If you decide to travel in Europe, please go to Germany, to the region called Bavaria and explore it by car. For many of you, this country is associated with good cars, but it is much more than just good cars…Germany has got beautiful landscapes with an interesting history.
Bavaria is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Germans love comfort, so they know how to please their guests.
Bavaria shares international borders with Austria (Salzburg, Tyrol, Upper Austria and Vorarlberg), the Czech Republic (Karlovy Vary, Plzeň and South Bohemian Regions) and Switzerland (across Lake Constance to the Canton of St. Gallen). The borders are opened completely, because all of these countries are part of the Schengen Area. You are welcome to explore the neighborhood.
Bavaria – one of the most popular tourist destinations located in the south-east of the country. One of the most famous places is the castle of Neuschwanstein, built by Louis II, who is called the „king of fairy tales“. Louis II was one of the emperors of the Wittelsbach dynasty who ruled Bavaria for more than seven centuries. It has been part of the Holy Roman Empire for many years and an independent Kingdom. Modern Bavaria is one of the lands in Germany, that kept its impressive castles, royal palaces, cozy towns, alpine peaks and lakes at their foot.
MUNICH – THE CAPITAL OF BAVARIA
I advise you to visit Munich – the capital of Bavaria. It has been home to Benedictine monks since the 12th century.
The city was surrounded by a defensive wall, where the trade took place and many churches were built over several centuries, including the Bavaria’s Palace built by city dwellers. Munich was rebuilt after the World War II, so you will see modern architecture next to the restored historic buildings. On the outskirts of the Old Town you will visit the Palace of the Rulers of the Wittelsbach Dynasty, the adjacent squares, the Opera House and other historic buildings. There are plenty of charming hotels in Bavaria, you just need to choose in which one to stay.
LAKES IN BAVARIA
The largest lake in Bavaria – Lake Chiemsee is 90 km away from Munich. Chiemsee is a freshwater lake near Rosenheim. You can take a boat tour to the Men’s Island. In the 8th century there were established two Benedictine monasteries. The Islands were named: Women’s monastery on the Ladies (Frauenchiemsee) Island and Men’s monastery on the Gentlemen’s (Herreninsel) Island. The monastery on Ladies Island is opened to visitors till these days. The monastery on Gentlemen’s Island was closed when the Island was ruled by the King Louis II of Bavaria. He adapted the surviving monastery buildings to his needs and called them the Old Palace. Impressed by the residence of King Louis XIV in Versailles, France, Louis II began to build a copy – the new Palace in the middle of the Island. There you can find particularly ornate palace halls, the Gallery of Mirrors, and the history of his life can be seen in the King Louis II Museum. Take a walk in the palace park or visit the museums set up in the Old Palace. On the women’s Island you can visit the monastery buildings and the fishing village. The lake is gorgeous and it is perfect place to relax.
The Obersee is a natural lake located in the extreme southeast Berchtesgadener Land district of Bavaria, near the Austrian border. All of the lake is within the Berchtesgaden National Park. It lies in the southeast of the much larger Königssee. There are no villages near the lake, only the small Fischunkelalm which is used only during the summer months.
HINTERSEE AND RAMSAU
Surrounded by gigantic peaks and located in Ramsau at the foot of the Reiter-Alm, Hintersee Lake has fascinated many landscape artists and poets. There is the most beautiful footpath to the lake which starts from Ramsau through the Zauberwald (Enchanted Forest), and along a wild mountain stream. The lake has provided the setting for many Alpine movies. It can be crossed by a boat. There is a world-famous view of the charming church of Ramsau found in many paintings and it is just of the mountain torrent at Malerwinkl (painters’ corner), 200 m downstream from the quiet parish church.
Lake Königssee (or just Königssee, „See“ means lake) lies just a couple of miles south of the town of Berchtesgaden and it is Germany’s the deepest and the cleanest lake. This area has been used for an outdoor recreation for centuries. Bavarian royalty and the local rulers of Berchtesgaden and Salzburg hunted here, Hitler went boating on the lake, and Eva Braun liked to take a sunbath on the shore. The Königssee is a wonderful example of a crystal-clear alpine lake. It’s just inside the Berchtesgaden National Park, and it doesn’t require any strenuous hiking. A short bus ride from Berchtesgaden town takes you to the parking lot, then it’s a 10 minute walk to the lake and the boat dock.
