Wittelsbach Foundation Towns

Note: only the start page is translated

The Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte is hosting the 2020 Bavarian State Exhibition entitled “Urban Freedom: Wittelsbach Foundation Towns” in collaboration with Aichach-Friedberg County and the towns of Aichach and Friedberg. The exhibition venues are the newly renovated Wittelsbach castle in Friedberg and the FeuerHaus in Aichach in Wittelsbach country – where the rise of the Wittelsbach family of electors and kings began.

Bavaria Becomes Urbanized
The 2020 Bavarian State Exhibition recounts how and when Bavaria became urbanized. The system of Bavarian towns and market towns so familiar to us today arose over a historically relatively short period from around 1200 to 1300. Bavarian upper nobility, above all the young ducal dynasty of the Wittelsbachs, used the systematic founding and patronage of towns and market towns to consolidate their economic, military and political power. Life in the new towns offered people many opportunities: personal security, protection of property and free trade. This is why a legal principle still popular today affirms, “Urban air is liberating!”

Precious Loaned Objects and Virtual Town Histories
The exhibition with precious loaned objects presents the history of the founding of Ducal Bavarian towns into the Late Middle Ages in Friedberg Castle’s historic rooms now reopened after renovation. It tells of less traditional metropolises and new centers, of rulers and settlers, of trade and transformation, and of the emergence of a world of assertive urban burghers. In Aichach, the multipurpose hall in the FeuerHaus on the edge of the old town is housing the State Exhibition. The exhibition venue provides the open space necessary for multimedia installations. Visitors can relate the virtual medieval histories they experience there to Bavaria’s present-day urban landscape and their own lifeworld. Planned towns and past, present and future visions of the future are explored too. What is more, a concept new to state exhibitions is being employed, which involves exploring the ideal-typical “Wittelsbach” urban complex of Aichach on guided tours starting at the exhibition.

Where and how do we live today?
Few questions are as relevant to people’s lives now as this one: “Where and how do we live?” The 2020 Bavarian State Exhibition lends historical depth to this question, drawing attention to the development of the present-day Bavarian settlement structure since the Middle Ages.