|The market of Waldkirchen owes its foundation to the so-called "Golden Trail“ (“Goldener Steig”), probably dating back to the turn of the millennium.|
Emanating from Passau, the settlement of the “Northern Forest” (referred to as “Nordwald”) moved gradually forward in the 11th/12th century and a new rectorate was founded nearby the Salt Trading Route to Bohemia: the “Church in The Woods”. First evidence of this place appeared in 1203.
The Bishops of Passau, at that time being the Lords of the abbey territory since the turn of the 13th century, gave Waldkirchen the title of a market (certificated in 1285) and later on the sole staple right for salt, the most important merchandise on this route of transport.
The salt traders (“Säumer”), coming from Passau or Wallern (Volary in Bohemia) had to take shelter there after a day’s march coming from Passau or Wallern (Volary in Bohemia) and give their horses a rest. At the same time the farmers in the direct surroundings had the opportunity to offer their products for sale there.
Thus, weekly farmer’s markets as well as a flourishing salt trade developed, which soon led to prosperity within the city wall of Waldkirchen.
After several raids of Bohemian soldiers within the market the prince bishop of Passau ordered to surround Waldkirchen with a curtain wall (a big stonewall) in 1460 – 1470, which can still be seen in parts today.
In the following centuries Waldkirchen was devastated six times by market fires. The last fire was during the last days of the World War II on 26th April after a bombardment by American troops.
The citizens' unbroken will to rebuild had the town recreated time and time again. Waldkirchen, being the economic and cultural heart in the Lower Bavarian Forest Region, has all times taken an outstanding position.
In 1972 the market was granted privileges of a town after nearly a thousand years of development.