Despite its name, which means “new castle on the Danube”, the delightful little town of NEUBURG AN DER DONAU, 21km west of Ingolstadt, is scarcely new, though it was only after the foundation of the principality of Pfalz-Neuburg in 1505 that it really gained any importance. The “official” quarter on a bluff high above the river has a dolls’ house prettiness, with stately seventeenth-and eighteenth-century gabled houses lining the main street, Amalienstrasse, and the principal civic buildings – including the late Renaissance Hofkirche – grouped around a handsome central square, Karlsplatz. The town is utterly dominated by its impressive Renaissance Schloss, which is the main reason for a visit. If you’re in Neuburg in the spring be sure to try the locally grown Schrobenhausen asparagus, which is considered a great delicacy.
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Neuburg’s magnificent Renaissance Schloss was constructed from 1530 onwards for Pfalzgraf (Count Palatine) Ottheinrich, the principality’s first ruler; the splendid arcaded courtyard is decorated with elaborate sgraffito, while the chapel was the first purpose-built Protestant church in Germany and has beautiful frescoes by Hans Bocksberger dating from 1543. Highlights of the Schloss’s interior include the Rittersaal or Knights’ Hall in the north wing, with its mighty columns and wooden ceiling. A Baroque east wing was added in 1665 to 1670, complete with two round towers that dominate the river and town. The Schloss’s west wing contains the Bayerische Staatsgalerie Flämische Barockmalerei, with a hundred and twenty works of Flemish art by masters including Rubens, Van Dyck and Bruegel.