Straubing is an old Bavarian ducal town. It is situated in Gäuboden (flat and fertile soil) on the River Danube between Regensburg and Passau.  

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 important for a few centuries but faded since the beginning of the last century. Nevertheless, Straubing's beauty continues to charm her visitors. The centre is composed with pastel-colour buildings of different periods. The pedestrian square is dominated by the Gothic Stadtturm (city tower) (1316). It traps everyone's sight. The richly gabled Rathaus (townhall) stands quietly and humbly next to it.

The city tower in Straubing was built as a watch and fire tower. It is located in the middle of the town square, a 600 meters long street market. One side is the Ludwigsplatz and the side Theresienplatz. The tower also functioned for custom purpose. It levied duties on the passing ships. A bell (fire bell) is located in the city tower.  The antique bell bears an inscription, "I tell you the time that God gazes us day and night". It is one of the oldest bells in Germany.

Just east of the tower is the gleaming golden Dreifaltigkeitssäule (Trinity Column), erected in 1709. In 1704, the senior officials and citizens vowed to erect a monument dedicated to the Holy Trinity if the siege of the city went off lightly.  

The group of the Holy Trinity is enthroned on the column, with God the Father and God's Son standing on the sides of the globe, while the Holy Spirit, represented by the symbol of the dove, hovers in a halo above the cross. The trinity group was made of wood, covered with copper and then gilded. 

Straubing has about half a dozen historic churches. The most impressive is St Jakobskirche, a late-Gothic hall church with original stained-glass windows. The glass paintings of the neo-Gothic windows are from the end of the 15th century. Biblical figures are presented in strong colours. The one gets most attention is the handing over of the tablets of the Law to Moses by God. The design came from Albrecht Dürer, according to the new findings. 

Also noteworthy are the very splendid grand pulpit and the high altar. The golden sculptures on the pulpit are finely crafted and ornamental. The shrine of the altar shows figures of Mary with child, the church patrons James and Tiburtius, as well as Mary Magdalene and St. Leonhard. Paintings on the wings show important biblical scenes. 

Other important churches are JesuitenkircheKarmelitenkirche and Ursulinenkirche. The altar painting in the Ursuline Church is very striking. Adam and Eve were compelled to leave the paradise. Eve's was desperate and helpless. Audiences cannot see Adam's facial expression but the tense and muscular body.

Jesuitenkirche is located right at the town centre. Simple exterior houses extravagant altar, pulpit and sculptures. 

Let's take a break here. I'll show the Gäubodenmuseum, St. Peter cemetery, Herzogsschloß, the beautiful river and a bit more the buildings in the lovely town of Straubing in the next post.


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