Fairy Tale Town of Lindau Bodensee

Most of the people usually visit big cities which are famous within tourists. But there are so many nice places in the world that are not that much highlighted and known to everyone. One of those places in Germany I found was a little fairy tale town in Bavaria called Lindau. The supposed origin of the town’s name comes from word Linde which means linden tree in German. This was a vibrant town located on the coast of Lake Constance (Bodensee), one of the nicest lakes in Bavaria region. It was a port-town where you’ll see a lot of small and big ships coming-going. Some of them were private, some you could rent, but there was also transport ship that was taking people to another port-towns around. Several operators offer up to two-hour long cruises around Lake Constance. Have a look at the boat tour schedules, which is available at the harbor.

Tip: Best way to reach Lindau from Munich is to take a regional train using Bayern-Ticket, if you’re travelling with a group of 2 or more persons, as it will cost you much cheaper than if you’ve got 2 separate tickets for any train or bus. Also note, that with this ticket you can have unlimited trips within Bavaria using any of public transports for free.


As in all ports here at the harbor entrance was a Lighthouse standing next to Lion statue, which was a symbol of Free State of Bavaria. The impressive statue of 6 meters tall lion weighs 50 tonnes and looks over the lake. Its pedestal bears the Roman numerals MDCCCLVI, indicating the year it was erected: 1856. The feeling was that those two are protecting the town. I’ve seen many lighthouses during my previous trips, but never had a chance to get in and climb up. This time the mistake was corrected. For a little price (around €2) we’ve got a ticket and started to climb the spiral stairs counted 139 steps. And here we are on the top of it. What a view! On one side there was a big lake, like a sea, with magnificent Alps of Austria and Switzerland on horizon. On another side the the view was to the town with tourists that ran out of big cities. This was the southernmost lighthouse in Germany built from 1853 to 1856 and is 36 meters tall and has a circumference of 24 meters at its base. At the beginning of its function it had an open oil fire which the keeper would have to keep burning steadily and operate a bell and foghorn once needed. Later the firing was converted to kerosene and then gas and only in 1936 the tower has been operated electrically. An interesting point is that the tower has a clock in its facade.


We could stay here and around for hours but despite of sun, it was cold and windy upstairs. Hardly confessing ourselves we went down and went to stroll in the city. It turned out this is quite a big city, but only this part, which is like a small island that is connected with the main city with a bridge, was the touristic part of it. Still it was a pleasant place to walk in any of its colorful streets. Next to the port there was a bastion from which window there was a rope looking like a braid of hair hanged with a bow: seems Rapunzel was here, waiting for her prince to come and save her 😍 But actually this was 20 meters high Mangturm Tower, which was built in the 12th century as part of the town’s medieval fortifications. There was an inscription on the wall which says: “To protect and defend the harbour – a powerful symbol of the former Imperial Free City of Lindau”. The inside of the Mangturm Tower can only be visited as part of the storytelling events and you’ll need to climb 89 steps to reach the roof.

Did you know?: The tower’s name comes from a former building in the vicinity: the Tuch- und Mangenhaus. In the Middle Ages, this was a warehouse for the clothmaking industry. The name Mangenhaus is linked to the English word mangle and refers to the pressing machine used by the cloth dyers.

We were lucky to have a sunny weather but as it was a bank holiday, almost everything was closed, and the only places we could enter, were churches. The most beautiful one the Notre-Dame Cathedral which is known also as a “Munster Unserer Lieben Frau” (also called also called St. Mary’s Church). The origins of the cathedral that stands on the market square date back to the year 810. But for 1000 years it was the church of the Kanonissenstift Lindau. The current church was built between 1748 and 1752, as after the city fire of 1728 the previous church was totally destroyed. 1922 there was another major fire that destroyed the ceiling and organ inside the church. A light cathedral is decorated with beautiful frescoes and moving rococo carvings on the ceiling and walls. 

Right next to it there was another Evangelical Church St. Stefan dating back to 1180,  which was super simple compared with all the other ones: only white walls and ceiling decorated with  light turquoise ornaments. Unfortunately couldn’t find much information about this peaceful place to share with you, but when you’ll be in Lindau, don’t skip it. You’ll love how simple but beautiful is it.


Another interesting building was the old Town Hall on Maximilianstrasse (the main walking street with all the shops and fancy cafes) which was all painted with different pictures and had many clocks on its walls. Work on the Town Hall began in 1422, and was completed only after 14 years. Inside this Gothic building you’ll have an opportunity to see the Library of the Former Imperial Free City (Ehemals Reichsstädtischen Bibliothek, ERB) where more than 13,000 historical books are kept.


After walking in all street on this island, we decided to check another town close to this one. We could take one of that transport-ships, but decided to go by train. This was easy as the central train stations in both towns were located right in the heart of towns, in just 2 minutes walk from the waterfront.  Don’t know about the bus routes, but from trains great views are guaranteed. Also you may see some wild animals in the nature running (we had a chance to see some rabbits 🐇 and deer 🦌). Some 20 minutes on the way, and we are here in Friedrichshafen. This was also a small touristic place, probably less known as Lindau in my opinion. There were also a lot of people on the streets, but the spirit wasn’t the same. This was more quiet place, where people were laying on the grass or chilling out on small beaches. But despite of these, you’ll still see crowds in beer-gardens having fun. I shall tell you – we did both. After relaxing on the stones close to the water we went to have a lunch with some German beer too. 

As you see, this is another vibrant town and surely deserves your attention, maybe not less than Lindau or other coastal towns around. If you noticed from my previous stories, one of my favorite things to do is to go on a high place and look to the city from there. Here also was a good place for that. At the end of the pier there was a high metal made spiral stairs, where people were going up. So we did the same. 


The stairs were surrounded with high protecting gates, so no one would jump accidentally (or maybe not?) into the water. However it was still a bit scary to look down sometimes. And here we are on the top of this metal giant. Another WOW look from here! Loved this 😊 Somehow in the sky we saw an airship flying… from where to where.. why.. how?! Who knows? 🙂

The water was so quiet, almost no waves. Some people were just “touching” the lake but it was too cold yet to jump in. But as the weather was pleasant, it was already good to sit on those stones and enjoy the gentle rays of warming sun and get tanned a bit.
Now it’s time to go back to Lindau again. We had a long way home waiting us (almost 3h), so we couldn’t stay long here until the sunset unfortunately, which I believe would be majestic, but had some time to enjoy an Italian gelato on the beach. 

If you’re looking for a perfect relaxing spot to spend a day, I’d recommend you to come here, as Lindau is definitely a nice place to visit for crowdy but calm city-tour, chilly hours to spend in a small beaches or have a good beer!


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