Useful hints and tips for travelers in Germany
While awaiting the Bavarian appointment par excellence, Munich’s Oktoberfest (Sep. 22-Oct. 7), in the months of July and August, the whole Land is celebrating. Summer in Bavaria is packed with traditional events that make a holiday in southern Germany even more fun.
From June 28 to July 8, in Mindelheim, along the A96 motorway between Munich and Memmingen, it’s been time for Frundsbergfest. Every three years, the city turns into a medieval village, with historical parades, scenes of rural and military life, festivals, sports competitions and performances in ancient costumes. All this to pay tribute to the Frundsberg family, lords of Mindelheim in the second half of 1400, and whose patriarch Georg was one of the first Landsknecht commanders.
From July 12 to 23, Tänzelfest will take place in Kaufbeuren, now known as the largest, coolest and most original children’s party in Bavaria. Tänzelfest opens the Bavarian summer holidays for students with the evocation of Emperor Maximilian’s visit to the city in 1497. The parade that opens the festival is attended by over 1,600 children in costume, with hundreds of horses and carts decorated according to the Carolingian era. There are dozens and dozens of events for kids, entertainment, games, opportunities to have fun with arts and crafts of the Middle Ages. The heart of the event is in Hafenmarkt square.
From July 13 to 22, the Kinderzeche takes place in Dinkelsbühl. This is an annual festival in memory of a courageous group of children who in 1632, with the city under siege, came out from the walls without adults even knowing, to beg Swedish troops not to destroy the village. Moved to pity, the occupants didn’t harass the city. Kinderzeche recalls that episode with a week of costume parties, with performances and shows for children.
From July 29 to August 5, in Memmingen, a hundred kilometers west of Munich, is transported back to the time of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). The feast of Wallenstein, in Memmingen, is held every 4 years in memory of Albrecht von Wallenstein’s deeds, a general in the service of Emperor Ferdinand II. The party begins and ends with a parade of 4,500 participants. During the week, equestrian tournaments, acrobats, medieval encampments and craft markets take place in city parks.
Between August 10 and 18, Drachenstich – the festival in honor of the killing of the Dragon, is held in Furth im Wald, fifty miles from Regensburg and near the border with the Czech Republic, with tens of thousands of celebrating participants. It is said that at the beginning of 1400, during the war between the Catholics of the Holy Roman Empire and the Hussites (revolutionary movement founded by the theologian and reformer Jan Hus Bohemian), the latter took refuge inside a dragon. The reenactment includes a parade of 1,500 participants with 200 horses, carts and dozens of bands: every day at 8pm, between August 10 and 18, the killing of the dragon is performed by a knight.
Throughout July and August, in Murnau, on the A95 motorway to Garmisch, along the shores of Lake Staffelsee, visitors can enjoy markets, parties, concerts, and events always accompanied by the excellent Bavarian beer. In Bad Wurzach, Allgäu, a Heilig-Blutfest, feast of the Holy Blood, takes place on the second Friday of July, with over 1,700 riders and more than 12,000 participants in procession behind the relics donated to the city by Pope Innocent XII. In Füssen, on the Romantic Road, in mid-August it’s time for Schindaufest, with markets, food stalls and hundreds of regional specialties. On the night of August 25, the Ammergau Alps glow with dozens of large fires in memory of Ludwig II of Bavaria’s stay in these areas: the town of Oberammergau is the heart of the celebrations, with entertainment and fireworks.
During July and August, several events take place in the charming town of Munich. On the 14th and 15th, on Marstallplatz, free outdoor concerts are organized by the Opera House. Simultaneously, the Gay Pride events cheer up Marienplatz (the not-to-be-missed event is the parade along the roads of the city centre on the 14th). July 21 is the day of the extraordinary performance at the Olympic Park with Sommernachtstraum, a concert and fireworks for a Midsummer Night’s Dream.
From July 28 to August 5 don’t miss Auer Dult, the Flea Market. This traditional appointment dates back to 1300 and is held on a square over 20 000 square meters wide, right in front of Mariahilf church, in Mariahilfplatz, south of the historical centre. During the Auer Dult, hundreds of stalls sell antiques, second-hand clothes, food, textiles, glass and iron crafts, ancient pottery, vintage memorabilia, and lots of other items. From July 26 to August 19, again at the Olympiapark, the Sommerfestival is held, with live music, crafts and food stalls, a funfair and fireworks. From August 31 to September 2, a great day and night celebration awaits you along the banks of the Isar River, with Isarinselfest.
Photo by digital cat
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