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The official Danube cycle route - marked blue on the map below - does not lead into the city at all. But it would be a pity to just pass by here, even if the Reichsstrasse goes uphill. Again we are in a place steeped in history.

Under Otto the Great a bridge over the Danube was built in the course of the preparations for the battle of Lechfeld 955. This was the basis for the development of the existing settlement into a city.

Around the year 1030 Count Mangold I brought a valuable cross relic to Donauwörth as a gift from the Byzantine Emperor Romanus III from Constantinople. The precious cross relic is considered the largest in Germany and is demonstrably a particle of the holy cross found in Jerusalem by St. Empress Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, around 320.

cross relic

Cross particles

Count Mangold I. donated a convent for women to worship the cross particles.

In 1049 the monastery Holy Cross, which was then still integrated into Mangoldstein Castle, was consecrated by Pope Leo IX.

In 1101 the Benedictine monks from St. Blasien took over the monastery. In 1125, the church and monastery were built on the present site. In the years 1696-1698 the monastery, 1717-1720 the Holy Cross Church and 1747 the tower (Romanesque substructure) received their present form.

Holy Cross Monastery in Donauwörth

Monastery Holy Cross

Altar Holy Cross Church Donauwörth with cross particle

Altar with the cross particle

1178-1266 the city was directly assigned as an imperial fiefdom to the ruling Staufer family, who pledged it to the Duchy of Bavaria in 1266. The one-headed Staufer eagle remained in the city coat of arms until 1530 and was then replaced by the double-headed imperial eagle.

In 1301 the town became a Free Imperial Town and thus directly subordinated to the Emperor.

In the years 1444-1473 the parish church "Zu unserer Lieben Frau" was built in place of the St. Ulrich's Church which had become too small.

Liebfrauenkirche Donauwörth

As a result of the religious turmoil in which the city had supported the Reformation, it came under imperial control in 1607 and was converted into Bavarian pledged property by Duke Maximilian of Bavaria. As a reaction to this occupation, the Protestant estates of the Reich joined together in 1608 to form the Protestant Union. In 1632 the city was conquered by Gustav II Adolf.

After the (illegal) execution of the Empire by the Bavarian Duke Maximilian, Donauwörth, as it is now called, lost not only its independence but also a good half of its inhabitants.
Shortly before the end of the Second World War, the town was severely destroyed in two senseless air raids on 11 and 19 April 1945, especially in the area of the railway station and the Reichsstraße. The reconstruction of the historical Reichsstraße begins in 1946.

Reichstrasse in Donauwörth


Reichsstrasse in Donauwörth

Rieder Tor in Donauwörth

Rieder Tor

Map of Donauwörth with bike trail

bike symbol bike symbol

Danube cycle path