A cycling tour for culture lovers and explorers.
Arrive relaxed and use rental bikes from the local rental companies. The capacity for taking bicycles on the trains is limited and taking your own bike on the train cannot be guaranteed depending on the capacity.
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.
There are 72 bicycle parking spaces in the immediate vicinity of the station.
Start from the station and head south along Bahnhofstraße until you reach the town hall. Here you turn left into Hauptstraße and follow it until you turn right into Kirchenstraße, where you will immediately find the Energy Bike Systems bike rental shop.
Energy Bike Systems in Treuchtlingen is a competent specialist shop, workshop and bike rental all in one. The experts will find the right bike for every occasion in their comprehensive fleet - from low entry to mountain bikes, with or without motor.
Back on the main road, turn right and cycle east out of Treuchtlingen.
After a stretch parallel to the road, veer slightly to the left and cycle along the Schambach into the village of the same name.
After a left turn and the Gunthildisbrünnlein, you will see a simple chapel shining white on the left.
This new ecumenical building from 1995 has the basic shape of an ammonite and is therefore also called the "snail shell of God". Next to it you will find the uncovered remains of an early medieval pilgrimage station. The St. Gunthildis Chapel was first built in the late 11th century and then rebuilt enlarged 200 years later.
St2216 zwischen Treuchtlingen und Suffersheim
Weißenburg in Bayern
Continue along the Schambachtal valley in the direction of Suffersheim. Shortly before the village, turn left between the Potschmühle mill and the playground on Haardener Straße.
A short steep ascent awaits you (about 1.6 km, approx. 100 m ascent with up to 10%). Head north through the forest first to Haardt and then on to Weißenburg.
Roll past the Burgwaldtheater and along Holzgasse to the largely preserved town wall, which dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries.
In Bachgasse you may have the opportunity for refreshments in the Bräustüberl of the Schneider brewery, which has been preserved in its original state (Bachgasse 15, 91781 Weißenburg, Tel. 09141 2407). Here, Schneider Hell, Märzen and Weizen beers are served exclusively with modern Middle Franconian cuisine.
Feel free to explore the old town, which is well worth seeing. Beyond the market square and town hall square you will find your next destination: the Roman Museum.
The foundation of the Roman Museum goes back to a chance find by an amateur gardener. In autumn 1979, while planting an asparagus bed at the gates of the town of Weißenburg, he first came across rusty iron parts. Excavations subsequently uncovered 114 very different objects, including votive tablets, sacred vessels, tools, pieces of parade equipment and also 17 bronze god figures, unique in quality and state of preservation. The gardener had probably stumbled upon the hoard of a looter. The "Weißenburg treasure" is one of the most important hoard finds in Germany. Today it is assumed that it was buried in the 250s AD. It is now assumed that it was buried in the 250s AD when the Alemanni invaded the area.
A year after it was uncovered, the Free State of Bavaria acquired the find. The Roman Museum was founded as a branch museum of the Munich State Archaeological Collection and opened in 1983. In 2017, after extensive renovation work, it was reopened with a newly designed exhibition. It tells of the "Weißenburg treasure" and life at the Limes. What was the everyday life of a soldier in the fort like, how did traders and family members live in the camp village? And what do we know today about the cultural exchange between Romans and Germanic tribes?
Weißenburg in Bayern
Now it's time to take a look at the Roman facilities for yourself. To do so, leave the old town via Ellinger Straße through the Ellinger Gate.
The Ellinger Tor is considered one of the most beautiful town gates in southern Germany. The tower houses Weissenburg's historic council library.
Turn west along Lehenwiesenweg, follow the tracks a short distance southwards and then turn right into Am Römerlager. You have already reached the equestrian fort of Weißenburg, whose ancient name Biriciana is still in use today.