The Alpsee lake is in the Ostallgäu district, it’s located at about 4 kilometres in the southeast of Füssen. It is close to the Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles. There is a wide variety of hiking trails in the vicinity or you can rent a boat and explore the lake. A circular path leads around the shore, and the „Fürstenstrasse“ (Princes’ Road) leads from Hohenschwangau over the Schwarzenberg ridge (Ammergau Alps) and down to Pinswang in the Lechtal.
Füssen – town in Bavaria in the district of Ostallgäu, situated one kilometre from the Austrian border. The town is known for their violin manufacturer and as the closest transportation hub for the Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles. As of 2018 the town has a population of 15,538. Fussen is very beautiful and worth to visit. From there you can discover hiking to Queen Mary’s Bridge (Marienbrücke). It’s the best way to see Neuschwanstein Castle from above. Remember, near Füssen you can visit two memorable castles: Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau.
HOHENSCHWANGAU CASTLE IN THE SOUTHERN BAVARIA
King Louis II spent his childhood summers at the residence of kings in the southern Bavaria, at the foot of the Alps. Later, when he became the King of Bavaria, on the ruins of nearby castles, he built Hohenschwangau castle. It’s about 120 km away from Munich.
You can visit the castle. If you want to see inside, just remember you need to get your tickets for entrance to the castle in advance! Neuschwanstein Castle was an inspiration for Tchaikovsky’s „Swan Lake“, V. Disney’s Sleeping beauty’s castle. The castle’s exhibits showing great royal admiration for Wagner’s work include tapestries depicting scenes from his operas, art decorated with drawings from Germanies myths. Legends seem to be reborn inside the castle, with their characters looking from the decorated walls and ceilings… such an environment and spirit takes visitors to the times of noble knights.
QUEEN MARY’S BRIDGE
The parking where the hike begins is just a short drive from the Fussen, with many people cycling and even walking to the entrance. You will get the first views of both castles when you will start walking through the bridge over the gorge. You can choose to hike and take in the beauty of the castles before going on an actual tour. It’s a long (45min.) walk, remember to pack proper walking shoes. Mary’s Bridge offers a spectacular panorama of the castle. If you want an alternate view of Neuschwanstein Castle without the crowds of the bridge there is a way! Once you get to the other side of the Queen Mary’s bridge, continue on the path that runs up the hillside. About 10 minutes later you’ll find a glorious undisturbed view of the castle.
You can take the cabin lift to the highest peak in Germany, Zugspitze (2962 m), where you can admire a wonderful panorama of the 400 peaks in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. It’s 50 km away from Fussen town. You can stay in one of the charming Bavarian towns.
Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany. It’s also home to the country’s highest ski resort. With 20 km of pistes covered in natural snow for up to 6 months of the year, this is an extremely popular destination for fans of winter sports such as snowboarding, skiing, and tobogganing.
Regensburg – it’s a German medieval wonder. The medieval center of the city is UNESCO World Heritage Site. With the construction of a stone bridge over the Danube in Regensburg in the 12th century, it became a particularly important city on the trade route, and in the time of the Holy Roman Empire it was a free empire city. Charming narrow streets, small medieval squares, old town houses, many church and monastery buildings have survived here. You will see the famous stone bridge, the old town hall, the impressive St. Peter’s Cathedral.
BAMBERG – FRANCONIAN REGION OF BAVARIA
Bamberg, a historic town in the Franconian region of Bavaria, located on seven hills. Visit Bamberg Cathedral and the old bishop’s palace, and the New Residence. In the old town hall on the side of the main „river“, you will see the fishing houses lined up on the coast called the „Little Venice“. In the walks and squares of the old town, you can get acquainted with the history of the city. In one of the inns of the Old Town you can taste smoked German beer, which is produced only in this city.
This is just a small piece of beautiful Germany, I will write more about this country later, stay tuned.