Autumn lights at Lake Constance
This October we travelled together with our friends from the far north of Germany to the Lake Constance. Doris and Holger. They did not know the Swabian Sea yet. They are at home at the North and Baltic Sea.
Anticipated conclusion: They were impressed by Lake Constance and the places they visited.
Autumn lights at Lake Constance – Click here to visit our blog on the Google platform (german language)
Lake Constance – Hohentwiel, Radolfzell, Reichenau, Meersburg, Immenstaad, Friedrichshafen, Zeppelin Museum, Pfänder, Bregenz, Lindau, Unteruhldingen, Birnau Pilgrimage Church, Mainau, Constance, Kreuzlingen, Meersburg, Überlingen, Rhine Falls, Stein am Rhein, Stuttgart
Table of Contents
Rain shaped the journey. The weather was cold and wet. Only a few people were on the way to the tourist highlights. Social distancing was guaranteed by this weather.
Singen – Hohentwiel
Singen (Hohentwiel) is a city in the south of Baden-Württemberg, located about 30 kilometers northwest of Constance and 20 kilometers northeast of Schaffhausen (Switzerland) at the foot of Hohentwiel. Singen has about 47000 inhabitants and is the central center for the surrounding Hegau communities.
Hohentwiel is a 696.2 m high mountain in the Hegau region near Lake Constance. The ruins of the Hohentwiel fortress are located on the mountain. It is the local mountain of Singen and consists mainly of a phonolite vent plug.
The first stage destination was the Hotel Restaurant Hohentwiel below the Hohentwiel fortress ruins. Here we had a good view of Singen. Clouds and fog prevented the view of Lake Constance.
Radolfzell am Bodensee is a town on the northwestern shore of the Untersee, a part of Lake Constance, has about 32,000 inhabitants and is located about ten kilometers east of Singen (Hohentwiel). Radolfzell is the third largest town in the district of Constance, the third largest town on Lake Constance and the only town which bears the addition “am Bodensee”.
The next stop was Radolfzell. The beach promenade was deserted. We strolled along the lake. On the way to the old town we passed the futuristic charging station for e-bikes on the railroad bridge. Through the old town and the cathedral of Our Lady we walked back to our car.
Reichenau is the largest island in Lake Constance. Since 2000, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List together with the Reichenau Monastery. It is located in the western part of Lake Constance, the Untersee, between Constance and Radolfzell. It is connected to the mainland via the Reichenauer Dam, which was raised in 1838. The highest point on the island (Hochwart, formerly Friedrichshöhe)  is 438.7 meters and rises about 43 meters above the lake level.
The island is 4.5 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide and has a total area of 4.3 square kilometers. The perimeter is 11.0 kilometers. Since the late 1980s, it has been the most populous island in Lake Constance.
We continued to the island of Reichenau. Past the station Schilf-Urwälder and and over the Primienstraße the trip led us to the ship landing stage Reichenau. At the northern end of the island we reached Windegg Castle. Right next door, the EnBW maintains a training center.
On the B33 we reached Konstanz. Passing the train station we drove over the border crossing at Kreuzlinger Straße into Switzerland. The queue of cars from Switzerland towards Germany was endless. It was Saturday – shopping in Germany was probably the order of the day. For the way back to Germany we preferred the B33. Here the traffic was manageable. On the B33 we drove towards Konstanz Staade. After a side trip to the island Mainau the ferry brought us to Meersburg.
The ferry Konstanz-Meersburg belongs to Lake Constance like the Pfänder or the island Mainau. 24 hours a day the car ferry connects the cities of Constance and Meersburg.
Meersburg is located in Baden-Württemberg on the northern shore of Lake Constance, at the transition from the Obersee to the Überlinger See at an altitude of 400 to 500 meters. There is an altitude difference of 40 meters between the lower and upper town alone. Meersburg has about 5,800 inhabitants.
In Meersburg we stopped at the moat. Via the Kirchstraße we reached the castle Meersburg – the oldest inhabited castle in Germany – and the New Castle… On the terrace of the castle we had a great view over the Lake Constance. We were also very impressed by the old town. The visit was worth it.
Immenstaad am Bodensee is a community on the shores of Lake Constance with over 6500 inhabitants and is located on the northern shore of the lake, about nine kilometers west of Friedrichshafen.
In addition to viticulture, fruit growing has gained in importance in recent times.
