Gordon:  It seems that every town we pass through in this region has some modest claim on history.  Some of them are quirky enough that I must share them.

Tonight we are in Ingolstadt, a small city with an attractive historical centre dating to the late medieval and Renaissance periods.  Despite its small size, however, Ingolstadt is of considerable import to beer drinkers.  It was here that the famous Bavarian Purity Law was first passed in 1516.  It restricts the content of beer to only four ingredients: water, barley, hops and yeast.  Even 500 years later, reference is made to this law on the packaging of some Canadian beer.

Ingolstadt has also been a university town since the Middle Ages.  A very attractive Anatomy Lab building that still exists was used by Mary Shelly as the setting for the lab where her character Frankenstein was created.

The small residential town where we stayed last night, Blindheim, claims a place in more conventional history texts.  It was there, in 1704, that an army led by the Duke of Marlborough enjoyed a decisive victory over French troops in the War of the Spanish Succession.  A grateful Queen Anne rewarded the Duke with £240,000 to construct a suitable residence.  (History does not record what the private soldiers who lost limbs, etc. received.)  The house was named Blenheim, after the battle site, and it can be visited today.  I did so on my first long bicycle tour, in 1978.  It is interesting to see the connection between places we have visited in Europe as we wander about the continent.

Follow Our Journey

Don't want to miss a post?

Sign-up below to receive notifications whenever we add a new post to our blog.