16 July 2014

We began the journey from Katzwang to Landshut with a Bavaria ticket, valid from 9am Monday to Friday, midnight onwards during the weekend.  Two persons cost €27, travel valid on local trains only.  The direct train took less than 2 hours.

Landshut was founded by the Duke of Ludwig I of Bavaria in 1204. Wow, over 800 years of history!  Its most glorious period ranged from 1393 to 1503.  It was famous for its arts and crafts, attributed to master craftsmen, carvers, sculptors, goldsmiths, etc.

Burg Trausnitz
The Trausnitz Castle is situated atop a hill above Landshut.  It was founded by Duke Ludwig I in 1204 and completed in 1235.  The medieval castle underwent renovation and restoration between 16th & 19th century. The Dürntiz was built and the wall heightened and extended.  Ludwig X furnished the castle in south German Renaissance style in 1516.  Fires destroyed much of the interior and the paintings.

One can see the interior only through a guided tour, lasts about 1 hour.  Rooms furnished with old time furniture, paintings and sculptures are explained in German.  The more special stuff are the chapel and a staircase with the remains of Renaissance paintings restored beautifully.
Town Residence (Stadtresidenz)
It is the first Italian Renaissance palace built north of the Alps, dated between 1536 and 1543.  Viewed from the main street, the façade is like a big four-storey plain box.  The beauty is behind the wall.  It consists of two parallel wings.  The front is known as the ‘German’ building and the back as the ‘Italian’.  The halls and rooms of the Italian wing contain very nice Renaissance frescoes.
Duke Ludwig X left the hilltop castle and built a palace in the town centre, the most modern style at his time.   It started with ‘German’ and then ‘Italian’ style after his trip to Mantova.   He was so impressed with the Italian art and completed the leftover in the admired Italian way.  A slide show put together Landshut Residence and Giulio Romano Palazzo del Te in Mantova together.  They share very much similarity.

The interior can be viewed only through a guided tour.   Combined ticket for the castle Trausnitz and the residence cost €8.  It was conducted in German.  It depends if the guide can speak English.   Mine?  He could sparely answer simple questions in English.  But we could take photos which was nice to compensate for not covering the English audience.  The tour started with the Italian building with fantastic renaissance frescoes.   Painters include Hermanus Posthumus, Hans Bocksberger, etc.   Themes are from the Bible, mythology and historical topics.  Then we were led through to the German building to view the living rooms in German style.

Opening time for Trausnitz and Residence:
April – September: 9.00 -18.00
October to March: 10.00 – 16.00
Monday closed
Guided tour lasts 45 minutes.  Last one 17.00 (summer) and 15.30 (winter)

The medieval church St Martin was built in 1389 and completed in 110 years.  The most striking feature is the tower, 130.6m high, the tallest brick building in the world.   It alone took 55 years to build.  

You will also like the Rathaus with a beautiful façade, the river shore and the colours of the buildings under the sunshine.
The largest European Middle Ages festival – LandshutWedding. The marriage of Duke George and Hedwig, the daughter of the king of Poland, is celebrated every four years.  The next one will take place in summer 2017.



12 April 2015

It was still early April in Italy.  We were lucky with the weather, sunshine and warm.  Friends slept for long as usual. I prepared blueberry almond muffin per recipe from Nancy Silverton.   All 9 were gone quickly.  We were ready for the trip to Bergamo, for an exhibition.  Unfortunately, we could not find a parking space down and uphill.  So, we headed to San Pellegrino Terme.

We parked near Tempio dei Caduti. At time, it was closed.  It is a temple of victory, dedicated to the war dead.  Nice frescoes are displayed inside.

Right at the middle is a river dissecting the town.  Houses on the both banks are nice.  The town is layback and tranquil. Any one can relax there. The atmosphere may also contribute to the suitability of a venue as a spa resort. It is surrounded by hills.  One can ascend to have a gorgeous view of the surroundings.


Pellegrino is famous for its carbonated water.  It is also home to several Art Novueau edifices from the early century including the Casino, the Grand Hotel and the Terme.  In my opinion, the beautiful town is sort of decayed grandeur.  Say, the casino is not used for its function any more.  It is a venue for wedding, banquet, conference now.  Availability is by request, else it is closed.  Sad! Such a splendid place is shut most of the time.


Standing elegantly on one side of the river bank is the Grand Hotel.  It resembles lost splendour.  A huge luxurious building with faded fame and glory, standing quietly years over years.


Fortunately, it will be renovated as we read it on newspaper a few days after the visit.  I hope that it will resume its glory and become vibrant again.

I guess the biggest magnet drawing people here are the spas. Price was not so high, €40-44 for the whole day.  You and your friends can easily drop aside troubles, relax and recover there.

During the peak time, San Pellegrino Terme had a railway station connecting Bergamo.  There was also a funicular.  But both of them are not used any more.  It allows the town serving as a resort town instead of filling with hustle.  Good and bad.  Nevertheless, we enjoyed the time there.  A friend was happy with the local sweet, Polenta e ösei.  It was very very sweet.