Landshut Things to Do

  • Memorial for Mauthausen concentration camp
    Memorial for Mauthausen concentration...
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  • The castle in 1762 (from info board in Hofgarten)
    The castle in 1762 (from info board in...
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Most Recent Things to Do in Landshut

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    Trausnitz Castle: Kunst- und Wunderkammer

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 10, 2013

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    Kunst- und Wunderkammer , the "chamber of art and miracles", is a typical collection of the Renaissance era. Collectors intended to assemble the whole universe. Such a collection covers all fields: natural objects, artworks, fantastic crafts, scientific instruments, exotic things from faraway shores. The Dukes in Landshut had such a collection. The present exhibition gives an idea, although these are not necessarily the same pieces that were in Landshut in the 16th century.
    The official website describes it so well that I don't think I have to repeat it all.

    The exhibition fills three floors of the Eastern side wing of the castle. Here you do not need a guided tour but you can walk and see it on your own at your own pace.
    Strictly no photography, hence no photos here.
    The ticket for the castle tours also includes this museum, there is no extra fee. Entry is through the room where the shop and cash desk are.

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    Trausnitz Castle: Guided Tour

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 10, 2013

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    The guided tour takes you up onto the galleries and into the halls and rooms of the main wing. You get to see the gothic knights halls, the castle chapel, some rooms with renaissance frescoes.
    You get to see the top and the bottom of the jester staircase (often incorrectly translated as "foools staircase"), which is painted with scenes and figures from the Commedia dell'Arte. The group does not actually walk the staircase for understandable reasons, nevertheless it's a pity you can't see all of it.
    At the end you are taken to the balcony on the top floor which overlooks the whole town and the Isar valley. This (photos 3, 4 and 5) is the finest view of Landshut and worth the effort, although you are not given much time to take photos, so snap away as fast as you can.

    The castle rooms can only be entered with guided tours, and these are done only in German, or rather Bavarian. However, to be honest, the commentary was so bad that you don't miss much if you don't understand it.

    Photography is not allowed inside. To get an idea of the rooms, check the official website for the virtual tour of the castle.

    Up-to-date information about opening hours (which change with the seasons), admission fees and so on can also be found on the website
    There is a combined ticket which includes both the castle and the town palace (Stadtresidenz). If you intend to visit both, this ticket saves you a bit.

    On the gallery The balcony View from the balcony, part 1 View from the balcony, part 2
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    Trausnitz Castle

    by Kathrin_E Updated Jan 10, 2013

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    The castle on the hill above the old town tells of those times when Landshut was the capital of Bavaria. Together with the foundation of the city in 1204, the castle was begun. It stayed the seat and residence of the Dukes until the 16th century. Over the centuries it was extended again and again. The Renaissance arcades around the inner courtyard are an addition from the 1560s. The 30 Years War caused some damages. Ludwig II had himself some rooms refurbished in 1870s but he never actually used them. Due to a fire in 1961 these interiors are lost, though.

    There is no public transport up, so you have to walk or go by car if you have one. For walking, there are two options: either the "oxen piano", a steep brick stairway, or the walk through Hofgarten from behind the sculpture museum. I recommend the latter as the walk through the park with its impressive old trees is so much nicer, though a bit longer, and easier to walk.

    The castle has two attractions to see: the guided tour of the main wing, and the art andf treasure chamber in the Eastern wing. The restaurant in the Western wing isn't bad, sit on the terrace if the weather permits.

    The castle in 1762 (from info board in Hofgarten) Entering the bailey
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    A Walk along the Banks of the Isar

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 8, 2013

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    A walk over the various bridges and through the park on the island along the river bank is a pleasant pastime after all that sightseeing. From here, opposite the old town, you can enjoy the town panorama with the churches of St Martin and, further downstream, Heilig Geist and the hill with Trausnitz castle on top in the background. Don't expect too much of the reflections because the Isar has a rather strong current so the surface of the water is never calm. They should be better than in my photos under normal circumstances, though, as I encountered a very high water level on the brink of flooding.

