I discuss the rise of Romantic 'Bildung' at the turn of the nineteenth century with a special emphasis on Friedrich Schlegel, but referring also to other famous Romantics such as William Wordsworth and Novalis (Friedrich von Hardenberg, 1772–1801). First, I will outline the rise of Romantic 'Bildung' in relation to the French Revolution, which was compared with a sublime natural disaster. Second, I will show how the Revolution was conceived in a spatial framework of the geographic ‘border’, which distanced one’s own country from the French turmoil. The third part of this chapter will argue that the early nineteenth-century Romantic juxtaposition of 'Bildung' and 'civilisation' was based on a rehabilitation of periphery (countryside) and semiperiphery (small medieval towns) as the sites of original national 'Bildung', against Paris as the universal centre of civilisation. This chapter will thus thematise a hidden tension in the Romantic concept of culture: its dual reference to (1) the ontological separation between nature’s mechanical necessity and human freedom, and (2) to the geographic borderlines and topographical differences between national cultures.