Monday, May 25, 2009

Bavarian Picturesque

Yesterday I told you about the longest Castle in Europe, the Burghausen castle stretching more than 1 KM over the village. Today, I wanted to tell you of the village of Burghausen, which is no less impressive. The old town center is exactly what you would imagine in picturesque Bavaria…the buildings all painted unique bright colors. Highlights around town include St. Jakob’s church built in 1140,the Holy Spirit Church from 1325, the townhall with its classical façade originating from the 14th and 15th century, and the ancient government building constructed in the 16th century. Walking through the town is like walking through a storybook, not least because of the imposing castle above - running the entire length of the town. Excavations show the city has been inhabited since the Bronze Age. More recently, the town gained prominence as the second residence of the Lower Bavarian dukes, but suffered 300 years of commercial decline because of heavy casualties in the Thirty Years War, War of Spanish Succession, War of Bavarian Succession, and the French Revolutionary Wars – and finally with only 2500 inhabitants it lost its garrison in 1891. But for the past 100 years, the town has seen steady upturn with the establishment of the Wacker Chemical company, as well as the Deutsche Marathon refinery, and has gained regional fame thorugh the SV wacker Burhausen FC, and the International Jazz Festival. From Munich, Burghausen makes a great day trip combined with Wasserburg (see 9/28/08 post), two of the most colorful towns in Bavaria.

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