This gabled roof line is from 1236, and still used today for administrative duties, but was renovated to present day look in 1853, but in between it had its tragedies with fires and destruction a couple of times. The crenellation and pinnacles are from the 1853 rework. In 1973 and 1985, it again had work done inside and out.
There is a double headed eagle symbolizing Chales V from 1530. A glockenspiel plays folk tunes, and at 11 and 4PM it chimes. The St. Mary's WEll in front dates back to 1854 when the town had it made for 1550 Guldner-whatever it is.
To the right is the path over to Reid Island through Reider Tor
There are about 12 buildings that have been renovated within the last half century in order to preserve them. Many are still owned by wealthy families that made money in old times from being merchants and affiliated with the Fruggers, who influenced the town direction. The Spiel Feizeit is one example. It used to be the post office and other uses; on the corner across from town hall
This is the main feature along the Reichstrasse-or one of them. It has the archaeological museum and also the stadt museum. It dated back from 1400 period, and was last renovated in 1973. Besides the museums, there are shops inside, plus a dance house and theater. The museums are open 2-5 Monday-Friday and cost $5 for each.
This kloster is part of a monastery that is still active and schools children. The church and buildings are to the end of Reichstrasse, just past Fuggerhaus. Go down the hill a bit-like half a block to see it. The inside is a nice sight. The church complex dates back to 1034 when it was a Benedictine monastery. In 1717-20 some was styled into BAroque Wessobrunn (?) and 1770-1781 some was changed to have Rococo style architecture. The double altar is unique and the church has many treasures form the past inside
This is the main and big church in the middle of the main town street. First it was a church in 1444, it is in Gothic style and called Parish Church of our Lady. The inside is much more decorative than the outsid, and while we were there, the tower was under "wraps" for renovation
AT the one end of Reichstrasse is the Fugger house. It today is a District Council office, and it appears you cannot enter the building. The Fuggers were w wealthy banking and merchant family, and they brought a lot of enterprising commerce to the town with their influence. That led to many people in town becoming more wealthy than the norm. A magnificent renaissance gable makesthe house an icon in architecture.
The Fuggers really spent more time and lived in nearby Augsburg, and there built the Fuggeri; a community of 56 homes. In 1536 they were the appointed of the Holy Roman Empire for the area and Donauworth was one central focal. This allowed the town to thrive.
The Teutonic Order settled in Donauwörth already in 1214, so this is one of the earliest settlements as the order was only founded in 1197. From the 14th century on the place became one of the order's centres in Germany. The buildings, just round the corner from the town hall, have been enlarged and refurbished several times.
The present buildings have a baroque appearance. They consist of the convent building with the small tower and the adjacent chapel. The chapel is open in the daytime. The convent building contains a festive hall with frescoes by the local painter Enderle which is used by the magistrate for receptions and similar. Otherwise it is not accessible, unfortunately.
Note the crests of two Hochmeister of the Teutonic Order in the gable towards the main street.
The adjacent complex on the corner towards Rieder Tor is the Bürgerspital, the town's hospital.
For a romantic walk with some photo options, don't miss the trail along Kleine Wörnitz. The so-called "Small Wörnitz" is the narrow branch of the river between Ried island and the old town. The trail leads along the river bank and the outward side of the town wall. It must be especially beautiful in spring when the old apple trees by the river are in bloom.
Along the way you'll find a smaller gate tower with a half-timbered top, the Färbertor (Dyer's Gate).
Further along the trail leads around the sports fields of the boarding school; from there you have the best view of the buildings of the former Benedictine Abbey.
In 1704, during the Spanish Heritage War, the hill above Donauwörth saw the Battle on Schellenberg between Bavarians and French on one side, the Emperor and his allies and the English on the other. Bloody as it was - 16,000 soldiers were killed in this battle -, the adjacent town of Donauwörth was not harmed. Grateful to have been spared, mayor and citizens donated the Calvary as a pilgrimage site.
The site consists of the Way of the Cross with its 14 stations along a steep stairway that leads up to the crucification group, the little yellow baroque chapel, and a 15th station with the resurrection of Christ. The little chapel looks cute and the landscape setting is beautiful, but remember that this is a war memorial.
More photos in my travelogue.
