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Overview

Wittlesbach Dukes chose the commanding height at Dachau for their castle, and the town spills down the steep slopes into the river valley below. Views from the castle’s walled gardens, planted in 1400, extend to Munich’s skyline and the green valley that drew the late-19th-century artists that made Dachau one of Bavaria’s "art towns" where painters gathered in colonies to paint the landscapes. The gallery to which the artists all donated paintings morphed into the outstanding civic art museum’s collection. But this illustrious past was eclipsed in the public’s memory by the World War II concentration camp that will forever be linked with ...

Wittlesbach Dukes chose the commanding height at Dachau for their castle, and the town spills down the steep slopes into the river valley below. Views from the castle’s walled gardens, planted in 1400, extend to Munich’s skyline and the green valley that drew the late-19th-century artists that made Dachau one of Bavaria’s "art towns" where painters gathered in colonies to paint the landscapes. The gallery to which the artists all donated paintings morphed into the outstanding civic art museum’s collection. But this illustrious past was eclipsed in the public’s memory by the World War II concentration camp that will forever be linked with Dachau’s name. KZ Gedenstaette opened three months after Hitler took power, to hold opposition leaders and others whom the new government feared. It was built to house 6,000, but 32,000 were liberated there. Now a memorial site to the 210,000 prisoners who are thought to have passed through, one-fifth of whom were Jewish. Also known to have been imprisoned here were 3000 priests, plus artists, gypsies, welfare recipients, homosexuals, Social Democrats and half the Bavarian parliament. Reconstructed dormitories and many original buildings tell the grim story of the labor camp, whose prisoners produced war materials in Munich factories.

Stillman Rogers
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Stillman Rogers has written more than two dozen guidebooks, including Adventure Guide to Canada's Atlantic Provinces, Guide to Eastern Canada, and Adventure Guide to the Chesapeake.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Dachau is a town in Bavaria, located to the north-west of Munich.
  • Language: German
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time, although the garden is at its best in spring and summer.