As much as I stare at this white page wishing the words to somehow miraculously appear — sadly, they do not. What is it about Isen that makes me draw a blank? Maybe I’m just overwhelmed at the thought of its 3-dozen plus villages? Could it be that I’m somehow afraid that I’d never do this Upper Bavarian town justice?
One thing’s for sure, it isn’t because there’s nothing to do here. In fact, quite the opposite. Perhaps that’s it, I’m trying to jam-pack so many things onto one little page. No time to ponder the thought, this evidently isn’t going to write itself.
Isen’s history is as long as it is varied. The Middle Ages were good to it, as it saw a building boom of its 8th century Kloster — or monastery in English. Kloster St. Zeno at one point used to be of the Benedictine Order, but thanks to the secularization of the region in the early 19th century, the monastery was dissolved. These days the old monastery church acts as the town’s Pfarrkirche, or Parish Church.
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A good start, wouldn’t you say?
Much later in the medieval period, Schloss Burgrain was built. I’m all goo-goo for a proper castle of the Middle Ages, and this certainly qualifies since it was built in the 12th century. The Castle Church of St. George even has a Gothic crypt.
Creepy, but cool, at the same time. ;-)
Many of Isen’s other churches have Gothic beginnings, so if you’re interested I’d say to leave time to see the St. Margaret Church, the Church of St. John the Baptist (now Baroque), and the Church of St. Urban (built 1475).
I’m not really sure if this is true, or not, but the water spring near the Chapel of St. Leonhard is said to have curative effects (against diseases of the digestive organs and eye disorders). Oh wait… maybe it does work, my writer’s block is long-gone. ;-)
And it seems Isen has just as many festivals and cultural events as it does churches. Strong beer lovers will appreciate the Starkbierfest (and the 6-day Volksfest in June), shoppers will love the Nikolausmarkt in December, and nature lovers can rejoice at one of the two Forest Festivals (Waldfest) in July and August.
Oh history buffs, I haven’t forgotten about you — the Heimatmuseum (Local History Museum, located in the Old Town Hall) makes a great first stop, and you’re free to take all the pictures you want of an old 18th century landmark between what was once the Electorate of Bavaria and the Bishopric of Freising.
All that’s left for me to do is pick which hiking trail to take — each has its own color (Ocher, Blue, Red, and Yellow), taking you to the best of Isen — like visits to the St. Joseph Chapel and Lourdes Grotto; or pass along by the old Brewery (the yellow route); and to the Kneipp area and spots where you can see clear to the Bavarian Forest (the red route, if you’re interested).
There really isn’t any way I could paint a picture as to how lovely and charming the town of Isen really is — I guess you’ll have to come see for yourself.