Anyone wishing to take in a Lower Bavarian city like the ones you would expect to find in a picture book should pay a visit to Landshut. It not only boasts historic castles and churches, but also modern cafés and shops.
In Landshut, visitors can find out more about the city’s history as well as its Gothic and Renaissance buildings, and they can discover all sorts of beautiful things from modern times. In what is the largest city in Lower Bavaria, for example, you can sit in a café on the Isar river promenade, order Bavarian food and a beer in one of its beer gardens, or simply enjoy a delicious Bratwurst (fried sausage) from a snack stand in the pedestrian zone.
The city was first mentioned in 1150; the famous Burg Trausnitz (castle), which towers over Landshut, was founded shortly thereafter. At that time, it was one of the capitals of the Bavarian duchies – a fact still wonderfully visible in its historical architecture. The historic town of Landshut is especially beautiful; it is considered to be one of the best preserved historic city centres in the whole of Germany and has been nominated for the World Cultural Heritage.
Among its most famous attractions is Burg Trausnitz, which also enjoys great popularity with the residents of Landshut – for example, every year when it hosts its famous garden festival. Situated at 500 metres above sea level, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city from the castle. Trausnitz was intended to be the “hat and protector of the country” – and thus was also the eponym for the German name of the city. The castle’s oldest parts date back to the founding time of Landshut – around the year 1200 – and have remained in place to this day. Visitors will also find the Landshuter Hofgarten high up there. It is one of Bavaria's oldest gardens and is home not only to a wide variety of flora spanning its 27 hectares, but also animals.
The Martinskirche (church), which stands in the historic town, was built between 1380 and 1500. The building work took a long time, but today the tower – stretching up to 130 metres in height – is the world's tallest brick church tower. The Heilig-Geist-Kirche (church) – one of the most famous faces of the Gothic Stethaimer School – as well as the many monasteries in and around the city (including the Kloster Seligenthal (monastery) are well worth a visit.
An occasion known throughout Bavaria, the Landshuter Hochzeit (Landshut Wedding) is celebrated every four years and dates back to the wedding of George the Rich, Duke of Bavaria and the Polish princess Hedwig von Burghausen in 1475. Given that this wedding was of great political significance, the people of Landshut began recreating it in 1903. Today, more than two thousand citizens take part, dressing up and sometimes even growing their hair long, just like in the Middle Ages. The highlight of the big party, which itself lasts several weeks, is always the Sunday upon which the wedding procession makes its way through Landshut's historic town.