Ingolstadt – a city of many facets, steeped in history and tradition yet with a modern, urban flair, vibrant and full of life. This university city and shopping destination on the Danube has a delightful blend of charm and atmosphere. And it also has the Audi Forum, a world of automotive discovery that is not just for petrol heads.
Lovingly restored gabled merchants' houses, splendid city gates, imposing towers and an impressive fortress dominate the appearance of the city. Restaurants, art and many events add extra colour and turn any shopping trip to Ingolstadt into an enjoyable outing. Festivals and markets are held throughout the year, with museums, concerts, exhibitions and theatre performances rounding off the attractions on offer. Audi Forum Ingolstadt with its 'museum mobile' and the exclusive outlet shopping centre Ingolstadt Village are other firm favourites. As is the picturesque old quarter, best accessed through the splendid Kreuztor gate. This is the most beautiful of the remaining town gates and used to be part of the extensive fortifications. Today it is Ingolstadt's most famous landmark and a delightful example of medieval architecture. Beyond the gate, some magnificent sights await the visitor, such as the New Palace, the Asam Church with its famous Lepanto monstrance, the Alte Anatomie and the Old Town Hall. Next to this stands the city's oldest parish church, St. Moritz. A Romanesque church tower rises on its northern side, while to the south stands the slender Gothic Pfeifturm, formerly a city watchtower. Two hundred steps lead up to the top of this tower, which offers outstanding panoramic views across Ingolstadt including the impressive late-Gothic minster. As the largest hall church in southern Germany, it's hard to miss. The university, which had close links with St. Moritz, was founded in 1472 as Bavaria's first state university. Thanks to this seat of learning, the city flourished and became the intellectual and cultural centre of Bavaria for more than three centuries. To this day, Ingolstadt retains the essence of that era of charming traditions and heady romanticism. It fits in with this picture that the Illuminati, the quintessential secret society, were founded in Ingolstadt in 1776. You can get a strong sense of this atmosphere on a mystery tour or on a türmerey, a one-hour guided walk through the city after dark led by a 'genuine' medieval nightwatchman telling tales and singing songs.