Munich

A trip to Burghausen

more than a year ago

For sheer contrast to the Munich metropolis, how about a day or two away in deepest rural Bavaria? One of the prettiest little towns in Oberbayern but virtually unheard of by most foreign visitors is Burghausen.

Snuggled along the Salzach river, this former salt trade centre typically gets overlooked in favour of nearby Altötting, Germany’s answer to Lourdes (all thanks to a lime-wood sculpture of Mary). Burghausen, by contrast, boasts the longest Burg (castle fortress) in Europe (dating back to 1255). Towering over the picture-booky Altstadt, the massive complex stretches for more than a kilometre and spans a trail of battlements, courtyards, chapels and towers. Guided tours are available in English but must be booked several days in advance.

A particularly good reason for visiting Burghausen in July is the historical Burgfest (July 12-13). Sword-fights, gun duels, bagpipers, trumpeters, magicians and jugglers head the festival line-up and there’s a craftsmen’s and farmer’s market where you can stock up on local goodies.

If you’re planning on staying the night, the best value-for-money accommodation is the church-run Haus der Begegnung (Spitalgasse 207, tel. 08677 20 83, singles €34, doubles €50). Rooms are spacious and spotlessly clean and the quietly-located house looks directly up to the Burg perched on a ridge high above.

Trains from Munich to Burghausen depart roughly every 90 minutes from early morning until just after 21:00, and take about three hours to reach Burghausen. You’ll need to change at Landshut and Tüßling or Muhldorf. During the week, up to five people can travel together with the Bayernticket for just €21.

For more information contact the Kulturamt Burghausen (tel. 08677 88 71 40, kulturamt@ burghausen.de, www.burghausen.de), who can also organise guided castle tours in English.

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