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Laufen (Bavaria)

Germany is located in Central Europe and it shares borders with Denmark in the North, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France in the West, Austria and Switzerland in the South and Poland and the Czech Republic in the East. The North Sea and the Baltic Sea represent additional National Borders in the North. The official language of Germany is German and Berlin is the capital.
Laufen is one of the popular destinations in Germany, and is well known for the quantity of cultural related attractions and monuments. It is a small town located on the southeastern border of Bavaria with Austria. Laufen, situated inside the Salzach river bend lies directly across the river from the Austrian town of Oberndorf, where the carol Silent Night was first performed at Saint Nicola church by the school master Franz Gruber and the young priest Joseph Mohr in 1818.
The earliest documentary reveals that the town existed even before the 748 century. The rapids that gave the town the name were also responsible for the town's wealth from the salt trade. Small boats that transported the extremely valuable cargo from the rapids north of Salzburg were reloaded at Laufen to larger boats by privilege of the Prince Archbishop of Salzburg.
When the independent principality was finally divided in 1816 between the Bavarian kingdom and the Habsburg Empire in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars, the town was split into a Bavarian part carrying the name of Laufen and into an Austrian town by the name of Oberndorf.
Laufen also boasts many traces of historic memorials that include the square shaped 15th century castle that was built for the Archbishop of Salzburg. During World War II this castle was used first as a prisoner-of-war camp for officers. Then, in May 1942, the officers were transferred to another camp, and the castle was used as an internment camp housing some hundreds of men deported from the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey and some American civilians that had been caught in Europe by the sudden declaration of war by the United States in December 1941.

Presently, Laufen experiences a boom with day tourists, owing to the clear air, town character with rich culture, high quality of life and conspicuously original history. The picturesque scenery, the majesty of nature, the slow pace of life, and the welcoming nature of its people also combine to make this region one of the most important tourist attractions in Germany.

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