Landshut is a Bavarian town on the River Isar, less than an hour away from Munich. It’s easy to get to by train, with direct routes running frequently from the Hauptbahnhof. Travel with a Bayern Ticket and you’ll be exploring this charming town in no time at all!
We visited during the early part of July 2017.
Known for both the medieval Trausnitz Castle and the four-yearly Landshuter Hochzeit, Landshut is a pleasant but small town. Founded in the 13th century, the town once controlled the crossing of the Isar and important trade routes, bringing prosperity and expansion to the area.
Like so many other settlements in this area, it was the combined effects of disease and war which put paid to the prominence of Landshut in Bavarian history. By the 18th century it was something of a provincial backwater, overtaken by nearby Munich and other important cities to the north. | German Sights
Fortunately, the town centre has retained the character of its medieval origins and makes for a lovely set of streets to wander through. Though we visited whilst the town was decorated for the Landshuter Hochzeit, the colourful buildings and quaint appeal of the town remains throughout the year.
In the heart of the town, the two boulevards of the Old and New Town run parallel to each other. They boast houses and buildings of different styles, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance-Baroque. | Bavaria.by
Walking through the old town you can’t miss the gothic church of St. Martin’s. Completed by the year 1500, it boasts a brick built tower of 130.6 metres and it’s considered the highest brick building in the world! Even if you’re not interested in churches, this really is a beautiful building to look at.
I’m sure you’ll also stumble over The Church of the Holy Spirit (above, top, built 1407-1461) and the Ländtor (above, bottom) too. This is the last remaining gate of the medieval fortifications, sat near the natural border of the River Isar.
Every four years, the town hosts the Landshuter Hochzeit. It translates to the ‘Landshut Wedding’ and celebrates the marriage in 1475 of George of Bavaria, the son of the Bavarian duke, and Hedwig Jagiellon. She was the daughter of the King of Poland and the marriage signaled a strong alliance against the Ottoman Turks.
Of course at the time it was hugely important – but it wasn’t until 1903 that the tradition of celebrating the event began.
Nowadays the festivities last for three weeks at the end of June and beginning of July. Over 2000 members of the local population get involved with the reenactments, which involve processions, plays, events and a market.
Spaces at these events are in high demand and tickets sell out very early – but even if you’ve not been able to attend any of the fully organised activities, it’s still usually possible to buy tickets to the market area (the stand is near the Ländtor). It doesn’t open until 5pm though, so make sure to check the list of events thoroughly!
Unfortunately you’ll have a bit of a wait for the next Landshuter Hochzeit, it isn’t due until 2021!
The Bavarian rulers of the Middle Ages resided at the castle from the mid 1200’s but it only acquired the name Burg Trausnitz in the 16th century! Sitting atop a hill overlooking the town, a wooded walk to the top is a great way to spend some of your time here.
For the historically curious, a thorough account of the castle is available at the Bavarian Palace Department’s website. You’ll be able to get an idea of what the castle is like, along with all the usual bits of tourist information that’s good to know.
In the 18th century it was put to various uses, for example as a barracks and a prison for aristocratic prisoners… At the beginning of the 19th century the castle served as a barracks and a hospital, and from 1831 as a cholera hospital. | Burg Trausnitz
As we weren’t much in the mood for heading inside, we opted to have a nosey at the courtyard but not venture into the building itself. Want an idea of what you’d find inside? Have a look at the Castle’s website tour instead.
Sticking to the outside bits of the castle is entirely free – and you’ll get some lovely views on a nice day!
A visit to Landshut won’t be the most action packed of day trips, but it’s a cute town and if you’re in the Munich area for an extended length of time I’d say it’s worth a visit.