Dingolfing is a picturesque town of roughly 19,000 people in southern Bavaria, about 62 miles northeast of Munich (click here for a map showing the location of Dingolfing). It is the seat of the Landkreis (district) Dingolfing-Landau. Dingolfing is located on the Isar River, which divides the older historical part of the town from its newer section.
Although the earliest record of settlement in the area now called Dingolfing dates from the year 770, Dingolfing was incorporated as a town in 1251 by Otto II, Duke of Bavaria (yes, in 2001, Dingolfing celebrated its 750th anniversary!). From 1300 to 1600, the town grew and prospered mostly through trade, fishing, leather craft, and the production of wool cloths. The town remains an important economic center today thanks to the presence of the world's largest BMW automobile plant, which produces almost 300,000 cars annually.
THINGS TO DO, SIGHTS TO SEE
Dingolfing's skyline is dominated by St. Johannes Church, which was built beginning in 1467 in the late Gothic style. The heart of Dingolfing is the Marienplatz, a beautiful German town square featuring a statue of Mary, a fountain, and a variety of shops and restaurants. The Herzogsburg (duke fortress) in the upper town, once a government building, has been renovated and converted into a museum chronicling the history of the city from the 16th century through the present. The most popular place to spend some free time is the Caprima, an indoor/outdoor swimming pool facility with diving boards, slides, and a sauna (!).
During their three-week stay in Germany, the American students will also visit a variety of places around Dingolfing, such as the cities of Munich and Passau. The group will also take a three-day side trip to a destination in Germany. Other side trips that American students have enjoyed on weekends with their host families have included outings to:
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber
- King Ludwig's Castles (Neuschwanstein, Linderhof, and Herrenchiemsee)
- Salzburg, Austria
- Innsbruck, Austria
- The Czech Republic