Landshut is a city in Bavaria in the south-east of Germany, belonging to both Eastern and Southern Bavaria. Situated on the banks of the River Isar, Landshut is the capital of Lower Bavaria, one of the seven administrative regions of the Free State of Bavaria It is also the seat of the surrounding district, and with a population of more than 60,000. Landshut is the largest city in Lower Bavaria, followed by Passau and Straubing, and Eastern Bavaria's second biggest city.
Owing to its characteristic coat of arms, the city is also often called "Three Helmets City".
Due to its proximity and easy access to Munich and the Franz Josef Strauss International Airport, situated halfway between Munich and Landshut on the banks of the Isar, the city has East Bavaria's lowest unemployment rate (ca. 4.2% in October 2006), lower than the Bavarian average of ca. 5.8%.
The city of Landshut and Trausnitz castle were founded in 1204 by Duke Louis I. Landshut was already a Wittelsbach residence by 1231, and in 1255, when the duchy of Bavaria was split in two, Landshut also became the capital of Lower Bavaria. Duke Henry XVI was the first of the three famous rich dukes who ruled Bayern-Landshut in the 15th century. The wedding of Duke George with the Polish Princess Royal Jadwiga Jagiellon in 1475 was celebrated in Landshut with one of the most splendid festivals of the Middle Ages (called "Landshuter Hochzeit"). After his death and the Landshut War of Succession, Bavaria-Landshut was reunited with Bavaria-Munich.
Louis X, Duke of Bavaria built the Landshut Residence 1537–1543 after his visit to Italy. Louis built the first Renaissance palace constructed north of the Alps after the Palazzo Te in Mantua. William V, Duke of Bavaria ordered to upgrade Trausnitz Castle from a gothic fortification into a renaissance complex when he lived in Landshut as crown prince for ten years until 1579. Afterwards Landshut lost most of its importance until the University of Ingolstadt was moved to Landshut in 1800. But already in 1826 the university was transferred to Munich.
The U.S. Army maintained facilities in Landshut, including Pinder Kaserne and a dependent housing area, until 1968.
Since the opening of Munich airport close to Landshut in 1992 the city has become an attractive business location.