Welcome to Neuburg on the Danube
Even from the distance, the old part of the town, built on a Jurassic limestone hill, dominates the lovely Danube valley. This imposing silhouette has remained practically unchanged for centuries. On entering the old part of the town through a gate in the medieval walls, and passing the castle built by Ottheinrich, the visitor is taken into a fascinating world of Renaissance and Baroque. The old patrician houses and aristocrats' mansions displaying superb facades, the imposing churches, the provincial library and the ancient mint, the medieval walls and the upper and lower gates are all constant reminders of Neuburg's rich heritage.
The first duke of the Palatinate-Neuburg principality was Duke Ottheinrich, who inherited the castle in Neuburg after a war of succession in 1505 between Palatinate and Bavarian members of the House of Wittelsbach. Ottheinrich enlarged his medieval residence into a stately palace with high Renaissance gables and a beautiful courtyard surrounded by arcades.
The castle took on its present-day form during the reign of Duke Philipp Wilhelm with the addition of the Baroque eastern wing and the two round towers. Desiring to please his wife Susanna, Duke Ottheinrich had a hunting lodge built for her in Grünau. The lodge lies dreamily in the river valley and ranks as a fine example of early Renaissance art and architecture.
On the Danube
0f course we want to show you that you can't just go past this town: on the contrary, don't miss the unique opportunity of taking a look at the ancient capital. In Neuburg on the Danube you will find an historic town centre recognised as one of the most beautiful in the whole of southern Germany. Convince yourself of the charm of the Baroque and Renaissance splendour at the "Karlsplatz", or feel the southern European flair in the arcaded courtyard of the castle. The Jurassic rocks above the Danube are just calling out with something special to offer: something that can be seen when approaching the town from any direction. And you will soon detect the superb results of the council's work, along with state aid, in preserving the cultural heritage of the ancient capital of Neuburg.
Today culture also means conservation. Neuburg has learned to look after its over 5,000 hectares of river valleys and meadows. 40 kinds of orchids flower here alongside slow-flowing arms of the Danube; the beaver is building its dams again and in the early morning the fisherman casts his nets without a single envious glance towards the herons, cormorants and kingfishers. This is the place to enjoy nature calmly, for walks, fishing, boating or just simply for a little peace and quiet.
The Danube is altogether the bond that holds so much in Neuburg together: the town's River of Destiny, as the historians say; a bit slower these days, but still imposing. Just like its bridges, the river belongs to the townscape. It is the river that connects history back through the centuries with neighbouring towns like Donauwörth, Ingolstadt or Kelheim, and with the big wide world, too.
0n a clear day the Danube upstream from Bittenbrunn is as blue as on the day Johann Strauss immortalized it.
Discover the old town
Experience the joy of living at Neuburg's Medieval Town Festival, when the whole town steps back into the age of the Renaissance and 1,000 citizens slip into the garments of country mercenaries, ballad-singers and court dancers. But the joy of living can be more than that: for example, jogging in the English Garden, chatting in a café or a visit to the idyllically situated Brandl open-air swimming baths in west Neuburg. You don't need to go to the theatre just for a laugh, although the former ducal granary and its present-day programme - rich in contrast - is indeed a class apart.
Feel the flair
The open-air production of the Bavarian version of "Everyman" accentuates not only the transitory nature of life but also Neuburg's tradition for amateur dramatics. Germany's smallest opera company, the Neuburg Chamber Opera is likewise well worth a mention. There is ample room for avant-garde and classical art exhibitions in the "Fletz" and "Fürstengang". For its courses in art, music and theatre, the Summer Academy has earned a name for itself far afield. The reputation enjoyed by the Neuburg Baroque concerts is also unlimited. If you are looking for atmosphere - or even international stars then Neuburg's jazz club is just the place.
2,000 years ago the Romans felt quite at home at their base "Venaxamodorum".
Later, under the name of "Nivenburcg", Neuburg became a royal court. As an episcopal see, the town flourished for 500 years. Emperor Henry II had his residence in the Old Castle 1,000 years ago. Neuburg's history came to a climax in 1505 when the town suddenly became the capital of the newly-formed principality "Junge Pfalz". Duke Ottheinrich, full of life and obsessed with the arts, became the first sovereign. Seven dukes succeeded him and ruled Neuburg through its heyday for three centuries.
Between the gates at either end of the Upper Town, the churches of St. Peter and the "Hofkirche" take on a dominating role. And in any case, have a look at the Ancient Mint and the treasures of the Provincial Library as well.
Close to nature
Grünau is certainly worth a visit, and not solely on account of the hunting lodge that was built for the amusement of Duke Ottheinrich. You will be pleasantly surprised, too, at the romantic crypt and the Baroque splendour of the pilgrims' church of the Holy Cross in Bergen. Then climb the Finkenstein rocks for a breathtaking view down along the Danube valley. Take a look back 80,000 years into history in the Neandertal caves in Mauern. Nearby just get on the local steam train and enjoy the scenery at a leisurely pace. Or perhaps you prefer sailing? The reservoir at Bertoldsheim is ideal for this past-time.
Typical of the Donaumoos are street-side villages and black soil. Neuburg's rural areas are full of traditions such as the yearly Wedding Festival in Ehekirchen and the pilgrimage to the Kahlhof Chapel. For the gourmet there's the Schrobenhausen asparagus season.
In the heart of bavaria
Don't miss the
- hunting lodge in Grünau
- Finkenstein rocks near Bittenbrunn
- pilgrims' church in Bergen
- vineyard caves in Mauern
- Latour monument near Oberhausen
- Old Castle on Castle Forest Hill
- Pettenkofer House in the Lichtenheim Baroque castle in Bertoldsheim
- Camping facilities at the Boatshouse Rowing Club
- golf on the beautiful Wittelsbach links in Grünau-Rohrenfeld
- swimming in the heated indoor pool in Grünauer Straße or in the Brandl open-air baths
- the sports' centre in the English Garden and the Brandl football grounds.
Enjoy exciting days at Neuburg's Medieval Town Festival, with riding tournaments and the children's hobby-horse dance "Steckenreitertanz":
every two years, again in 2011;
the international Fishermen's Jousting Competition on the Danube:
in May (Neuburg) and in June (Stepperg);
Neuburg's Chamber Opera:
yearly, end of July;
the Summer Academy:
Europe's biggest Winter Swim takes place in Neuburg on the Danube:
the Baroque Concerts:
Neuburg's Potter's Market in the Marstall:
yearly during the third weekend in September.
The Municipal Tourist Office, Ottheinrichplatz A 118
86633 Neuburg on the Danube, Telefone 0 84 31/55-2 40