Kaufbeuren im Allgäu - a feast of impressions for all the senses. Every year, thousands of visitors from far and near delight in discovering Kaufbeuren's charms, its eventful history, wealth of sights and rich assortment of cultural attractions.
Culture and Tradition
The list of cultural events is long and varied: every summer, the town celebrates the oldest historical children's festival in Bavaria, the traditional "Tänzelfest", in which more than 1600 boys and girls dress up in historical costumes and reenact the history of the town. At Christmas, Kaufbeuren boasts the world's largest "natural" Advent wreath - more than eight metres in diameter and featuring 1.5-metre-tall genuine wax candles. In the square outside St. Martin's church, Kaufbeuren's Christmas Market invites visitors to come, linger and enjoy the holiday mood.
History and Heritage
In the winding cobbled streets of the Old Town, history abounds at every turn. One of the Kaufbeuren's most remarkable features are the well-preserved town walls, dating from ca. 1200, with their two picturesque towers. One of these, the "Fünfknopfturm", is the emblem of the town. Kaufbeuren's Town Hall has achieved fame far beyond the boundaries of the town as a popular venue for stylish wedding ceremonies. Built in 1879, it was designed by Georg Hauberrisser, who later became renowned for his town halls in Munich and Saarbrücken.
Neugablonz – a post-war success story
Neugablonz, the largest of Kaufbeuren's districts, is of more recent date. It was founded over 60 years ago by German exiles from Bohemia who sought a new start and set about rebuilding their traditional industries from scratch. The themed jewellery route features a number of interesting information boards, and several firms offer visitors an insight into their production processes, as well as an opportunity to purchase articles direct from the manufacturer. The Gablonz Industries' interactive exhibition provides visitors with a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the world of jewellery manufacturing and an inkling of the vast range of products and services offered by the Neugablonz companies.
The historically and culturally-minded visitor will find a wealth of interesting information at the town's museums: the tranquil Crescentia Memorial Museum, the historically significant Isergebirgs-Museum in Neugablonz, the Fire Brigade Museum, the quaint Puppet Theatre Museum and the modern art gallery "kunsthaus kaufbeuren". These are only some examples of Kaufbeuren's ongoing efforts to create incentives for art and culture enthusiasts to come and visit the town.
A number of famous people were born in Kaufbeuren, the most illustrious being St. Crescentia of Kaufbeuren (1682 - 1744), after whom the Crescentia convent is named. Every year, this place of pilgrimage is visited by thousands of people from far and near. The convent chapel houses the burial shrine of St. Crescentia, and visitors to the Crescentia Memorial Museum can view a collection of precious objects that reflect the life of St. Crescentia and the history of her veneration.
Other famous sons and daughters of Kaufbeuren include the writers Ludwig Ganghofer, Sophie von La Roche and Hans Magnus Enzensberger, winner of numerous literary awards. Kaufbeuren's most prominent regular visitor was Emperor Maximilian I, who was so fond of the town in the Allgäu that he even bought a house here.
From a tourist point of view, Kaufbeuren's strategic position between Munich and the Allgäu Alps makes it the perfect base for a holiday in the region. It is only a short drive from the city lights of Munich or the ski slopes and mountains of Oberstdorf. And fans of King Ludwig II will be glad to hear that the royal castles in Füssen are only a stone's throw away.
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