Memmingen is a small Bavaria town often referred to as “The Gateway to the Allgäu”. In 2019, the travel magazine “Conde Nast Traveller” voted Memmingen the best destination for a city trip worldwide, ahead of places like Barcelona and Venice.
The old town of Memmingen is one of the best-maintained medieval towns in Germany. The city walls and historic buildings offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history.
The market square is surrounded by various impressive buildings such as the town hall, the town parish church of St. Martin and the Kramer guild fountain. Walking through the narrow streets and across the market square will take you back to the Middle Ages
Where is Memmingen?
Memmingen is located in southern Germany in the federal state of Bavaria, directly off the A7 motorway. It borders the Allgäu region and has a small airport called Allgäu Airport. It takes about one and a half hours by car to get to Munich and just under half an hour to Kempten in the Allgäu.
The History of Memmingen
The town’s history dates back to Roman times, with an outpost on the River Iller, and in the 4th or 5th century, it was a settlement of the Alemanni; then, in the 7th century, the Franks lived there. Moreover, Memmingen is well-known as the place where the writing of the 12 Peasants’ Articles and the Federal Order took place; this was the first constitutional assembly in Germany. In 1945, Allied forces bombed the town causing several parts of the old town to be destroyed.
Where are the most important sights in Memmingen?
The historic market square with the town hall
The market square is the centre of the historic old town. The restored buildings around the square create a great setting with a relaxed vibe. The town hall dates back to 1488, and interestingly the rear façade was built in 1765 in the Rococo style. Another beautiful architectural structure in the square is the Tax House which dates back to 1495. It was built as the seat of the tax administration. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, there is a lovely weekly market on the market square, offering everything from fresh vegetables to traditional home-baked goodies, honey, cheese and fruit brandy.
The Stadtbach in Memmingen
A walk along the Stadtbach in Memmingen is an absolute must. Here you will find small cosy restaurants and cafés with outside tables directly next to the stream.
Once upon a time, the tanners washed their hides in the town’s stream, and other garbage was also washed away. Therefore, it was necessary to clean the stream once a year. To do the dreadful task, the men had to remove the trout from the stream with their large fishing nets. This fishing expedition created an opportunity to hold a big festival today known as “Fishermen’s Day”. The one who catches the heaviest trout becomes known as the “Fisher King” for one year. This festival is held annually in the town in July.
The Red and Green Paths through Memmingen
The Red Path takes you past all the architectural and historical monuments. You can get a brochure at the tourist information office with more information about the individual sights If you don’t want to miss these sights, follow the two marked paths through the town
The green path is our favourite, leading you through parks and past gates and towers. This path is particularly suitable for families with children.
Guided tours of Memmingen
What is the most significant event in Memmigen not to be missed?
It is, without any doubt, the historical Wallenstein Week in Memmingen!
This event happens every four years in Memmingen. During this week, the history of Memmingen during the thirty years of war in Europe is showcased and portrayed by Memmingen’s citizens. The opening is the greatest spectacle on the market square, with more than 4,500 actors, 300 horses and about 40 floats. Make sure you book accommodation well in advance as this is an experience not to be missed!
Memmingen is a beautiful town with a rich history, cultural sites and a festival that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Visit this old town and let yourself be transported back in time.