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40km (25 miles) N of Augsburg, 11km (7 miles) S of Harburg, 95km (59 miles) NW of Munich

Visitors come to Donauwörth for its architecture and sense of history rather than for specific attractions. The town is located on what was the last navigable point on the Danube, which led to its becoming a key stop on the trade route between Augsburg and Nürnberg. Its attempted capture by the Imperial Party in 1608 led directly to the division of Germany into warring Protestant and Catholic military alliances, resulting in the Thirty Years' War.

The oldest part of town sits on an island in the middle of the stream, access to which is via the oldest surviving gate in town, the Riederstor, which funnels traffic along the island's most historic and evocative street, the Reichsstrasse. Donauwörth was badly damaged in World War II bombing raids in 1945, but it has been carefully restored. Parts of the town's fortifications have survived.