Lake Bodensee and Mainau Island

Lake Bodensee and Mainau Island, Meersburg and Constance. I visited Lake Bodensee during the trip to the Bavarian castles, which have been my dream since the school years, and I finally managed to come true in the autumn of 2010. For them you can read here, they are worth it. The reason I have been postponing this travel for a long time is that it is related to wonderful places, but because of the rainy weather my pictures can not show them as beautiful and romantic as they really are. Well, I will try to impart my impressions.

Bodensee is an international lake located between Germany, Switzerland and Austria. It is one of the largest in Europe, ranging from Balaton and Geneva Lake. The three countries on its shores have different views on where the water borders pass and whether they are at all. Even more curious is that the city of Konstanz, from whose port we drove by ferry to the island of Mainau and Meersburg, is something like a German city of Swiss land. To reach it by land, it passes through Switzerland, so we had the opportunity to look at it, although no Swiss landmark was included in the trip.

On my way I was impressed by the pretty houses with shutters on the windows and plenty of flowers, as well as the extensive meadow with a bright color and grazing cows almost like in a Milka chocolate advert. Switzerland was very beautiful, but after we went to a gas station with a shop, I was convinced that the prices were also record high compared to our other stops along the way.

From the morning, the weather was bad, heavy gray clouds were hanging, foggy, splashing. Later the rain only increased. During this day everyone was buying umbrellas, raincoats and rubber boots. At ten-thirty, we got on the ferry. From it in clear and sunny weather, wonderful views of the shores of Bodensee and picturesque harbor towns would be found.

Our first stop for the day was the German city of Meersburg, which is famous for the oldest medieval castle inhabited in Germany dating back to the thirteenth century. It is possible to take a tour, to examine the arms and the treasury, and from the tower, revealed a marvelous view. Never before (and then) I had not seen more romantic fountains. We saw the castle outside, but although it rained harder and basically I loved castles, we decided to walk around the city instead of going in. By the next ferryboat we had about an hour and a half so I had to choose, and when I was in a strange town I preferred to walk in the streets, feel the atmosphere, enjoy the architecture, enter a shop, buy souvenirs … Definitely not sorry!

Merseburg is an extremely beautiful town with buildings with colorful facades, plenty of flowers, romantic streets and picturesque squares and fountains. We looked at typical local souvenirs, which were (to a large extent) still not produced in China, although their prices are another topic. On a showcase I was impressed by the dozens of full women women’s statues representing all sorts of professions – the ladies were very distinctive, even more luxuriant and somewhat very kind. I shot some of the thematic compositions. The time flew imperceptibly, and soon we had to go back to make sure we did not miss the link for the next stop of the day. The three largest islands in Lake Bodensee are Reichenau, Mainau and Lindau. The second is among the popular sights in the area. Private owned by the Bernadot family, which founded a foundation in 1974 and turned it into one of the most impressive botanical gardens I have ever seen.

Lake Bodensee and the island of Mainau

We travel with umbrellas through several levels of gardens, beside romantic gazebos, flower figures, waterfalls, and thousands, thousands of flowers. Meanwhile there is always something to be seen – no matter what season you visit it, the gardens will have blossomed, but with different flowers. We were there at the end of September and we took the period of the Dahijes that had risen high almost like me in all the colors you can imagine. The Butterfly House is a spacious room with abundant vegetation, narrow paths, a waterfall, a cave and a pond where there are turtles. The butterflies fly freely around the room and you can easily watch them in the greenery. For better pictures and more detailed viewing, there are special feeders – glass plates with sliced ​​fruits, mostly bananas and oranges, where the butterflies drink juice with their snakes and pose.

Among the gardens is a spacious castle, where the administrative part and the owner-occupied part are located. Above the entrance, the facade is crowned with an impressive coat of arms. There is also the Church of St. Mary built in baroque style in the 18th century, but we did not have time to visit it. It is often marriage, and in the last decades Mainau also offers a cultural program with various events such as concerts with classical outdoor music. We went back to the ferry again and returned to Constanz as wet mice. At this stage, part of the group dropped out of the tour and went back to the bus. However, I am pleased that, although under such circumstances, I have been able to see at least part of this attractive port city.

One of the eye-catching landmarks of the city is a huge rotating statue of a naked woman holding two smaller figures of the Pope and Emperor. They call it the Empire, and it is related to Balzac’s narrative, in which he satirically describes the influence of a courtesan on the men in power at Konstanz’s council in the early fifteenth century. The opening of the sculpture in 1993 caused a small scandal, but “every miracle for three days”.

We walked around the center, where there were many buildings with painted facades – something I had not seen before, especially in such quantities. Bright decorations on the outer walls and around the windows create a unique color. In general, the city has an incredible architecture and sorry we did not have the chance to enjoy it for longer under better weather conditions. In addition, colorful old-style signs are often found on the walls, indicating restaurants, shops or attractions. We also visited the cathedral with a Gothic façade “St. Stephen”, which is mentioned for the first time in the 7th century, and in its present form was built in the XV.



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