Schongau, where the lineage of the Welfen came from

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another good travel guide from Bavaria from my friend Helmut in Canada

On the road again..., that part of a well known country song is the right introduction to our today visited town. Schongau, another station at the Romantic Street. You remember that nice road from Fuessen on foot of the Alps till Wuerzburg? Have you made the last travel stop in Landsberg at the river Lech or my short trip to Dinkelsbuehl? If not, you should do, that are similar nice places at the Romantic Street in Bavaria.

Just comparing the last named town with Schongau we have a lot of similarities. You will find in Schongau also a nearly complete town wall from the Middle Ages including five towers. But seeing that nice town, located on a hill, on the bavarian site with the river Lech, you will find, that all five towers are only on the western part of the townwall. This side was in the earlier times the dangerous one, enemies are coming only from there, the eastern country was Bavaria and sure.

With my airportshuttle service I will wait for you at Munich airport Franz-Josef-Strauss and then we can start your travel to Schongau by highways and federal streets.

One possibility will be going over Starnberg, passing through Weilheim and reaching on the B 2 that town. The other way could be using the highway Munich-Lindau till Landsberg, then over the federal street B 17 straight to Schongau. And there will be third chance.

We can use the highway Munich-Lindau till Gilching, take then a road through some small villages and go around the Ammersee in direction Schongau. You see, many ways and all of them with lovely views in the Upper Bavaria landscape lead to this central located town. Naturally you can use trains or bus to get there.

It's worth, believe me, because the old Romans used this town also in reason of trading and vacation. Traders from everywhere in Europe had passed Schongau in the past centuries, what they had leave there on money you can see by the marvellous restaurated citizen houses. And all town mayors were clever enough to keep the old center in the walls. Schongau still have some industry but in the area around, so everything is original and nice. 28 years ago some building workers found a big coin treasure in a stone pot dating back to the year 1372. In that time some armies of the Swabia Town Union tried to conquer Schongau so one (surely big fat ) merchant was so afraid to loose his money so he digged it in earth. Perhaps he died, flewed or forgot the place, nobody knows it, but his coins are still alive now in the town museum.

And nearly the whole district around Schongau is a natural and cultural museum. Within 30 till 45 minutes you can reach the world famous King's castles Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. The famous church on the gras, the Wieskirche (my picture below), is in the same distance.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Oberammergau are very near, the big towns Munich and Augsburg you can visit after a one-hour-drive, going west there are two pearls of the Allgaeu, the old town Kaufbeuren and the region center Kempten. So you have another good centralized starting point as a vacationeer for a lot of visits and activities. Being active keeps body and mind, that's the slogan of our times. What will be a vacation without the possibilty to have some wellness oby sports? There are plenty of. Just 10 minutes far away you can go jumping with parachutes or paragliding (there you have to drive half an hour). Swimming or only bathing offer the river Lech and the near Ammersee or Starnberger See.

Biking roads, climbing mountains soft and heavy, catching some fishes, sailing on the lakes, and and and. Schongau is a town with an excellent mix for vacation and the best, it's not overcrowded like other well known places in Bavaria. The prices are economic and the food in the restaurants you will like too. If you are on business travel in that area, a rest will be lovely there.

Below the story about the lineage Welf, they are still ruling a kingdom today, the British one, you find the contact points of the town Schongau. But now to family Welf. There is an old tale how this family became so much flat and richness.

The golden plough

On the hill contrary to the town there was once the castle of the Welf. They lead their roots back to Odoaker, the destroyer of the Roman Empire. In the years around 800 after Jesus Christ there were on that castle a Welf named Warin, his son Etticho has the nickname Isenbart (iron beard) and the wife of Etticho should have born 12 children on the same day. One of these children, his name was Henry Welf, was a good knight and fighter. So the cesar Arnulph wanted to get him as a vassal. So he offered him land in a special kind of rent.

The knights in these old times mostly liked to be free men and they are satisfied with their own flat. So the cesar's offer was not much interesting Henry first. But the cesar wanted him strongly and so he added his offer in such case, that all flat Henry can pull around with a plough on one day will be his.

Now you must know the people of Bavaria are brave, strong, friendly, liking beer and good food in all times and they are and were very clever and smart. Henry thought about this new aspect, went to his blacksmith and let him made a plough from gold, but so small, that he can carry him in his pocket. Then he send a lot of employes with horses in the region. As every thing was prepared he started a horse ride like a lightning, stopping only on the places where the fresh horses were waiting and so he surrounded on one day a huge area with his plough (in the pocket).

Although it was a trick the cesar did not want lose his face and gave him the flat he'd surrounded. Henry was happy and after that the vassal of the cesar. But his father Etticho was mad about losing the status of a free knight. So he never wanted see his "unlikely" son and moved in the district of the Ammergau (that's near Garmisch). People said he was the founder of the monastery of Ettal.

So, coming back to presence I promised you the contact possibilities for Schongau. Here they are. You can mail to the nice ladies of the Tourist Information or you visit the homepage of the nice and lovely town Schongau.

After the sun let glow the peaks of the Alps, the lights on the Marienplace warm up the hearts and minds while having some drinks for the night - it's a marvellous travel point, that town Schongau.

If you need a transportation with convenience, you know, your personal airportshuttle waits for you. Hope to see you soon, your George.

Script by J.W.Lohfink, for any mistakes in spell or grammar I apologize as a precaution, corrections, questions or comments please mail to me.

>> German version

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