The Calvary is a bit tricky to find if you don't have a map. Leave the Promenade at Mangoldstein, cross the bridge next to the toilet building and follow the stream.
The smaller Wörnitz meets the big Danube at the eastern end of the old town. Cross the bridge over the Wörnitz (nice view of Ried island and the skyline of the old town) and you reach the point between the rivers. It bears a little park with some benches, a nice spot to rest, relax and, weather permitting, have a picnic.
The stone monument in the park is a memorial for the German-French war of 1870/71 which lead to the foundation of the German Empire.
The island of Ried is surrounded by two branches of the river Wörnitz. (Again, this river is not the Danube.) A narrow canal named Kleine Wörnitz separates the island from the old town.The first settlement that later became the town of Donauwörth was located here on the island.
Fishermen were the first inhabitants. A small modern statue with a man and a boy carrying a full net recalls their hard life.
The buildinmgs on the island are a mix of old and new. The biggest historical building is the Haus zum Hohen Meer (House of the High Sea - no idea how it got this name, as the sea is far) with its seven storeys.
What else is remarkable... the red house with the museum of local history and culture (Heimatmuseum), and the number of Italian restaurants.
The main street of the town, rather a wide street market that substitutes a central square, extends between the town hall at the lower end and the parish church and Fugger House at the top end. It is lined by the gables of the (rebuilt) houses of the wealthy citizens of past centuries. Reichsstraße is Donauwörth's main shopping street.
Please check and read my travelogue about Reichsstraße for more information about the most noteworthy buildings in this street, and photos that did not fit into this tip.
The name "Reichsstraße" refers to the old trade route between the imperial cities of Nürnberg and Augsburg, the two richest and most influential cities in the Holy Roman Empire. It also refers to Donauwörth's own status as a free imperial city who was subject to no one but the King or Emperor.
One big minus disturbs the pleasure: heavy traffic. Donauwörth does not seem to have a bypass road so all traffic runs through the town centre. That means noise, and taking care when crossing the street.
Photographers: The best view of the streetscape can be caught from the top of the stairs in front of the town hall.
The "Promenade" is a walking and biking path in a park along the northeastern flank of the old town. It runs parallel to the well-preserved town wall and offers some nice views of the old town. Along the way you pass a number of sights:
Ochstentörl (photo 2) - the "ox gate", medieval town gate and tower in the wall
Zaubergeigenbrunnen (photo 3) - the modern "magic violin fountain" refers to an opera by the composer Werner Egk, a citizen of Donauwörth
Mangoldfelsen (photo 5) - the rock is the last remnant of Mangoldstein castle which was destroyed in 1301. The town hall has been built from the stones of the castle.
Footnote: A few steps from the rock by the stream there is a little building with free public toilets.
"Uncle Ludwig", actually Ludwig Auer (1839 - 1914), founded the Cassianeum, the catholic school in the former convent buildings, in 1875. His aim was education in Christian, i.e. catholic piety, way of life and values.
He also founded a publishing house for religious and pedagogic literature. He himself wrote many educational stories for children and published them under the pseudonym of "Onkel (Uncle) Ludwig".
Onkel Ludwig is still present in white marble. A monument that shows him with a boy and a girl has been put up in the square between the abbey and the modern school buildings.
After his death in 1914 Ludwig Auer was buried in the little chapel by the entrance to the churchyard, originally the grave chapel of an abbot of the monastery. His son and successor and his wife, victims of the air raid of April 1945, were also buried here.
The former Benedictine Abbey on the edge of the old town, on a hill a few metres above the river bank, is the most impressive building in Donauwörth's townscape. Its history dates back to the 11th century when a precious relic of the Holy Cross - certified to be authentic since the times of Saint Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine - was brought here. This relic is still the most valuable treasure of the church.
The present appearance of the complex is entirely baroque. The convent buildings were renewed in the 1690s, the church was finished in 1720. For baroque experts: the church is a model example of the "School of Wessobrunn".
Like most abbeys in Bavaria the one in Donauwörth was closed down in the secularization of 1803. The convent buildings now host a boarding school and cannot be visited.
The church, however, is open to visitors in the daytime and worth a look.
The tomb in the western part of the nave is the one of Duchess Mary of Brabant, wife of the Bavarian Duke Ludwig II. She was killed in Donauwörth in 1256; her husband had her beheaded although she was innocent.