Fort Weissenburg or Biriciana is located about five and a half kilometres south of the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes on the western edge of the town of Weissenburg on a slight bump above the Swabian Rezat. The Biriciana station was once the most important Roman troop location in the section of the Limes now recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Probably around the year 100, the cavalry unit Ala I Hispanorum Auriana built the Biriciana fort out of wood and earth. It was located at a strategically important site and was enlarged half a century later from 2.8 to 3.1 hectares. In the process, new stone enclosure walls were placed directly in front of the wood-and-earth construction. In the end, the fort measured 174 by 179 metres, with rounded corners and towers at the corners of the square. Its destruction is dated by scholars to the years around 253, when Alemanni invaded the area.
In 1990, the entire area of the site became an archaeological park. The contours of the defence walls and the principia, the staff buildings in the centre of the camp, have been preserved and the gates partially reconstructed on the original foundations in their original size. The imposing reconstructed north gate was probably even one storey higher, according to the latest research.
Am Römerlager 16
Weißenburg in Bayern
As was customary in Roman times, family members, ex-soldiers, traders, craftsmen and innkeepers always settled near the garrisons. Around 2500 people probably lived in the vicus of Biriciana in Weißenburg. Once you have passed through the fort, it is only a stone's throw to the "Great Baths" of the Roman settlement.
The Roman Baths of Weissenburg are one of the few baths from the Roman era that have survived on Germanic soil. The "Great Baths" originally date back to the time when the nearby equestrian fort was built around the year 100 and were extended several times or rebuilt after destruction during the Marcomannic Wars around the year 180. In the course of the Alemanni invasions, the complex suffered considerable destruction around the year 230 and was abandoned at the end of the 250s.
In Roman times, baths were used for health and hygiene, but they were also a place of relaxation and an important social meeting place. The Great Baths of Weissenburg were a luxurious complex built in the ring type with dimensions of 65 by 42.5 metres. There was underfloor heating and glass windows, some pools and floors were lined with polished limestone slabs, and there were wall paintings on the walls. Slaves heated the baths day and night with wood and charcoal.
After its discovery in 1977, the large thermal complex was explored, preserved and partially reconstructed. Today it lies under a tent-shaped protective structure and can be explored on a fixed tour.
Am Römerbad 17A
Weißenburg in Bayern
Even two millennia ago, people knew how to enjoy water. In some ways the Romans were ahead of their time, but Germanic history can also impress with technical water marvels. Your next destination bears witness to this.
Tip for on the way: There is a toilet house at Karlsgraben that is open from Easter to October.
Between the Altmühl and Rezat rivers lies one of the greatest technical cultural monuments of the early Middle Ages. The Fossa Carolina, also called Karlsgraben, was the first attempt to connect the Rhine, Main and Danube by a waterway. Even today, on the edge of the village of Graben, a 500-metre-long expanse of water and the adjoining earthen embankments up to ten metres high bear witness to this attempt.
The village of Graben lies on the main European watershed. Here the Rhine and Danube river systems come within a few kilometres of each other and are separated only by a slight hill. Emperor Charlemagne wanted to take advantage of this geographical proximity. In 793, he had an approximately 3,000-metre-long canal dug so that ships could travel to the south-east of his empire, where he was at war with the Avars.
Whether the canal was actually used, or for how long, is still not clear. Since the start of archaeological investigations in 2012, there has been increasing evidence that it was not completely navigable, as previously assumed. Chroniclers reported that persistent rain and the swampy ground had become a problem during construction. So was the ambitious project finally abandoned, or was the passage too costly and the tolls for traders too high?
In any case, what can be seen of the Fossa Carolina at Graben today is reminiscent of one of the largest engineering-geological construction projects of the Middle Ages. It is probably the most important soil monument from the Carolingian period in Franconia and is one of the "100 most beautiful geotopes in Bavaria", selected by the Bavarian State Office for the Environment.
Your last stage now takes you back to Treuchtlingen. On the other side of the railway tracks, you cycle along the banks of the Altmühl through open countryside.
At the spa park you have the opportunity to revive your tired legs in a Kneipp basin.
To return your bike, turn left at the Treuchtlingen locomotive and follow the route back to the bike rental.
To get to the station from here, take the same path you used to get here.