Located just northeast of Munich's airport, Landshut is a Bavarian sightseer's dream come true. The city and its castle, Burg Trausnitz, date from the year 1204. Today, Landshut is a city of over 60,000 people that was for the most part saved from the massive war damage of the larger, more industrial cities like Munich and Nuremberg. Landshut was the capital of lower Bavaria from 1255-1505, until after a war of succession, lower Bavaria was united with upper Bavaria and Munich became the capital of the united Bavaria. During its time as a capital, Duke Ludwig X built the first Renaissance style palace north of the Alps (the Stadtresidenz). The historic old town center of the city still has predominantly Gothic architecture. Landshut is an excellent opportunity to see a completely authentic medieval castle, a sprawling Renaissance palace, and the tallest brick building in the world-all easily in one day.
Regional Express and Alex trains leave from Munich to Landshut every 20 minutes and the train ride is a mere 45 minutes. Sights of the city include:
· Burg Trausnitz: A complete castle on the hill overlooking the city. Parts were updated during the renaissance, but much of it dates back to the 13th century. Tours are held regularly as well as access to a museum section which has various curiosities from the 16th century.
· St. Martin's Basilica: This massive church is the tallest brick building in the world. Also of note is the image of Adolf Hitler in stained glass as he is depicted as the executioner of St. Kastulus. The church itself dates from 1380-1500.
· Stadtresidenz: Landshut's Renaissance palace is located downtown directly across from the 13th century Rathaus (Town Hall) and has daily tours in German and English upon request. The palace was built between 1536 and 1543 although the façade was updated in the 19th century.