Nestled in the south of Germany on the banks of the Lech River is the wonderful town of Friedberg (Bayern). Within the state of Bavaria but locally recognized as being part of Swabia, it is a region of noticeable individualism and great regional pride.
You will find it surrounded by miles of countryside, the artistic Danube-Isar valley and a multitude of historic towns.
Growing from humble beginnings in the 13th century as a toll bridge over the fast-flowing river, it soon found itself in a much wanted location. The Lech is not a navigable river with rapids and waterfalls around every turn and constantly moving gravel beds, so to protect themselves, they massively fortified their town over the next 200 years.
Much of these defensive buildings and walls have gone, but their existence has certainly shaped the town into the picturesque location we find today.
You will find the main streets in Friedberg lined with majestic 17th and 18th century houses showing the historical wealth of the area. The Baroque Town Hall has a great tower at one end and its pale yellow coloring makes the town center appear welcoming to match the local people. As a result of its popularity, stores and restaurants squeeze themselves into the many quaint houses here, spilling out into the streets and plazas.
One of the most historic buildings is the Herrgottsruh, a pilgrimage church to the east of town. It was originally a rotunda based on the Holy Sepulchre church in Jerusalem and its ruins can be found under this present day church.
Also worth a visit is the rebuilt medieval castle to the north of town, which currently holds the regional museum.
The surrounding areas also have much to offer if you are using Friedberg as a base for exploring the whole of Swabia. Not only is there the large forested nature park Augsburg-Westliche Wälder to the west, but there are the great Bavarian Alps to the south.
It’s inviting to follow the Romatic Road down to the snow-covered mountains of Füssen on the Austrian border — where you will find the amazing Schloss Neuschwanstein overlooking a glorious lake!