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Welcome to Pappenheim!

View of Pappenheim

The Middle Franconian town of Pappenheim lies in an idyllic meander of the Altmühl – the river that gave the beautiful nature park the name Altmühltal (Altmühl Valley). About an hour’s drive south of Nuremberg, in the heart of Bavaria lies a small town where history and the modern world meet. It gives us great pleasure to introduce our home town of Pappenheim, its history, its character, and its people to you.
But it is more than just the historical buildings such as the Old Palace (Altes Schloss) and the New Palace (Neues Schloss) (designed by Leo von Klenze), which still distinguish the town center today, or the monumental fortress overlooking the town that testify to the historical importance of the region and its people. The nobles of Pappenheim have also left their mark on German culture. The famous saying "I know my fellow Pappenheims" (Daran erkenne ich meine Pappenheimer, from Schiller’s drama The Death of Wallenstein) has since become part of the German language. The saying originally referred to the bravery of Pappenheim’s cavalry, but nowadays it is used to imply that someone is acting just the way one would expect them to.

Pappenheim Fortress

Nowadays the story of life in the days of the counts and the Reichserbmarschalls (heriditary title in the days of the Holy Roman Empire) is told by numerous exhibits in the museums and on the grounds of the Pappenheim Fortress (Burg Pappenheim).  The annual knight tournament offers a unique opportunity to experience the Middle Ages. Thus there is a lot for history buffs to see and do in Pappenheim, with its fortress complex, museums, and numerous other historical sites.    
The sunny patios and Biergartens of the streetside cafés, guest houses, and restaurants are an ideal place for a relaxing break and are a perfect, enjoyable way to end the day. They offer something for everyone, whether for an overnight stay or for longer visits. From feasible to convenient, there is something on the list of hotels, bed and breakfasts, and private renters of vacation apartments to suit everyone’s needs and budget.

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Outdoor Swimming Pool

After a refreshing night’s sleep, Pappenheim invites you to enjoy its recreational offerings and promises an exciting day: nature lovers can take a hike or bike ride on the well-maintained trails around Pappenheim or go on a leisurely boat ride through the enchanting Altmühl Valley. The outdoor swimming pool at Pappenheim offers water fun for young and old alike. And culture lovers should find the museum of artist and painter Heinrich W. Mangold and the numerous annual historical events (such as the knight tournament, "Medieval performers night" (Nacht der Gaukler), or "Christmas at the fortress" (Burgweihnacht) particulary alluring.
Pappenheim is the perfect destination for all who wish to combine vacation and education in an enjoyable way. The Evangelische Landvolkshochschule Pappenheim [Protestant Rural Community High School] with its high rope course and its diverse educational offerings for youth, senior citizens, and the entire family is a popular place to stay.

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Thanks to its ideal location, Pappenheim is a good base for further excursions in the Altmühl Valley Nature Park. There are numerous interesting places to visit nearby.
Well-maintained bike and hiking trails take the visitor to the nearby villages of Bieswang, Geislohe, Göhren, Neudorf, Ochsenhart, Osterdorf, Übermatzhofen, and Zimmern.
Our neighboring town of Treuchtlingen, with its Altmühltherme spa and its diverse recreational and fitness attractions, is about seven kilometers away. Further to the north is the district town of Weißenburg, right on the "Deutsche Limes-Strasse."  The Roman Museum, the Roman fort "Regio Biriciana," and the "Limes" World Heritage Site are a portal to the world of Ancient Rome.

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The fossils from the quarries in and around Solnhofen go even further back in time. Solnhofen is ca. six kilometers east of Pappenheim and is famous worldwide as the discovery site of the archaeopteryx (ancestral bird). Nowadays it is an important site for the stone working and processing industry. The archaeopteryx and other spectacular fossils can be admired in the local Bürgermeister-Müller-Museum.
 Known as the Stony Quintet (Die Steinreichen 5), the towns of  Treuchtlingen and Pappenheim along with the communities of Solnhofen, Langenaltheim, and Mörnsheim are an invitation to discover the history and natural wonders of the southern German Jura region.  
With its cathedral, baroque historical district, and the Willibaldsburg, the university town of  Eichstätt to the east of Pappenheim is yet another attractive excursion destination.
The surrounding area also offers diverse opportunities for recreation. The recently opened Altmühl  Valley Panoramic Trail (Altmühltal-Panorama-Weg) is an invitation to discover and explore the beauty of the unique natural and cultural landscape between the Franconian Lake Region and the Donaudurchbruch, the famous Weltenburger Enge at Kehlheim where the Danube breaks through the Jurassic limestone. The Altmühl itself offers an opportunity to enjoy the scenery on a leisurely boat ride.

We hope that these paragraphs have piqued your curiosity about our Middle Franconian gem. If we’ve managed to do so, we cordially invite you to come to Pappenheim and discover its history, cultural heritage, its idyllic nature, and above all its people – so that you can then truly say:

"I know my fellow Pappenheims…!"


Text: Udo Merschbecker and Jens Stößl

Translation: Jack Speese

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