Shopping in the intact old town
Constance does not offer a variety of options for conferences, but also options for a varied supporting program. So the city has to elicit the enthusiasm of every historically interested tears of joy: The largely intact medieval old town not only survived the Second World War unscathed because it was mistaken by the Americans for a Swiss city.
There are also hardly any new buildings from the Baroque era, as in many other cities, as the city simply had no money at that time. The oldest district of Niederburg in particular inspires with picturesque alleys and facades, rustic wine bars and restaurants and small, fine shops.
Rarities at sight seeing
The city tour with art historian Henry Gerlach is great and very exciting in this connection, which the expert for the Constance Council also holds in part in historical costumes. He not only leads you to the locations of his Council novel “In Nomine Diaboli”, but also shows you rarities that you would otherwise have missed:
The best example of this are the four fire-gilded copper disks exhibited in the crypt of the Konstanz Minster, which were previously attached to the east gable of the choir. The largest disc is dated to the 11th century.
A prostitute as a landmark of the city
Especially original I found the story of the 1993 erected Imperia statue in the harbor. Its creator, the sculptor Peter Lenk, is known for his heartfelt art and has been inspired by the creation of the nine-meter-high statue of Balzac's madman's stories, which inter alia treat the prostitute Imperia at the time of the Council of Constance. In her hands the statue holds naked figures of Emperor Sigismund and Pope Martin V, the rulers at the time of the Council.
Probably the world's largest statue of a prostitute was at the beginning of much controversial. However, since the statue was built on the private property of Deutsche Bahn and not on urban terrain, it was not possible for the local council to prevent the construction. Later, it became a tourist attraction and landmark of the city.
Insider tips and traffic connections
An insider tip for a beautiful view is the Viva Sky Hotel in the center. The roof terrace of the three-star hotel with a great view over the old town is unfortunately only reserved for hotel guests. It is also a pity that Constance is only very badly connected to the long-distance traffic of Deutsche Bahn. The best way to reach the city is by plane from Zurich.
On the other hand, I liked the public transport: For example, even more remote villages and neighborhoods are even in the evening well with the bus and Konstanz has the only water bus on the lake. Too bad that there is no single ticket that would allow the combined use of all trains, buses and ships on Lake Constance. So unfortunately guests have to tap the various possibilities. Here you can clearly see that Lake Constance is a four-country region with different administrative paths.
5 tips for exciting activities in and around Constance
I would like to support them a little, so I show you the most exciting tips for activities around conferences and conferences from my point of view.
1. Conference ship with the Bodensee-Schiffsebetrieben
Of course, boat trips are a great way to get around Lake Constance. And ships are also a good alternative if, for example, meeting capacities are not enough. The Bodensee-Schiffsebetriebe (BSB) provides two different meeting ships that can be fully chartered: The MS Graf Zeppelin can accommodate up to 300 people, integrated screen, beamer and dance floor, the MS Lindau has capacities up to 100 People as well as lighting and conference technology incl. Integrated TV screen.
In addition, other ships can be rented for excursions, such as the MS Schwaben in the Art Deco style of the 30s. Whiskey or wine tastings on ships are also possible and are offered as a finished tour. All ships have loudspeaker systems and microphones, handicapped accessible equipment and elevator, on board a "normal" 230V electricity is generated on board. This is available via standard household sockets that are distributed in the ship. Heavy current connections are also possible.
2. Culinary - cooking classes with the star chef
Kuliknarik is a top priority on Lake Constance, as it is the region with the highest density of starred restaurants in Germany.
Enjoy in the two-star restaurant Ophelia
One of them I was allowed to visit during my visit to Constance: The Ophelia of chef Dirk Hoberg. It has two stars in the Michelin Guide and 18 points in the Gault Millau and interprets the skin cuisine modern - see the two pictures below.
This includes, above all, fresh, regional products that can be enjoyed in the stylish ambience of the Art Nouveau villa belonging to the Hotel RIVA right on the lake. Interesting for groups: Dirk Hoberg also always offers cooking courses - from “Fit in the spring” to the “large Xmas menu” to the premier class “turbot as a whole”.
Healthy and regional
You can also eat well in the Steigenberger Inselhotel, in the Moorish hall of the Halm Hotel with Morocan cuisine or in the “ess | bar ”, where the menu is compiled anew every day from the ingredients that were bought fresh in the morning.
In general, regional fresh produce plays a big role in many restaurants: Especially the proximity to the island of Reichenau with herbs, tomatoes, apples, fresh fish or wine offers the chefs fresh ingredients right outside the door. Star chef Hoberg can even be supplied with special products that have been grown in small quantities.