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    A Forgotten Relic of the Nazi Era

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 8, 2013

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    I only spotted him by coincidence: the eagle with the date 1939 that clearly resembles the one used by the NSDAP. The metal eagle is perched on top of the gable of a house in the Eastern part of Altstadt. It is the pale blue-grey house right by the bus stop (photo 2). Looks as if he has been forgotten up there. A trace of an era most don't want to be reminded of.

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    Arcades in Altstadt

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 8, 2013

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    The oldest part of Altstadt market street has arcades in front of the houses on the Southern side. The arcades begin at the corner of Steckengasse, one block from the town hall, continue up to the church of St martin and then again on the other side of the church for another two blocks. This is almost equal to the pedestrianized part of Altstadt. The pointed arches and ribbed vaults indicate their origin in the gothic era. This was the area where, after the foundation of the town in 1204, craftsmen and merchants settled here while the well-to-do built their houses on the opposite street side. The arcades covered the shops and workshops and protected both the goods and the customers from the weather. They still do, there are shops and cafes underneath.

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    The Steeple of St Martin

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 8, 2013

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    The tall steeple is Landshut's Landmark and a useful signpost to find your way, as it is visible from almost everywhere. It is said to be the tallest brick tower in the world. I cannot tell whether this is true, but it is surely - big. At the same time it is a very elegant building. The bottom has a square ground, the top part is octogonal. Its spire must be as high, if not higher, than the roofs of Trausnitz castle on the hilltop, judging from the perspective in photo 5 which was taken from the balcony of the castle.

    As the last part of the church to be completed, the steeple was built around 1500, entirely on bricks. Its weight is carried by thousands of fir poles thats erve as foundation.
    All sides have large clockfaces and, one storey below, equally large sundials. The pointed spire is ornated with crown-shaped tracery.

    The steeple can be climbed (almost 500 steps) but since the outside is currently undergoing renovations, I did not check whether it was open. Due to a recently sprained ankle I wasn't interested in such hardcore exercise at that time.

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    Martinskirche - Church of St Martin

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 8, 2013

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    The main parish church of Landshut is a magnificent gothic building with an enormous steeple that is visible from almost everywhere.

    So far I knew brick gothic only from the North on the Baltic Sea coast. In this part of Bavaria, though, they also have no natural stone suitable for construction, so they used bricks here, too.

    The interior is jawdropping because of its sheer size. The wide hall has huge windows, hence a lot of light. The slender columns seem almost too delicate to carry the vaults. The vaults of the central nave reach a height of 28,8 metres, total length is about 90 metres. The pendant crucifix is gigantic, too. Christ is 5.8 metres tall.

    The church is full of art works - hard to decide where to begin: sculptures, reliefs, frescoes. Among the stained glass windows in the side chapels, there is a remarkable one on the left: created shortly after World War II, it includes, among the henchmen who torture the saint, two with the faces of Hitler and Goebbels. Thought I had taken a photo but it turned out that I had not, sorry.

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    Freyung

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 6, 2013

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    Freyung is the third of the market streets in the old town. In 1338, 134 years after its foundation, the town was extended again. People who settled here were exempt from all taxes for 10 years, hence the name "Freyung", the "free" (i.e. tax-free) area. They also got the privilege to hold a big annual market and fair. On the other hand they had to build the town wall and dry the adjacent swamp. The quarter got its own parish church, the Church of St Jodok in the middle of the square.

    While Altstadt and Neustadt are busy town streets, Freyung has a cosy character. The middle part is a park with trees and e flower beds. This is a place to relax, very pleasant and pretty. I would not mind living there...

    The market privilege is still prevalent: Freyung is the location of the Christmas market and two other market fairs during the year.

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    Neustadt

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 6, 2013

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    Neustadt translates to "new town". Here it is the name of a market street in the old town. It was named the "new town" because it was new in the late 13th century. About 75-80 years after its foundation the town was extended around this second market street.

