What can I say about the town of Postbauer-Heng in the Upper Palatinate? It’s a market town, for one. And it was the old stomping grounds for the Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus St. Mariens in Jerusalem.
The who? The what? The where?
In English that would be the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, but you’re probably more familiar with them by their other name, the Teutonic Knights.
Now you know who they are, right? Good, because this way you’ll be impressed when you visit Postbauer-Heng’s Deutschordenschloss, a castle that once belonged to the Order. It is now a cultural center.
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BTW, Postbauer-Heng’s St. James Church is even older than the Order, built in 1068.
As impressively old as the Knights’ and church’s history are, that ain’t nothing compared to the “Golden Hat” found nearby. It’s one of the most impressive Bronze Age finds, measuring 88cm high. You will have to go to Nuremberg to see it, however, since it’s on display at the Germanic National Museum there.
The only museums in Postbauer-Heng are the Local History Museum (called Heimatmuseum), filled with exhibits on rural life in the 19th century. This museum doesn’t have any set opening hours or days. If you want to see it, you gotta call and make an appointment.
Fleischmichlhaus is the other one. Located on Ludwigstraße 23 in the Pavelsbach district, this old farmhouse (with exhibits on everything from sheep to a 19th century kitchen) is open on the 3rd Sunday of the month from April to November. This is also the venue for the Kartoffelfest, or Potato Festival, every September.
Also in September is the annual Wine Festival, but anytime is the right time to enjoy hiking or cycling along the Ludwig-Danube-Main Canal Route (OK, maybe not the dead of winter), the Franconian Lakes, the Five Rivers Cycle Route, or try rock climbing in the Jura.
The warmer months might be better to enjoy the Naturerlebnisbad. Open everyday from sun-up to sundown, this lake is perfect for picnics and a few games of basketball and miniature golf.
History and outdoor recreation? Sounds like a match made in Heaven, don’t you think?
I think at the very least the religious Teutonic Knights Order would agree. ;-)