Only 33 km from Munich, the capital of the German region Bavaria, lies a pleasant smaller city (about 40 000 inhabitants) called Fürstenfeldbruck. You can reach it in a 30-minutes ride by a local S-Bahn (S4 from Marienplatz in the direction Geltendorf; 5,80€ one direction).
The town got its name after the Cistercian monastery of Fürstenfeld Abbey from the 13th century and bruck, the Bavarian word for a bridge, referring to a bridge over the Amper river, that flows through the city.
Why is the city so special? Every year, the town is a host of the convention of Anime and Manga fans. The 3-day festival, called Animuc, is held at the end of April inside the Fürstenfeld Abbey and in a large park surrounding the monastery.
Young people from Germany, dressed in all kinds of masks and costumes – from Pikachu, Iron Man to more modern Japanese Anime characters –, come here every year to enjoy the rich programme of lectures, Manga drawing workshops, trading game cards, and karaoke. Famous illustrators of Manga are also invited to the festival as guests of honor. The first day of the convention ends with a cosplay ball where the guests are dancing in their festive wardrobe.
We visited Fürstenfeldbruck during the festival weekend this year. We didn't enter the convention, because we're not so interested in the world of Anime to pay more than 40€ for the entrance ticket. Instead, we walked around the monastery courtyard, where all of the masked guests were relaxing, preparing their number, dancing or posing for a photo or video. Here are some photos of Animuc participants:
In the front part of the monastery, the Farmers' Market takes place every Saturday until 12 a.m. Farmers from Fürstenfeldbruck and the region come here to sell their products, fresh vegetables (including purple carrots!), homemade schnapps, honey, wurst, some fish and all kinds of cheese and meat.
This was my second time at the Farmers' Market in Fürstenfeldbruck. We bought a kilo of huge green asparagus (since it's the asparagus season), some fruit schnapps and we saw the meat so red and fine, not like any that you can buy in the Czech Republic. We even visited a family farm in the woods above the Farmers' Market, where we bought different cheeses (carrot gouda, cheese with flowers, spicy chili cheese, etc.).
The center of Fürstenfeldbruck
We walked through the small city center, dominated by the Gothic church of St. Leonhard and the lively Hauptstrasse full with cafés, restaurants and small shops. We sat and relaxed on a bench in a small park on the crossroads of Augsburgerstrasse and Maisacherstrasse. Nearby, there is a city's cinema, Lichtspielhaus, that shows new movies, as well as some of the classics – Jungle Book, Night on Earth, etc.
While sitting on a bench, we could see young people dressed in the traditional Bavarian „uniform“ – girls in dirndl dresses and boys in lederhosen – passing by. Why? Another festival was held this weekend and it lasts until the 5th of May, a much smaller version of Oktoberfest – the Volksfest.
Not far from the center, on Volksfestplatz, there were several carousels and two tents with music programme, where families with children and, most of all, teenagers were having fun dancing, enjoying the amusement park rides and drinking beer, that was sold in liters.
We were invited to the German-Croatian evening on Volksfest, celebrating 30 years of friendship between the two cities – Fürstenfeldbruck and Zadar. The evening started with the town's orchestra playing and it was followed by short movies representing the two cities. During the night, we were entertained by both Bavarian („traditional“ Bavarian dance Schuhplattler, the band Cheerio Joe) and Croatian (the band Zagrebački dečki and klapa Diadora from Zadar) performers, while drinking a good Bavarian Lager.