Even from the distance, the old part of the town, built on a Jurassic limestone hill, dominates the lovely Danube valley. This imposing silhouette has remained practically unchanged for centuries. On entering the old part of the town through a gate in the medieval walls, and passing the castle built by Ottheinrich, the visitor is taken into a fascinating world of Renaissance and Baroque. The old patrician houses and aristocrats’ mansions displaying superb facades, the imposing churches, the provincial library and the ancient mint, the medieval walls and the upper and lower gates are all constant reminders of Neuburg’s rich heritage.
In Neuburg an der Donau you can experience an almost fully preserved baroque and renaissance ensemble, including an imposing Ducal Palace. Karlsplatz, with its 200-year-old linden trees and one of the most picturesque squares in southern Germany, is surrounded by numerous aristocratic and patrician houses like pearls on a chain.
Renaissance on the Danube in NeuburgThe first duke of the Palatinate-Neuburg principality was Duke Ottheinrich, who inherited the castle in Neuburg after a war of succession in 1505 between Palatinate and Bavarian members of the House of Wittelsbach. Ottheinrich enlarged his medieval residence into a stately palace with high Renaissance gables and a beautiful courtyard surrounded by arcades. The castle took on its present-day form during the reign of Duke Philipp Wilhelm with the addition of the Baroque eastern wing and the two round towers.
Count Palatine Ottheinrich wanted his capital to reside in particular splendour, and so had a three-winged Ducal Palace built, which is located on a Jurassic rock on the Danube and can be seen from far and wide. A hunting lodge was built in the nearby Danube woods for his wife Susanna, who was born princess of Bavaria-Munich. Nowadays, you can find the Wittelsbacher Golf Club nearby – one of the most picturesque and magnificent golf courses in Germany.
Further relics of the Palatinate-Neuburg principality include the Hofkirche and the Provincial Library. The later Count Palatine Wolfgang Wilhelm commissioned several altarpieces by Peter Paul Rubens for the Hofkirche. These and other works can be enjoyed in the State Gallery for Flemish Baroque Art in Neuburg Castle with 150 works by Rubens, van Dyck and many more of the most important Flemish artists. Those wishing to experience a special tour of the castle can book a ticket on the "Plaudereien aus dem Nähkästchen" tour ("Gossip from the Sewing Box"), which is led by a tour guide playing the role of Duchess Maria Amalia von Pfalz-Zweibrücken, who lived in Neuburg Castle some 200 years ago.