A significant economic factor with well over 300000 overnight stays per year is tourism.
Well-known companies like Dornier-Werke, Airbus Defence and Space, ND SatCom, Hensoldt and Bosch Software Innovations are located in Immenstaad.
After a few kilometers we reached the Ferienwohnpark Immenstaad. Our domicile for the next days was in Normannenweg. It was 5 pm. After checking in, we went to the supermarket to stock up on provisions for the next few days.
We enjoyed the dinner at Il Centro in Immenstaad, where there was delicious Italian food.
According to Inges pedometer we had covered more than 7000 steps. Expandable.
Today we had sunny autumn weather. The air was fresh. With light clouds in the sky we were rewarded with a wonderful view.
Early in the morning we visited Friedrichshafen, not far from Immenstaad.
Friedrichshafen is a large district town and is located on the northern shore of Lake Constance. With about 60000 inhabitants it is the largest city of the Lake Constance district and the second largest city at Lake Constance after Constance. Together with Ravensburg and Weingarten, Friedrichshafen is one of 14 major centers in Baden-Württemberg. Friedrichshafen is well known for the Zeppelin Museum.
The Zeppelin Museum is located in Friedrichshafen and was opened in 1996. It is housed in the former harbor railway station directly on Lake Constance.
Living history is told through multimedia. The museum houses the world’s largest collection on the history and technology of airship aviation, a walk-in, true-to-the-original reconstruction of part of LZ 129 “Hindenburg”.
A highlight in 2010 was the special exhibition “220 tons – lighter than air. Material History of the Hindenburg”, designed by students of the University of Stuttgart (220 tons – lighter than air. University of Stuttgart). (german language)
From Friedrichshafen the ferries depart for Romanshorn, known as the most beautiful connection between the German and Swiss shores. A crossing takes 41 minutes.
We explored the port area and climbed the Moleturm. There we were rewarded by a wonderful view of Friedrichshafen and Lake Constance. Afterwards we visited the Zeppelin Museum. We were welcomed with a short film about the history and highlights of the Zeppelin age.
Bregenz is the capital of the Austrian province of Vorarlberg and the district capital of the Bregenz district. The city has the most important Austrian port on Lake Constance, is a railroad junction and a sports and cultural center. Bregenz is the third largest city in Vorarlberg after Dornbirn and Feldkirch with about 30000 inhabitants.
The Bregenz Festival, which takes place annually in July and August, is well known for its performances on the world’s largest lake stage.
The 1062 m high Pfänder belongs to the Allgäuer Alps and is located at the eastern end of Lake Constance. It is considered the “local mountain” of Bregenz, but is mostly located in the municipal area of Lochau. With its unique view of Lake Constance and 240 Alpine peaks, it is the most famous vantage point in the region.
Servus – Griaß di – Via the border station Hörbranz-Unterhochsteg and a drive along the lake shore we reached Bregenz and the parking garage Pfänder. The Pfänder cable car took us to the Pfänder mountain station. Here we had a good view over Lake Constance, the Säntis and the Alps. We could even see as far as the Principality of Lichtenstein and Constance.
We walked to the Pfänderspitze. On the terrace of the Pfänderspitzhütte inn we enjoyed coffee and cappuccino with a wonderful view over Lake Constance. We could have sat here for hours. The crowd of visitors was small, corona conform, of course.
The Pfänder cable car brought us back to the valley station. At Hafen-Bregenz station we crossed the railroad crossing to the harbor after some waiting time.
Passing the Bregenz park we reached the lake stage of Bregenz. For 2021 Rigoletto is announced once again. An opera by Giuseppe Verdi. Via the train station Bregenz we reached the old town.
Lindau has over 25000 inhabitants and is located on the eastern shore of Lake Constance in the border triangle of Germany, Austria and Switzerland in the Bavarian administrative district of Swabia.
The historical old town is located in the district Insel, which has an area of 0.68 km² and has about 2800 inhabitants.
The island used to consist of three parts (Hintere Insel, Hauptinsel and Burg/Römerschanze).
The island is connected to the mainland by a railroad embankment and a road bridge.
Worth seeing are the entrance to the port and the old town hall. The port entrance is bordered by the new lighthouse of 1856 on the west side and the Bavarian Lion on the east side. The Old Town Hall was built in 1422 in Gothic style and was rebuilt in 1576 with a stepped gable in Renaissance style.
