Sometimes, the smallest of things pack in the largest of wonders.
Memmingen is a quaint little Bavarian town, popularly known as the gateway to the Allgäu (a region across Germany and Austria that stretches across the Alps). Most tourists use Memmingen as a base when traveling to the Bavarian Alps or the Neuschwanstein (sleeping beauty) castle as this little town has an airport and it’s quicker to access the Alps from here rather than from Munich or Stuttgart.
Oh, but, this dreamy little town is more than just a gateway to the Alpine region. It is a charming, vibrant little town with colorful townhouses and cobblestoned alleys which was thankfully left unscathed by the World War II destruction that left most of Germany in shambles.
We visited Memmigen on a sudden whim; decided to make the slight detour on our way back home from Füssen. So, with no list of things to do and places to see, we decided to just walk around this medieval town for a few hours and see what little surprises were in store. And, we were not disappointed! At every corner, we ran into one wondrous thing or the other – a historic building, a brightly painted house, a pretty stream, an interesting sculpture, a beautiful little chapel… we were simply delighted at every turn.
We started at the Marktplatz, the city centre, which is generally the best place to start at in any town. But this market place was unlike any others we’d seen. Colorful buildings adorn this little square and most of this little town. You’ll see these brightly painted buildings all around town.
This intricately painted building you see in the pictures below is Memmingen’s Steuerhaus (tax house). It takes up most of the market square.
Right next to the Steuerhaus is the Rathaus (town hall).
We continued walking towards the other end of the square.. just next to the Steuerhaus is the St. Johann church.
And just around the corner from here, is the Blaue Saul, the blue (corner) column.
We walked on straight ahead from the blue column, toward the Sankt Martinskirche (St. Martin’s church).
The church was unfortunately closed.. so we walked back down the street, toward the little stream that we’d seen opposite the blue column. The Stadtbach (town brook) runs through most of this little town making the little place all the more magical.
Welf VI was a 12th century Lord of Memmingen and Duke of Bavaria. The sculpture is quite an interesting portrayal of the Bavarian lord – you can see him riding with a globe under his horse’s hoof and his naked wife on the palm of his hand.
We continued walking around the Altstadt (old town) area. We came across an interesting historic gate. Apparently, there are ten such gates/towers and about 2 kilometers of wall around the Altstadt from several centuries ago that is still preserved.
We then arrived at the Fischerbrunnen at the Schrannenplatz.
the city’s oldest wine tavern
The Schrannenplatz was brimming with locals – kids frolicking in one of the other fountains in the square, people sitting around the little cafes sipping on their evening coffees, and some others cooling off the hot day with some ice-cream.
We took a right in one of these little lanes, again just following the stream..
It is such a picturesque, fascinating little town. We walked on at a lazy pace, reveling in the beauty that surrounded us.
Memmingen reminded us so much of Ulm (where we currently live). Little streams flow through Ulm as well and the city centres are quite similar, although more half-timbered and less colorful buildings in Ulm and definitely lesser crowds in Memmingen, even for a Saturday evening.
Dusk was slowly settling in and flocks of birds were headed home high above the Frauenkirche. In front of the church was a cozy little park.
After a short break in the park, we slowly traced our steps back to the town center, taking a different route.
Now, with all that walking, we had worked up a nice appetite and were ready to check out the local food and brews. We just walked around the block that had a whole bunch of restaurants and ended up at the Moritz Memmingen. It was a lovely restaurant – good food and good local beer.
We’d had the Memminger Weizen before, when we had first arrived in Ulm. It’s a delicious wheat beer!
We would have loved to spend more time in this charming little town but it was time to hit the road. We were so glad we had decided to make this impromptu stopover for a short few hours in Memmingen. We were thrilled to discover this little treasure not too far from home.
as we say goodbye to beautiful Memmingen
The little towns of Germany continue to delight us leaving us with beautiful memories that will be lovingly cherished for a long time.