In August of 2001, my project team from the Applied Research Labs: The University of Texas conducted a “site survey” of the US Army Combat Maneuver Training Center (since renamed as the Joint Multinational Readiness Center) just outside of Hohenfels, Germany.
We were developing a new digital training collection tool for each of the Army’s major training centers and needed an on-the-ground evaluation of the capabilities and requirements from each unique center.
We had many long days working and talking with these dedicated Army personnel throughout the week, but because of the longer length of the summer days, we had free time after work each day to explore the surrounding German countryside. There was a charming old town nearby with a great river, a very old stone footbridge, excellent examples of traditional German architecture, a striking medieval castle atop the hill overlooking the city, and a great local restaurant that quickly became a team favorite.
The village of Kallmunz dates from the 1300s, with parts of the overlooking castle having been raised several hundred years earlier than that. The River Naab bisects the small town providing some truly beautiful photo opportunities.
My only regret about my visits to Kallmunz is that we did not have the time to actually climb the hill and properly walk around the castle ruins!
Bridge Across the River Naab
Spanning the River Naab is a medieval stone footbridge leading from one section of Kallmunz to the other. We had parked our car in a convenient spot near a permanent “maypole” that must be the center of numerous town events, but for today … parking with a great landmark for finding our rental car again! 🙂
Crossing this bridge, with the smooth waters passing peacefully beneath us, we get our first good view of this German village, seeming carved into the base of the cliff face rising to the castle ruins above. Mid-way across the bridge are two stone inserts that mark a couple of dates – 1550-1558 and 1781.
To the left, downstream of the bridge, are numerous sculptures along the river. It turns out that Kallmunz is quite the “Artists Village”, and their works are noticeably (if not humorously) on display throughout the town.
Bavaria, the largest “state” in Germany, has a very unique style associated with the look of houses and other buildings. Kallmunz is a fine example of the very bright and distinct Bavarian architecture.
Several homes look like they were taken straight out of “Hansel and Gretel”, with colorful fronts and hand-painted details.
There were a couple of homes built, literally, right into the cliff. I wish we could have gone inside, but these were somebody’s homes!
We found a great little cafe nestled right into the stone cliffs, Cafe Palmie, that had the perfect mix of traditional German and slightly eclectic food and drink for us.
We enjoyed it so much, we went back a couple of times during our trip!
Whenever you travel, please make sure to try out the “out of the way” cafes and restaurants … sometimes you truly find an “interesting” gem like we did!