Ehingen (Donau) is a very old town, but they are proud to be quite young. Younger than almost any other town in Germany, in fact. Admittedly, they are going by average age of inhabitant rather than average age of buildings, but it is something they are bragging about!
The residents here are about 6 years younger, but they live in a town that has been settled since the Neolithic era. Evidence of earlier inhabitants is proudly displayed at the history museum by people with minimal wrinkles in their faces. They may preserve their ancient heritage as a desirable destination, but modern youth is part of what keeps the town vibrant and thriving.
What keeps people here so young? It could be that they are attracted by the greenery of the lush river landscape. But… it could be the 5 major breweries producing more than 43 kinds of beer. ;-)
Eat your heart out, Munich. With a fresh new minaret competing with the towering churches and castles, Ehingen is less industrialized and more picture perfect. But they play fair in the competition for beer loving crowds by holding their own beer festival weekends in May, August and November instead of messing with October.
They host Carnival before Lent, Sandwich Days in May and follow it up with Steak Weeks in June.
There’s also Huzzla-Ra, a fruit-throwing festival. It’s worth seeing, as there really aren’t many places in the world where adolescents are pelted with overripe fruit in public. The custom dates back to the 17th century and happens on Saturday afternoons during harvest.
Ehingen does have some serious culture in addition to the silly stuff. The St. Blaise church is serious architecture, with a nice contrast to the 2003 Melvana mosque minaret. You will find a lot to photograph in the old town area as well as along the banks of the river.
A good way to finish a day in Ehingen, if you are not too worn out from a festival, is to simply sit and watch the sunset. The river valley is gorgeous in the evening. When you top it with one of the town’s 43 beers, it won’t be a mystery anymore why those who feel young and alive are flocking to the valley.