The old Bavarian ducal town of Straubing is situated in the so-called Gäuboden (flat and fertile soil) on the River Danube between Regensburg and Passau, and is regarded as one of the main gateways to the Bavarian Forest National Park.
The royal seat of the House of Wittelsbach in Straubing reached its heyday during the era of the Duchy of Straubing-Holland from 1353-1425. Straubing remained one of the capitals and governmental centres in "Old Bavaria" until the beginning of the last century.
The most sensational find in the Gäuboden-Museum has to be the collection of the worldfamous Roman treasure not to be rediscovered until 1950 during excavation work. The treasure consists of head and face masks, leg shields, head shields for horses, bronze statuettes etc. Apart from the Gäuboden Museum Straubing has numerous other sights that are well worth a visit. First and foremost the town’s most famous landmark, its 14th century tower, which divides the 600 metre long Gothic market place into two halves.
St. Peter’s complex is a jewel of a special kind with one of the most significant graveyards in the entire German speaking area. There are six centuries of wrought-iron crosses and gravestones, a Romanic basilica (circa 1180) and three Gothic chapels. One of the chapels was built by Duke Ernst to atone for the death of the barber’s daughter Agnes Bernauer from Augsburg, who, as a commoner, could not be recognized as a suitable match for his son and heir Duke Albrecht. So he had her condemned to death as a sorceress. She was drowned in the River Danube on 12th October 1435. In her memory the Agnes Bernauer Festival Production is staged every four years in the courtyard of the ducal residence.
Straubing has two of the most significant late Gothic hall churches in"Old Bavaria", the extremely richly decorated Parish Church of St. James with its magnificent Moses-window created by Albrecht Dürer, and the Carmelite Monastery Church with its baroque alterations. The late baroque Ursuline Convent Church built by the Asam brothers, was to be their last joint masterpiece (1736-1741).
Straubing also has a wealth of leisure activities to offer, e. g. the traditional trotting course, the adventure pool AQUAtherm or the zoo - the only one in Eastern Bavaria with more than 1700 animals in almost 200 species.
Each year in the middle of July artists from all over the world meet in Straubing at the festival “Jazz an der Donau”. This festival of Swing and Jazz with musicians like Juanes or Randy Crawford belongs to the ten most famous ones in Europe.
In the middle of August every year Straubing celebrates the so-called "fifth season"- the Gäuboden Beer Festival with East Bavarian Exhibition. This Bavarian Beer Festival, second only in size to the Octoberfest in Munich, attracts over a million visitors.