Pyrbaum — Gateway To The Upper Palatinate

The Bavarian town of Pyrbaum touts itself as the “Gateway to the Upper Palatinate;” whereas I prefer to wonder why anyone would want to venture any further than right here.

From the git-go, Pyrbaum offers a chance to see many charming village churches and chapels throughout its fourteen hamlets, in addition to experiencing some wonderful festivals all year long.

Not half bad, right? ;-)

The Pyrbaum you see today is a far cry from its humble Celtic beginnings, eventually becoming a contestant in Germany’s “Our Village is Beautiful” contest. Even though it didn’t win, Pyrbaum is a winner in my eyes — and I think it’ll in yours, too.

One of your first stops here should be the Pfarrkirche St. Georg, a Parish Church that’s been tending to the spiritual needs of the place since the early 16th century. That’s about the same time the Cemetery Chapel was built, but the Chapel of St. Mary didn’t come along until a few centuries later.

None of Pyrbaum’s churches, however, are as old as the Church of the Assumption. Although it is no longer a Cistercian Abbey Church, it still stands as a medieval church from 1242.

Another one of the town’s religious sites to see is the rectory of a former Capuchin Monastery; and (maybe) not technically religious a site, though it is a guesthouse at what was once a convent back around 1493.

Oh wait… do the medieval stone crosses found alongside the road qualify as religious? You can debate that as you look for them all over the place, OK?

You might have to pause your debate to attend one of Pyrbaum’s festivals or markets. A Bavarian Christmas Market is always charming, and luckily you’ve got one here.

As far as festivals go, Pyrbaum hosts a Brunnenfest (Fountain Festival); a Kirchweih (a Church Festival of sorts); a Starkbierfest (festivals are almost always better with good beer); a Backofenfest (Stove Festival; July); a Pfarrfest (May); and the 2-day Bürgerfest in May.

From the looks of it, Pyrbaum might not have won the Our Village is Beautiful contest, but it sure is a winner no matter what.

 

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