The present day Freystadt in Upper Palatinate still retains quite the medieval feel as it did back more than seven centuries ago, yet it has all the modern conveniences that one couldn’t live without.
Your first glimpse of Freystadt might be the two medieval gates, known as the Obertor (Upper Gate) and Untertor (Lower Gate). The latter is rented out for events; the former is the location for the town’s Stadttorfest in July. During renovations artwork from the 15th century was found.
Close to the town’s gates you’ll find the Pilgrimage Church of Maria Hilf, a stunning Baroque Church that’s more than 300 years old; and the venue for many religious music concerts.
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What’s a church without a monastery? Within the church complex is a former Franciscan monastery that offers guided tours and classical music concerts.
Also, those town gates got to go somewhere — like right to the Marktplatz. You’d never guess today the area was decimated during the 17th century Thirty Years’ War. The Rathaus was originally built way back in 1598 and less than a hundred years later had to be redone because of the war with the Swedes.
I almost forgot about the Pulverturm, a 14th century Powder Tower used to defend Freystadt from those pesky invaders (that wouldn’t leave the town alone). Off the side of the Pulverturm is a small garden and café.
Another medieval contribution to Freystadt is the Hospital. Not a real-life “ER/get a doctor stat” hospital, but a former one. During the summer, the courtyard is yet another venue for classical music concerts.
The Nothelfer Chapel isn’t medieval, but once a Celtic holy site. Today there’s a Neo-Gothic church on the Möninger Mountain. It’s the highest point in the area, so the view’s spectacular.
Prefer the Baroque? Good, then you can follow a bit on the Tour de Baroque which is a 285km scenic route starting in Neumarkt, then right here in Freystadt, going on to Beilngries, Kelheim, and Passau.
Don’t get off yet, though. Maybe you’d like to rock climb the Jura region. It’s only about 20km away, and climbing or cycling it is totally radical (awesome, fun, super cool — you get the point ;-).
I have to admit, I wouldn’t climb or bike anywhere other than over to the Hausbrauereri Katzer. That’s right, a brewery with its very own beer garden (open May-September). Call ahead if you’d like to see the brewing process. Otherwise sit down & have a good drink.