Authored by Jamie Kathleen
Part of the charm of rural Bavaria is exploring the small villages that are spread out around the countryside. A scenic hour and a half drive from Munich, for instance, will take you past farms, forests, rivers and enormous wind turbines.
While there is much of the Bavarian countryside to explore, one small town does rise above the rest, and with it’s charming architecture, colorful houses and ancient castle ruins, Kallmünz is a medieval town which should not be missed.
A Guide to Kallmünz, Germany.
The small town of Kallmünz, Germany can be found where the Naab and Vils Rivers join and continue together as one through the Bavarian countryside. The first historical record of the town dates back to 990 A.D., though it was possibly a settlement long before that time.
There are many incredible buildings to enjoy on a self guided walk through Kallmünz. Many are painted with bright colors and have intricate designs carved or painted into the exterior. Some are even built right up against the looming stone wall that reaches up to the town’s castle ruins. One house is actually build into the rock, and is known as the “house without a roof.”
To hike up the mountain to the castle ruins, you can either climb via a steep path and reach the top quickly, or enjoy the scenery of the town by opting for the longer, more level route. Though another option is to become absolutely, irretrievably lost on the way down and find yourself a mile outside of town! It’s fun either way.
There are beautiful views in all four directions from the top of the mountain. If it’s a fairly clear day you will have panoramic views of the Bavarian countryside – trees, hills, mountains, and rivers. A young couple enjoying a couple beers while perched atop castle ruins is a photo opportunity which is there year round. Germans love their beer!
+ Historical Fact +
In 1713, the plague hit the nearby town of Regensburg. Thousands of people died in the city and it started rapidly spreading to the neighboring villages. The people living in Kallmünz were afraid and promised to build a chapel to honor St. Sebastian if they were spared from the plague. It passed by Kallmünz without touching them, and in 1762 the church was built.
Current Festivals and Traditions in Kallmünz
+ Castle Festival +
Every first Sunday of August there is a festival held at the castle ruins with music, food, drink and fun for the whole family.
+ New Year’s Eve at Kallmünz +
Every year, an hour before midnight, the rifle and cannon members meet at the marketplace in Kallmünz to walk together to the castle, where they have a big campfire with punch, mulled wine, sparkling wine and gun salutes.
+ Johannifeuer (Mid-Summer Fire) +
There is a Summer Solstice celebration in Kallmünz with a “huge midsummer fire” after dark on June 20th. Before lighting the wood, the children walk through the town with torches.
+ Classic Car Parade +
There is a group called Oldtimerfreunde that meets on the 1st Sunday in June to parade restored, classic cars through the streets of Kallmünz.
Night Watchman Tour
A night watchman will guide you through Kallmünz as if it were medieval times, calling on his horn and singing. He tells tales of the history of the town and how whenever the town was in danger from enemies, fire, or flood, he would blow the horn to warn the villagers.
Guided Tours by Night Watchman run October – March at 6pm, and at 10pm during the summer. The tour meets in Vilsbrücke and lasts one hour and 30 minutes
Price: Adults 7€, children 4€.
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