It’s funny how things come full circle.
In the feudal times of the Middle Ages, much of daily life revolved around a village’s castle. Now, a few centuries later a lot of life centers around Treuchtlingen Castle. OK, that’s not all that goes on around this village that was founded in the days of Charlemagne. But, it does add a bit of romance.
Castle Treuchtlingen was once a formidable 12th century stone castle that overlooked the town. It’s Upper Castle dates from that time, with other areas added through the centuries.
The castle today may lie in ruins, but its donjon (or, tower) that overlooks the town, is open only on the weekends. So be sure to plan accordingly. Come the last weekend in June, Burg Treuchtlingen hosts an elaborate Castle Celebration complete with some in period costume.
Don’t confuse the Castle Celebration with Treuchtlingen’s Folk Festival (2nd Friday in July) — a party that goes on for a whopping 10 days.
Across the street from the Burg is Treuchtlingen’s Local History Museum filled with artifacts found from excavations of the castle. That’s not the only exhibits you’ll find here, as residents have made their mark in the area for a lot longer than twenty centuries.
Romans used to walk these grounds and there’s a fine example of Roman architecture that can be found at the Mansion Rustica. Many centuries later residents built the Lambertus Chapel. Don’t miss it, as it’s the oldest church in town.
For 20th century history, Treuchtlingen has one of the few remaining Jewish cemeteries in the region. The town’s Jewish population dates back to the mid-14th century, but today you’ll only find a memorial stone where the town’s synagogue used to stand. There is an entire collection of Jewish families listed from the town archived in Treuchtlingen’s library, for genealogy reasons.
While you’re walking around getting to know Treuchtlingen, look out for the town’s War Memorial. Which is dedicated to the town’s soldiers and civilians killed during air raids in February 1945. As if the charred remains of a bombed train engine (housed in the Railway Museum in Nördlingen) doesn’t tell the tale, without ever saying a word.
Artwork found in Treuchtlingen’s city parks don’t ever say a word either. They’re so interestingly beautiful, they don’t need to say anything to touch your heart.
Really, this entire Middle Franconian town is so beautiful — it’ll touch your heart. You can’t get more romantic than that.