Dinkelsbühl‘s Old Town is agreed to be among the most quaint Old Towns in Germany. This 800-year-old townscape, preserved in an almost-original condition, has rows of colorful half-timbered houses, a soaring church, ancient fortifications and gates, and broody patrician buildings. One unique aspect of Dinkelsbühl’s Old Town is that it grew unplanned.
Haus der Geschichte, the 14th-century ensemble of Dinkelsbühl’s town hall, houses the Dinkelsbühl history museum. If you wish to educate yourself on the city’s 800-year-old history and culture, you can’t do better than this museum. Expect to see paintings, weaponry, woolen cloth trade equipment, sculptures, and more. Also on offer is a fun tour (in German) for children.
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The tower of St. George’s Church looms over the Old Town of Dinkelsbühl. This Gothic church, constructed in the 15th century, is a treasure trove of artwork. Additionally, it wows visitors with its six beautiful altars belonging to the 15th and 16th centuries, the gorgeous 15th-century tabernacle and the 11 pillars holding up the net vaulting.
The rectangular Weinmarkt is an offshoot of the Old Town and a dreamy place to explore. It has cobbled alleys, gabled houses with flower-box windows and rows of quaint cafes – in short, everything that make up a quintessential Bavarian town.
The most eye-catching structure in the Weinmarkt (and perhaps in the entire city) is the Deutsches Haus, the former residence of the Counts of Drechsel-Deufstetten, and now a hotel and restaurant. This house, built in the 1400s, has a gorgeous Renaissance-style timber-frame façade with intricate carvings of planets and the Gods.
If you approach Dinkelsbühl from the north, the imposing 600-year-old Rothenberger Tor welcomes you to the city. Take special note of the gable with pilaster strips, the barbican on the lower level, the bay windows, and the coat of arms on the upper levels. In ancient times, the second floor of this structure used to house a prison and torture chambers.
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Segringer Tor is one of the several defense towers of the city, but stands out because of its Baroque architecture. This is because it was rebuilt in a different style after incurring heavy damage after being invaded by Swedish troops in 1648. This is a quiet and peaceful area with lovely views of gabled houses and ancient walls. From here, you can access the moat down a staircase.
A hop away from Weinmarkt, lies Dinkelsbühl’s bustling market square, Wochenmarkt. It is the perfect place to mingle with the locals and see more of the lovely gabled houses. This square is especially lively on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, when the farmers’ market is in full swing. You get the chance to fill your shopping bags with the freshest fruits, vegetables and meat and indulge in yummy bakery products.
If you are in Dinkelsbühl in mid-July, you have the chance to catch the historic annual event, Kinderzeche. During the devastating Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) that razed much of Europe to the ground, the Dinkelsbühl watchman’s young daughter led the children of this town to talk Gustav II Adolf out of invading the city. Even today, several centuries down the line, the brave children who saved the city are honored with a ten-day-long festival, during the course of which the children of Dinkelsbühl reenact the event.