Lake Constance, Austria: Travel / Tourist Information Guide

Lake Constance

Lake Constance is the third largest lake in Central Europe after Lake Balaton and Lake Geneva. It was formed by the Rhine Glacier during the last ice age that consists three bodies of water nowadays: the Obersee or the upper lake, the Untersee or the lower lake, and the Seerhein which is a connecting stretch of the Rhine. It straddles three countries: Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This is the only area in Europe where no borders exist because there is no legally binding agreement between the three countries.




Lake Constance has three major islands: the Mainau Island, the Reichenau Island, and the Lindau. All of these islands are loacted in Germany.

The Mainau Island is located on the shore of the Untersee near the city of Konstanz, Germany. It is a 110-acre flower island with parks and gardens. The Italian Rose Garden has pergolas, sculptures, and fountains. It also includes some 500 rose varieties. The island also has 200 rhododendron and azalea varieties. In total, this flower island contains about 30,000 rose bushes representing 1,200 varieties, and about 20,000 dahlias of 250 varieties. There is also a Butterfly House that has hundreds of vivid butterflies, an Italian Cascade integrating patterned flowers with waterfalls, and a petting zoo. Another pride of the island is the Schloss; a palace built in 1746 by the Grand Duke of Baden. The palace boasts its White Hall, an old defensive tower, and a gatehouse.

The Reichenau Island is the largest island in Lake Constance. With a rich history and structures that are well-preserved until the present time, the island was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are three surviving churches in the island: the Abbey of Reichenau where the Münster is dedicated to the Virgin and St. Mark, the St. George's Church in Oberzell with its fine wall paintings of the Ottonian period, and the church of Saints Peter and Paul in Niederzell. At the northwestern tip of the island, there is a 14th century old palace: the Schloss Windegg. In this island, there is a nature reserve called Wollmatinger Ried. It boasts a wide variety of plants and animals that includes more than 600 fern and flowering plants and 290 bird species. Its reed wetlands attracts butterflies, migratory birds like kingfishers, grey herons and cuckoos, and beavers.

Lindau is also the largest town on the Bavarian shores of Lake Constance. It is split between an island and the slopes of the mainland. It is linked by the Neue Seebrücke. The island offers a lot of tourist attractions. Upon entering the harbor entrance of Lindau, the famous landmarks are spotted; the lighthouse and Bavarian Lion sculpture. The old town has many preserved Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque structures. Some of the best attractions include the Maximilianstrasse or the main street that is filled with shops and restaurants, the historic Old Town Hall, Peterskirche, Church of St. Stephan, and the Lindenhofpark. The Uferweg is a walking path in the island that offers fine views from two old bastions: the Gerberschanze and the Sternschanze, and views from the Pulverturm.



Attractions & Things to Do

Aside from the beautiful town of Bregenz in Austria and its famous Bregenz Festival that is held annually at the Lake Constance, there are other beautiful attractions that could be visited in Lake Constance. The Konstanz is the largest town in Lake Constance. It is an important cultural center offering an active theatrical and musical scene. One of the most visited old structures is the Konstanz Minster that was built in the 11th century. The 15th century Hohenzollernhaus, the 16th century Rathaus, and the Haus zum Rosgarten are the other attractions. A highlight in a visit is the town's harbor. The harbor entrance is marked with a famous landmark called the Imperia. It is also housing the Kaufhaus, which is also known as Konzilsgebäude. It was built in 1388 as an old warehouse for trade with Italy. Another famous highlight of a visit in the lake is the Pfahlbaumuseum Unteruhldingen, the German Stilthouse Museum. It is an open-air museum with stone-age and bronze-age homes.

The famous Lake Constance Trail encircles the entire lake at varying distances from its shores for about 272 kilometers. It is very popular for hiking and biking. Another popular thing to do is to explore the lake by boat. It offers many opportunities for sightseeing. Some boat tours are roaming around the three countries.