Höchstädt an der Donau — Home To An Epic Battle

The first thing that crossed my mind about the Bavarian Swabian town of Höchstädt an der Donau, was what’s with all the umlauts? They’re those little dots over the vowels, in case you didn’t know. Then I thought, without them — the town’s name looked funny too.

You tell me: Hoechstaedt an der Donau. ;-)

What’s not funny is the town itself. Not that it takes itself too seriously, mind you. It’s a fun-loving town — being only 15km to Legoland, how could it not?

There’s a lot of history packed into one place here. Although none as much as what’s called the Battle of Blenheim (some have called it the Second Battle of Höchstädt, but I don’t know about all that) that took place here on August 13, 1704, during the War of Spanish Succession — fought by France and Bavaria against the Holy Roman Empire.

The Denkmalweg, a 23km cycle route, details much of the battle that took place here in the Swabian-Danube Valley.

Forget the war, it’s about the castles. Well, castle. The Schloss Höchstädt is a beautiful Renaissance castle, built in 1589.

But, you couldn’t have had the Renaissance without the Middle Ages. So, in honor of the medieval — here’s what Höchstädt’s got to see from this epic time period. No, the Geigerturm (the last remaining tower of the original Stadtmauer) didn’t come along until 1529, so that doesn’t count.

Oh yes, the Stadt Pfarrkirche Maria Himmelfahrt would, which was built in the 15th century, despite having a Baroque interior. This was around the same time the tower of the St. Andreas Church was being built — the rest of the church was rebuilt in 1783.

The 19th century was busy, huh? That’s also when the town’s Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) was built (1853), which is now a Local History Museum. Which is not, BTW, the same as the Heritage Museum.

Where else shall we go? The Auwaldweg is a good idea — well, that is if you like to walk 12.5km. But the grasslands and bird watching areas make it all worth while. ;-)

Rather stick a little closer to town? Come to the Marktplatz that’s framed by 17th century mansions and the current Town Hall.

It doesn’t matter that Höchstädt an der Donau’s name looks funny without the umlauts — but the town itself sure looks great with or with ’em.

 

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