The founding site of the Illuminati secret society and the setting for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Ingolstadt does nothing but capture the imagination. The central Bavarian town sits upon the Danube, a perfect reminder of the region’s mediaeval glory.
Much of the town’s magic lies in its Gothic architecture, a style typical to Bavarian ducal residences from the Middle Ages. The immense 1425 Church of Our Lady, the Franciscan Monastery, the 1385 Kreuztor gate, the 1255 Herzogskasten or Old Castle, and the 1418 “New” Castle are all significant points of interest. There are a fair number of Baroque and neoclassical buildings in town as well. For a peaceful, green escape, try the Glacis, a sort of belt around the city walls with ample trails for pedestrians and cyclists.
There are two train stations in the city: Ingolstadt Central and Ingolstadt Nord. High-speed rail connects the central station to Nuremberg with a train ride from Munich lasting just over one hour, in addition to a range of bus routes serving the area.
References to Ingolstadt are first found in the writings of Charlemagne in the 9th century, and the city itself was formally founded in 1250. For some, however, the town is best known as the birthplace of the Illuminati. Many modern references to the Illuminati are entirely fictitious, invented to bolster conspiracy theories. The real deal secret society, however, began here in 1776 to oppose superstition, obscurantism, religious influence over public life, and abuses of state power.