The Swabian town of Günzburg has almost 20,000 inhabitants. It is the capital of the Günzburg district, which was created from the autonomous town of Günzburg and the districts of Günzburg and Krumbach in 1972. Günzburg is situated at the point where two smaller rivers, the Günz and the Nau, flow into the Danube. The town is part of the 'baroque corner of Swabia'. Geographically, it lies in the Alpine foothills and on the Iller-Lech Plateau. The area of moorland known as the Donaumoos starts to the north of the town. The Swabian Donaumoos basin, part of the Donauried basin, is one of the largest conservation areas in Bavaria.
Before the Austrians, it was the Celts and later the Romans who settled here. Franconians ruled the town in the Middle Ages, and it was only in the early 19th century that Günzburg became part of Bavaria. They have all left their mark – all the better for Günzburg and its visitors, who encounter one attraction after another on a stroll through the town. Günzburg's showpiece is without doubt the Church of Our Lady, a masterpiece of pure rococo built between 1736 and 1741. This style is also found inside the chapel belonging to the Margravial Palace, which is the only palace that the Habsburgs ever built in Germany and, together with its church (Hofkirche), creates a striking ensemble of Renaissance architecture. As beautiful as they both are, the town's signature landmark is undoubtedly the impressive clock tower (Unteres Tor). Only a stone's throw from the tower is the former Piarist college, home to the local history museum. From here, the long market square stretches out in front of you, its entire length framed by narrow buildings with pointed gables. It is a lovely place to stop for a while, have a stroll or perhaps do a spot of shopping. From the clock tower, you can enjoy magnificent views of the town and the Swabian countryside. The individual floors inside have been lovingly restored, and you can treat yourself to a weisswurst sausage or other delicious snack in the former tower watchman's room – a place that is just as unique as the whole town.
Founded in 1904, the town's local history museum is housed in the former Piarist college on Rathausgasse. You can delve into 4,000 years of history in 16 rooms at the museum, from early history to the times of the Celts and the Romans, and right up to the early 20th century. It also displays paintings, religious art, furniture, toys and a mineral collection. Guided tours can be booked by phone and are also available outside regular opening times.
Open since 2002, Legoland Deutschland is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bavaria, attracting 1.3 million visitors a year, and was named Germany's most child-friendly theme park in 2012. From Günzburg you can cycle directly to Legoland on the LEGOLAND Family Route. The route, which is pleasant to ride and avoids busy traffic, runs from Günzburg train station through the historical old quarter, across the market square, past Klingelpark playground and Hagenweide park, to Deffingen before reaching Legoland. If you want to cycle the LEGOLAND Family Route on an electric bike, these can be hired from Tourist Information between May and October.
Accommodation and restaurants in Guenzburg
Some 17 hotels and a whole host of other accommodation providers look forward to welcoming you to Günzburg. There are also around 60 restaurants of all categories, many of which are waypoints on the 'Swabian Potato Tour'. This circular route running through scenic countryside takes you to the finest purveyors of Swabian potato specialities.
Two brewery inns that are steeped in history are Hotel zur Münz on the market square and the Schwarzer Adler, which was first documented in 1586.
Activities in Guenzburg
Günzburg features on many scenic cycling trails. The Via Julia, for example, follows the course of the old Roman road. The waypoints on this 330km cycle route, which starts in Günzburg, are Augsburg, Pullach, Bad Aibling, Rosenheim, Traunstein and Salzburg. Another that follows the trail of the Romans is the 70km Via Danubia, taking in Günzburg, Offingen, Gundelfingen, Lauingen, Gundremmingen, Aislingen, Glött, Holzheim, Binswagen, Wertingen, Buttenwiesen, Mertingen and Oberndorf am Lech. Günzburg's local trail is the 90km Günztalradweg (Günz valley cycle route) which connects the Allgäu region with the Danube and runs between Obergünzburg and Günzburg. For a longer tour, you can easily combine the Günztalradweg with other trails such as the international Danube Cycle Route.
An insider tip among nature lovers is the Donauried basin, a scenic riverscape between Neu-Ulm and Donauwörth. The section as far as Lauingen, in particular, is dominated by pretty riverside woodland. This beautiful wetland area contains fascinating biotopes, such as the reservoir near Faimingen, the Swabian Donaumoos basin between Ulm and Gundelfingen, and the parklands around Gundelfingen. The low moors provide a habitat for birds, including white storks that have been successfully reintroduced in various conservation areas, as well as amphibians, dragonflies, grasshoppers and butterflies. Some of the plants that are native to this area are on the red list of endangered species.
The name Günzburg, written as 'Guntzbourg', decorates the eastern pillar of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. This was because of Napoleon, who is also said to have forgotten to settle a bill in Günzburg in 1805. In 1989 French President François Mitterrand symbolically cleared this old debt when visiting the historical old quarter with the German Chancellor of the time, Helmut Kohl.
Günzburg/Leipheim Tourist Information
Schlossplatz 1, 89312 Günzburg
Tel.: +49 (0)8221 200 444
Fax: +49 (0)8221 200 446
Monday to Friday 10am to 1pm