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Memmingen is a beautiful historic town in Bavaria, in the south of Germany, just east of the Iller River, which marks the border with the state of Baden-Württemberg. The historic guild houses and buildings in Rococo style in this medieval trading town make Memmingen a popular destination for a short trip. Memmingen presents itself as 'the town of human rights'. In 1525, the so-called 'Twelve Articles', a historic document in which human rights were laid down for the first time in Europe (and possibly in the world), were signed in this city.
Two routes have been mapped out through the city, a red and a green one, which lead you along the main sites. Memmingen's heart is formed by the Marktplatz with the Rathaus (city hall), built in Renaissance style at the end of the sixteenth century. Here, especially the bay windows stand out. On the square you'll also find the Steuerhaus (where people had to pay their taxes) from a century earlier. On the Weinmarkt there are many guild houses, including the Kramerzunft where the 'Zwölf Artikel' mentioned earlier were signed following the German Peasant's War. The historic document itself is preserved at the City Archive. You can find out more about Memmingen's history at the Stadtmuseum, where for example archeological finds are exhibited. The museum also houses a fine collection of faience earthenware and paintings from the seventeenth until the nineteenth centuries.
The St Martinskirche dates back to the fifteenth century and has richly decorated choir stalls. In the Frauenkirche you can see stunning frescoes from the fifteenth century. For a long time, these murals were covered by plaster; they were only rediscovered in 1891. These are fine examples of Swabian painting.
One of Memmingen's most photographed houses is the Siebendächerhaus. This house with seven overlapping roofs was built in 1601 as accommodation for furriers. They put the animal skins to dry in the open spaces between the roofs.
The largest part of Memmingen's old city wall is well preserved with five gates and five watchtowers. Near the former Scottish monastery you can see interesting gravestones at the so-called old cemetery.
Memmingen frequently organizes events, the main one being Fischertag (Fisherman's day). The so-called city canal, a branch of the Benninger Ried, runs through the city. This used to be Memmingen's water supply. Once a year, this canal had to be 'cleaned', which meant that the fish was taken out. This tradition is kept alive on Fischertag. Besides cleaning the canal, Memmingen also organizes large festivities. Every four years, a large-scale folkloristic festival takes place, the Wallenstein Festspiel. This festival also has a historical basis. Wallenstein was Supreme Commander of the Imperial Army during the Thirty Years' War, but sought refuge in Memmingen after he had fallen into disgrace. During the Wallenstein Festspiel historical events from those days are enacted.
Memmingen is the gateway to the Allgäu, a landscape of hills, forests, pastures and lakes. Memmingen is not the only historic village in this area though. There are many more romantic towns and idyllic villages, like for example Augsburg, whose history dates back 2000 years and which used to be a center of architecture, painting and music during the Renaissance period. Mozart demonstrated his talents for the first time in Augsburg.
Neuschwanstein Castle, near Füssen, lies high above the Pöllat Ravine and is considered the best example of a fairytale castle. It is Bavarian King Ludwig II's most famous castle and served as an inspiration for Walt Disney's fairytale castle.
You have to pay for parking your car out on the street in Memmingen's center. It is easier to park your rental car in one of the parking garages. An electronic system indicates the nearest garage that has availability.
Memmingen Airport is called Allgäu Airport. The airport is located almost three kilometers east of the city center and is mainly used by budget airlines. The airport can be easily reached by rental car via the A-96 freeway, which runs north of the city. From the beltway you can also take the Augsburger Strasse to the airport.