Less than 30 minutes west of Munich lies Gilching, an old Roman (and Celtic) village in Bavaria with a history that spans a few thousand years, at least. And its direct rail connection to the Munich Airport makes it even easier to get to.
Oh, for sure, you’ll just be delighted to spend some time here and all the better if you’re here for one of the town’s festivals.
Since Gilching was once on the Roman Road, the Via Julia, you’ll find a large milestone marker which was on the road from Augsburg to Salzburg. There’s also the Peace Stake by the Japanese philosopher and poet, Masahisa Goi. A few are found throughout the world with just a simple message: let there be peace on Earth. :-)
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Peace on Earth is generally one of the messages of churches and there are two here that are worth a look. The St. Vitus Church has the oldest existing bell in all of Bavaria (and the third oldest in all of Germany), it dates to the late 1100’s. The St. Johannes Kirche on Karolinger Straße, has this remarkably steep black tower roof and is just a wonderful piece of architecture.
With amazing churches like these around town it’s not hard to imagine that Joseph Ratzinger, who went on to become the current Pope Benedict XVI, might have found religious inspiration while working in Gilching in 1944 as a local switchboard operator.
You might find a different inspiration when you join citizens at the annual Gilchinger Folk Festival on the Festplatz. Or, maybe some great Italian food at Gilching’s Italian Week at the Market Place celebrating Cecina, Gilching’s twin city in June.
Every March folks come and “compete” at what could be considered a live Gilchingen Trivial Pursuit (or Quizzo). It’ll give you the chance to stretch your intellectual muscles on art, culture, politics, and sports. But, you won’t have to stretch them too far to realize that Gilching is one awesome place!