It was only a few kilometers to Lindau. We could park on the island in the Inselhallenparkhaus. Via the railroad station we reached the port of Lindau. Bavarian Lion and New Lighthouse – a real postcard idyll with a view to Bregenz and the Pfänder.
Past the Old Town Hall, across Maximilianstraße, past the City Museum and the Market Square, we discovered the Gasthaus Zur Alten Werft. The food tasted good and we could start our journey home to Imenstaad saturated.
The day was wonderful. Inges pedometer showed more than 20000 steps. Target fulfilled.
Unteruhldingen-Mühlhofen, Lake Dwelling Museum
The municipality of Uhldingen-Mühlhofen has over 8300 inhabitants and is located on the northern shore of Lake Constance about seven kilometers east of Überlingen and three kilometers west of Meersburg, with a view of the island of Mainau and the Bodanrück.
Well known is the Lake Dwelling Museum Unteruhldingen. It is an open-air museum, which presents archaeological finds and replicas of pile villages from the Stone and Bronze Age. It is the tourist attraction in the community with over 270,000 visitors annually. The first pile dwellings were reconstructions from 1922, based on excavations in the moor near Bad Schussenried and at Federsee……..
In autumn weather, light cloud cover, cool temperatures and fine drizzle, the trip went to Unteruhldingen. After a short stop the pile dwellings could be seen from the beach.
Pilgrimage church Birnau
The pilgrimage church Birnau is a baroque church consecrated to Mary on the northern shore of Lake Constance between the villages Nußdorf and Uhldingen-Mühlhofen.
The church is located in Birnau at the Oberschwäbische Barockstraße directly on the B 31 and was built from 1746 to 1749 by the Vorarlberg master builder Peter Thumb for the imperial abbey of Salem. The church received a rich baroque decoration with frescoes by Gottfried Bernhard Göz as well as stucco, altars and sculptures by Joseph Anton Feuchtmayer, whose most famous is the Honigschlecker, a putto with a beehive. The religious building in front of the church with its striking bell tower today houses a priory of the Cistercian abbey Wettingen-Mehrerau.
The journey continued to the Birnau pilgrimage church. The interior of the basilica church, also known as the church of St. Marien, was very impressive.
Along the lake via Überlingen, Sipplingen, Ludwigshafen and the Bodman Ridge we reached the flower island Mainau.
The island of Mainau has about 185 inhabitants and is the third largest island in Lake Constance with an area of about 45 hectares. The molasse limestone rock is located in the northwestern part of Lake Constance called Überlinger See. It can be reached from the southern shore of Überlinger See via a bridge and has a landing stage which is served by course and excursion ships of the White Fleet. The island belongs to the Litzelstetten district of the city of Constance and has been owned since 1974 by the non-profit “Lennart-Bernadotte-Stiftung”, a foundation founded by Count Lennart Bernadotte. The Count’s family is still an important part of the Mainau’s attraction today. Here lives Björn Count Bernadotte
According to official maps, the highest point at 425 meters above sea level is at the Grand Duke Friedrich Terrace. The circumference of the island is about three kilometers. Its north-south extension is 610 meters, its greatest width (west-east) about 1050 meters.
Due to the favorable climate of Lake Constance, palms and other Mediterranean plants grow on the drop-shaped island. Because of its rich subtropical, sometimes tropical vegetation, Mainau is also called the “flower island in Lake Constance”. Count Lennart Bernadotte liked to call his island the “flower ship”.
A manageable corona-compliant stream of visitors awaited us at the entrance area. After paying the 22 Euro entrance fee/person we strolled over the bridge to the island.
Past the sequoia trees we went to the butterfly house. Due to admission restrictions we did not visit the butterfly house. We admired the herb and general gardens.
The path led us in the direction of the chapel, Mainau Castle and the hat store of Countess Diana Bernadotte to the café in the Palm House. Coffee and cappuccino were served to us in a pleasant atmosphere.
We walked past the Viktoria linden tree and down a steep slope to the harbor. After the flower clock to Line and the relief of Lake Constance we visited the dahlia garden. Here we could admire 250 species and over 12000 dahlias. Finally we reached the exit.
Further on we took the B34 to Konstanz to the shopping center LAGO.
