Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz is a typical Bavarian province. There were both happy and sad pages in its history. Today, the city offers travelers a cheerful folk festival in August, a walk through the romantic ruins of Wolfstein Castle and training in the Sausage Academy, where they teach to understand scraps of sausage.
Archaeological finds indicate that the settlement on the site of the town of Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz existed in the Neolithic period. At the beginning of the XII century it was a trade crossroad - the "new market" (literal translation of the name of the city) - on the road between Nuremberg and Regensburg. The town was first mentioned in documents in 1135. In the XIII century Emperor Frederick II granted Neumarkt city rights and with them the right to levy customs duties. However, the city did not have time to exercise this right, as it passed to the House of Wittelsbach and lost its independence in 1329.
In XV-XVI centuries Neumarkt was the residence of the rulers of the Upper Palatinate. The town’s heyday is associated with the activity of Count Johann von Pfalz-Neumarkt, who established his government here. St. John’s Church, the palace chapel and Pfalzgrafenschloss Castle-today’s main attractions of the old city- were built in Neumarkt during his reign. However, Count Frederick II, who came to power after a few generations, moved his court to Heidelberg. Because of this, Neumarkt lost its value and its development stopped for a long time. After the formation of the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1806 Neumarkt acquired the status of an imperial city and became the seat of the district court. In the XIX century the revival of Neumarkt started, but as an industrial center. The construction of Ludwig Canal (Ludwigskanal) connecting the Rhine and the Danube brought thousands of new residents to the city. In 1884 the first plant for the production of bicycles Express-Werken in continental Europe appeared in Neumarkt. In 1922 Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory opened there: this brand of office supplies exists also today. The world's only Museum for Historical Maybach Vehicles (Museum für historische Maybach-Fahrzeuge) is worth a special attention in the city.
The snack with beer in Neumarkt, as in any Bavarian town, is not in question. Of course, it is sausages! The white sausage called Weißwurst is especially popular. A trip to Neumarkt is a great chance not only to taste this dish that the Germans are fond of, but to practice its preparation. In 2007, cook-enthusiast Norbert Wittmann opened here a special Sausage Academy - Weißwurst Academy. It teaches students how to cook sausages, with what to serve them and how to distinguish one variety from the other. Everything is serious: a special diploma is issued upon graduation. Wittmann himself used to eat Weißwurst twice a day, except Sunday. Not so long ago he also founded the Butcher and White Sausage Museum (Metzgerei- und Weißwurstmuseum) in Neumarkt. In the museum you can learn the history of the popular snack, as well as trace the evolution of equipment used at different times for its production. In short, in Neumarkt they will surely teach to understand scraps of sausage!
Presently, about 40 thousand people live in Neumarkt. This is still a relatively small town, but one of those that is said “to breathe history or stories” with all that’s in it. One of the stories, for example, tells that the famous medieval robber knight Eppelein von Gailingen died in Neumarkt. In 1371, he was arrested in Nuremberg and sent to the gallows. Being a man of noble birth, Gailingen got the right to express his last wish before his death. The robber asked to be allowed for the last time to ride his faithful steed. The request was granted; Gailingen jumped onto the saddle and galloped from the fortress walls - directly across the 15m-wide moat! A few years after that he spent on the run, but in the end he was arrested again and sentenced to a painful death on a wheel. The execution took place in Neumarkt in presence of numerous people. In memory of this event there is a monument with a stylized wheel in the city, with the name and date of death "of the Bavarian Robin Hood" printed on it. In the XX century, this old story had an unexpected continuation. In 1998, the city archives staff of Neumarkt found that Nuremberg had never paid 710 hellers for the services of the local executioner. Over centuries, the amount of debt with interest reached 84 trillion German marks! The funny bill was sent to Nuremberg. The then mayor of the town specially arrived in Neumarkt during the Agricultural Exhibition and brought a chest filled with chocolate thalers as debt recovery.
Jura Folk Festival (Jura-Volksfest) is one of the significant events in Neumarkt worthy of mention. This festival takes place in Neumarkt every August and lasts 11 days. It began in 1830 as a "branch" of the Munich Oktoberfest, but gradually became an independent festival - one of the most popular in Bavaria. It attracts more than 300,000 visitors annually. The holiday program is very diverse. On the first Sunday a procession is held with the participation of several bands, moving platforms, and numerous delegations from various associations and institutions in the region. A horse show takes place on the last day. The festivities end with colorful fireworks.