    Neustadt has its share of shops, too, is notably quieter than Altstadt. Its architecture is just as pretty as that in Altstadt, it is just as well lined by the coloured gables of old houses from all eras and styles. Towards the South, the mighty facade of the Jesuit church closes the street axis. Behind the church the slope of Hofgarten rises to Trausnitz castle on the hilltop.

    My hotel was in Neustadt and I found this a convenient place to stay, within close walking distance to everything.

    Neustadt market street seen from the castle
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    Altstadt

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 6, 2013

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    Altstadt in fact translates to "old town", but in Landshut it is the name of the main market street. The old twon has three of these (Altstadt, Neustadt and Freyung). Rather wide streets than squares, they were the arterias of business and trade and location of street markets. Altstadt is still the busiest. It is the heart of the town, the main shopping area. One half is pedestrianized, the other is rather busy with cars and buses.

    The street view is dominated by the tall steeple of St Martin in the South, the church of the Holy Spirit in the North. Thew town hall with its three neogothic gables is located here. On the opposite side Duke Ludwig X. built his renaissance town residence. The entire street is lined with the gables of historical houses from all eras - some are still gothic, others renaissance, others baroque, some 19th century historism. (No. they are not all "medieval".) The houses are painted in any shade of pastel colours you can think of.

    If you take the bus from the train station into town, the stop named "Altstadt" is the one you need. It is the central stop in the old town with several lines meeting here.

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    Rathaus

    by BruceDunning Written Jul 9, 2012

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    This unique gabled structure is in the middle of the city main street-Altstadt and across from the St. Martin church. It was created from a number of resident houses put together in under King Ludwig II reign. It was the location for a famous wedding of Jadwiga of Poland to the Duke George of Bavaria in 1475. The celebration continues today every four years-and 2013 is the next one, held in and around the Prunksall in the building.

    Closse up of the three buildings of Rathaus View of the Rathaus on the Altstadt Triumph picture of angelic nature View of ceiling in Prunksaal
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    St. Martin Church

    by BruceDunning Written Jul 9, 2012

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    This is the so called "stand out" of the city-being right in the middle of the main street and the spire made of red brick is 428 feet high. YOu should be able to spot it. When we were there, the tower was closed for renovation, and one part also had scaffolding. There was a first church on this site built in 1204, and in 1389 they began construction of this bigger church. It took 110 years to complete-must be a "union of some sort".

    Picture of the large church in middle of city View of the red brick spire Angle view of church and butresses Crucifix with arched ceiling Crucifix in the altar
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    Theklakapelle-Greek Church

    by BruceDunning Written Jul 9, 2012

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    On the way up to Traunitz Castle is the Teklakapelle, a Nebenkirche. it was constructed in 1426, and a small but power packed chapel inside, as well as outside facade. It is on Alte Bergstrasse and about 1/3 of the way to the castle-easy to spot.

    View of the church from Alte Bergstrasse Elaborate altar Frescoe ceilings
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    Residence

    by BruceDunning Written Jul 9, 2012

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    In the main sector of the city, and in the middle is the Residence. It is an artistic gem, and the courtyard was used for centuries for events and jousting. In 1536 the construction began by Duke Ludwig X, and in Renaissance style, popular for the time. He took trips to northern Italy, and came back with the grand idea to replicate that style; and did so. Another building behind the main one was begun in 1537 to duplicate the Italian style, and eventually the wings linked the palace into a courtyard for the middle. Italian artists formed many ornate stucco works inside and the paintings done by famed artists of the time; like Hans Bocksburger, Hermanus Posthumus-yes I have heard of them before. The Residence got finished in 1543. The era of 1780-90 brought to bear a Neoclassical style for the facade.
    Inside there are not many rooms that have furnishings, but still they are wonderful to view. Residence is open 9-6 April-September and until 4PM in other months. Fee is 5 Euro, or 8 Euro with combo ticket includes Traunitz Castle.

    Close up view of the center frescoe  Italian Hall Italian Hall with barrel vaulted ceiling Close in view of ceiling fescoes Painting of the triumph View of Residence-White front
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