3. Hikes on premium trails
The region around Constance is also ideal for a variety of sporting activities. For example for hiking. First of all, of course, the more than 50 KM long SeeGang premium hiking trail should be mentioned. As a long-distance hiking trail, it connects Konstanz and Überlingen on several stages and has been awarded the “German hiking seal for premium hiking trails”.
We have made only a small part of the 50 KM from Konstanz to almost the island of Mainau and then across the Rhine to the historic center, but I really liked the track because of the easy route and the beautiful view of the city and the lake Events very good on a morning or afternoon feasible. However, there are also more demanding hiking trails on Lake Constance, as reported by my hiking guide Viktor Gaefke from the German Alpine Association.
This probably includes the premium hiking trail “Hegauer Kegelspiel”, on which bizarre rock formations, stately knight castles and enchanting river landscapes are supposed to alternate - unfortunately I haven't had the opportunity to walk it so far. Like the “SeeGang”, the “Hegauer Kegelspiel” takes you past historical places, such as the Hohentwiel fortress ruins near the “Hohentwieler”. It also gives interesting insights into the extraordinary geology, flora and fauna of the Hohentwiel.
4. Cycling and swimming
Cycling and swimming are sports that are virtually inseparable from Constance. Not only that there is an own traffic guidance only for cyclists who even have their own bridge:
Rental bike systems and bike rides
With Konrad, the region has recently started offering its own bike rental system with 15 rental stations throughout the city. 150 bicycles and special cargo bikes are available around the clock. Guests can simply download the app, walk to the pick-up station, release their bike and set off. Some hotels also lend their guests bicycles or eBikes.
Under the motto “The unknown Lake Constance”, cycling enthusiasts and culture fans can explore the historical and cultural wealth of the four-country region around Lake Constance by bike on expertly guided “cultural bike tours”. There are also spontaneously organized tours that are announced on Wednesdays for the following weekend. And if you like it comfortable, you can take the “Seepferdle-Express” - rickshaws with eBike function and student drivers - to drive you through the area.
Swimming - in the lake, the Rhine and in the spa
Swimming is also very important in Konstanz, you can always jump into the lake or the Rhine at any time - for example during lunch break during two conference sessions. However, the best are the free beach resorts right on the lake, which are open from May to September and provide infrastructure such as toilets and showers.
The largest lido with 50.000 square meters of lawn and 600 meters of bank length is the “Hörnle”. It lies at the end of the Bay of Constance near the Lake Constance Stadium and offers a fantastic view of the lake and alpine panorama. The Bodensee-Therme Konstanz is also located directly on the lake shore. You are particularly close to nature all year round in the 400 square meter and 34 degree warm outdoor pool. If you like it a little fresher, you can get to Lake Constance via a jetty and cool off in your waves. Family-friendliness is also important in the Bodensee-Therme: the separate parent-child area offers little bathers the joy of playing.
5. UNESCO World Heritage Island Reichenau and Hegau: paddling with sight-seeing
For me as an early medieval historian was also exciting the island Reichenau, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I found it even more exciting to explore the island by kayak - by the way, an idea of my also very competent guide Günter Andres, a former teacher.
Paddling at your own risk
If you want to explore the island on your own, however, the kayak rental should choose very carefully, as there is balance of economic, environmental and social aspects.
Paddling on the calm sea actually has something meditative. You have the choice between different tours, for example, over the lake to the island of love or once around the Reichenau, where you can also occasionally disembark and visit three medieval churches.
3 churches in the salad bed
Someone has the island of Reichenau once as three churches in the salad garden and I found that very fitting. The most well-known church is St. Georg. It was founded by Abbot Hatto III. End of the 9. Century built. Hatto, who had traveled to Rome with King Arnulf to crown his coronation with Xnumx, received there from Pope Formosus the head of St. Georg. He had the relic brought to the Reichenau, where it found its place in the crypt of the newly established church. With today's construction are still large parts of the original basilica.
8 large, more than 4 meter wide and 2 meter high murals in the nave show Jesus' miracles and illustrate the power of Jesus over the forces of nature, diseases, life and death. The murals were created at the end of the 10. Century. They are thus among the earliest testimonies of their kind north of the Alps and are closely related to the resulting in Reichenau scriptorium book illumination, which also reached its peak at 1000.
Insider tip Hegau
The region and its islands with small harbors, the Hegau volcanoes and picturesque places can be discovered on relaxing tours by canoe, solar ferry or ship. Relaxing bird watching is possible in the nature reserve.
Every year from spring, many private individuals open their garden gates and receive interested visitors in their refuges. And also for culinary is taken care of, highly recommended is, for example, the restaurant Strandhotel Löchnerhaus.
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