Dachau Altstadt

Dachau is a city with about 44,800 citizens in Upper Bavaria, Germany and has a history of more than 1,200 years, but best known for being the location of the very first Nazi concentration camp. This has cast a pall over the rest of this small and pleasant town 20 km (13 mi) outside of Munich.


The first known documentation dealing with Dachau dates back to the year 805, although earlier settlements go as early as 1000 B.C. and the Romans were maintaining a salt road through the city at the beginning of the first millennium. Dachau first ran to prominence during the Middle Ages, when Duke William IV of Bavaria commissioned the palace of Dachau in 1546-1577. From that time on until the end of the monarchy in Bavaria in 1918 the town had always been a retreat for Bavarian kings, dukes and nobility, which is no wonder as the palace and the surrounding gardens offer a staggering view of the Alps and Munich, weather permitting. Towards the end of the 19th century Dachau became a town famous for its impressionist painters like Carl Spitzweg.

However, with the advent of the Nazi regime, the city's history took a turn for the worst. Dachau was chosen to be the site of the very first Nazi concentration camp in 1933. In the camp mostly political dissidents, non-conformist intellectuals and priests were imprisoned. Although Dachau was mainly used as staging ground to ship prisoners to eastern death camps in Poland, approximately 42,000 people were murdered between 1933 and 1945 in the Dachau camp itself or its 169 sub-camps. After World War II the camp was first used to house displaced persons and then converted into a memorial site, which opened in 1965, to remind visitors of the darkest time in German history. Today Dachau has a big cultural scene as well as a still impressive picture-perfect old town and palace, because it completely escaped Allied bombing during World War II.

Get in

By car

Dachau is conveniently located at several autobahns.

Furthermore, with B 304 and B471 two major federal highways run through the city.

By train

Regional trains from Munich Central Station run three times an hour and take 25 min to reach Dachau. Munich public transport network tickets are valid in regional trains as far as Dachau, too.

By suburban train (S-Bahn)

Dachau is part of Munich's public transport network MVV. To get to Dachau, you have to take S-Bahn line S2, which brings you to Dachau station, close to the enter of town. Most city buses stop at the station, including those which take you to the Concentration Camp Memorial Site.

By tour

Several tour operators offer tours from the center of Munich to the Concentration Camp Memorial Site, including transportation, for approximately €20 per person.

Get around

The historic center of Dachau is small enough to be explored on foot. For destinations, that are not located within the center, e.g. the Concentration Camp Memorial Site, the extensive bus network provides and feasible alternative to using your own legs. As Dachau is part of Munich's public transport network, the tickets are also valid in the Dachau buses.


Main entrance of the concentration camp






This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, September 12, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.