Constance is the largest city on Lake Constance with about 84,000 inhabitants and is located on Lake Constance, at the outflow of the Rhine from the upper part of the lake directly on the border with Switzerland (Canton Thurgau).
Kreuzlingen is the second largest city of the canton with about 22000 inhabitants and the largest Swiss city on Lake Constance and the capital of the Swiss canton Thurgau. Together with the neighbouring German city of Constance and the smaller neighbouring communities (Bottighofen, Lengwil, Tägerwilen), the border town forms an agglomeration of about 130000 inhabitants. With 55 percent foreigners, Kreuzlingen is one of the Swiss cities with the highest percentage of foreigners.
Grüezi – Over the railroad bridge we went to the port of Kreuzlingen. After visiting the Seeburgturm at the port of Kreuzlingen we walked across the border past the Hafenhalle to the Imperia in Konstanz.
The Imperia is the landmark of the largest city on Lake Constance. The opulent Italian courtesan statue was revealed to the public piece by piece on April 24, 1993 in beautiful weather.
The old town of Constance showed itself from its best side. Dinner awaited us in the tower cafe and pub near the Schnetztor. The choice of schnitzel was enormous. The schnitzels were large and tasty.
The ferry brought us from Konstanz Staad via Meersburg back to Immenstaad. Due to a roadblock we had to accept a detour through apple orchards. It is autumn. Apples without end.
A great and exhausting day with more than 20000 steps came to an end. Should be overfulfilled.
On our last day we had wonderful autumn weather again. After checking out we went to Meersburg. Walk through the city to the lido. The way back led us along the beach promenade.
Along the lake via Unteruldingen and the pilgrimage church Birnau we reached the big district town Überlingen.
Überlingen is a town on the northern shore of Lake Constance on the Überlinger See. It is the second largest city in the Lake Constance district after Friedrichshafen with approx. 22,000 inhabitants.
There we had a look at the railroad station Überlingen Mitte. The station is part of the railroad line Stahringen-Friedrichshafen. Through the old town we passed the St. Nikolaus cathedral in the direction of the port. We took a walk along the harbor and the lake promenade. It is considered the most beautiful promenade at Lake Constance.
Grüezi – Via the B33 and Autobahn we drove to Schaffhausen and further via Neuhausen to the Rhine Falls. Rhyfall in Swiss German.
Schaffhausen – Rhine Falls (Switzerland)
Schaffhausen (Switzerland) is a town on the Hochrhein, capital of the Swiss canton of Schaffhausen and with about 35000 inhabitants the largest municipality of the canton. Schaffhausen is known for the nearby Rhine Falls.
The Rhine Falls are located in Switzerland in the area of the communities of Neuhausen am Rheinfall and Laufen-Uhwiesen, about four kilometers west of the city of Schaffhausen. With a height of 23 meters and a width of 150 meters, the Rhine Falls is one of the three largest waterfalls in Europe. With average water flow of the Rhine, 373 cubic meters of water per second rush over the rocks in the Rhine Falls.
A magnificent view of the Rhine Falls rewarded us. We strolled up to the mill wheel house and were impressed by the masses of water that plunged down. The roar of the waterfall roared in our ears. The Rhine Falls is one of the three largest waterfalls in Europe.
On the Swiss side of the Rhine we drove on to Stein am Rhein.
Stein on the Rhine
Stein am Rhein (in the local dialect Staa) is a political community in the so-called upper part of the Swiss canton of Schaffhausen. Stein am Rhein has about 3500 inhabitants and is especially known for its well-preserved old town center and therefore very popular with tourists.
We comfortably visited the beautiful old town. After the Untertor we walked towards the Rhine, which has an enormous width here shortly after the outflow from Lake Constance.
In beautiful sunshine we enjoyed coffee on the terrace at Uferlos – An der Schifflände. The drinks were served by a Swiss woman with Austrian roots in original Schwytzerdytsch.
Next stop was the Hotel Restaurant Hohentwiel, located below the ruins of Hohentwiel Fortress. If the view was impaired by drizzling rain during the stop on the journey, we were rewarded with a wonderful view of Singen and Lake Constance.
Over the freeway and past the Wurmlinger Chapel we drove to Stuttgart Airport. Here we had to say goodbye to our friends Doris and Holger and drive home alone.
After more than 15000 schrtten we reached our home. Target fulfilled.
Eventful days in pleasant company.