where the Fulda joins the Werra. Further east the Leine river runs through the district from south to north.
In the upper part is the heraldic lion of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Below is a combination of the arms of the former districts, which were merged in 1973 to form the present district: the shield of Münden, the anchor of Göttingen, and the wheel of Duderstadt.