In the harbor of Lindau we were greeted by sunny weather, the Lake Constance water was a deep blue with light dappling a golden reflection on the water. Beyond the harbor was a panoramic, breathtaking view of the mountains, framed by the Bavarian lion sculpture on one side and a lighthouse on the other. Denise’s camera was clicking away all day long, she was as happy as a cat in a sunbeam. We had parked our car near the train station of Lindau and within 5 minutes had reached the lakeside promenade, lined with cafes and restaurants. Lindau is a small island with 25,000 lucky inhabitants, but it does have a train station, surprising with that population.
Many boats are docked in the port basin and we stroll along, still mesmerized by all the charm surrounding us. We pass the thirteenth-century Mangturm Tower, the more ornate predecessor to the present lighthouse, with its colorful tiled roof and square stone walls. The whole harbor is so pretty, I could linger for hours without getting bored.
We know Lindau has more to offer than just the harbor, and follow the small cobblestone streets into the city center. First, we find the fourteenth-century Old Town Hall, Altes Rathaus, and admire the colorful frescoes on the outer walls. The huge wooden staircase ending up in a light-filled room must impress any visitor. A new town hall is in use for the daily transactions and needs of the public. However, the Old Town Hall is still used for town council meetings and receptions. Be sure to check out both sides of building. There’s a beautiful bronze and red marble fountain of the town’s patroness Lindavia, with allegorical figures on four sides of the basin.
On the north side of the Rathaus you will find Maximilianstrasse, which is Lindau’s main street, lined with tall, gabled houses, and Gothic arcades. Here you can get anything you need (or wish to have) starting with clothing boutiques, ice cream stores and more cafes to sit and people-watch.
At the end of Maximilianstrasse, we walk one more block to the north and spot the Church of St Peter. This is the oldest church of Lindau and is over 1000 years old. The massive, windowless church tower once even served as a defense tower for the people of Lindau. The real treasure of the church can be found on the inside, as it contains the Lindauer Passion, which are the only known surviving wall frescoes by Hans Holbein the Elder.
In 1928, the Church of St. Peter found its present use as a war memorial. Munich artist Marie Feulner created a marble sculpture of an unknown soldier and memorial plaques of the Lindau dead and missing persons of the Franco-German war as well as the two world wars were added to the walls.
Next to the Church of St Peter is the Thieves Tower, which originally belonged to the city fortification and was also used as a prison. Probably not the most comfortable prison, but at least the had a great view being so high off the ground.
After lunch we strolled to a Baroque building called Haus zum Cavazzen, which was built in 1729. Inside you will find Lindau’s Municipal Museum, whose collection of religious paintings includes many Spottbilder, which are satirical caricatures painted during the Reformation era. The museum is open since 1929 with an exhibition extending over the three upper floors. Besides paintings you will also find antique toys, heavy wooden furniture from the Rococo, Biedermeier and Jugendstil periods and historic weapons.
Our favorite museum part was a room filled with paintings that had real clocks embedded into the pictures. Looking at the painting you will see a church tower, that has real clock hands. On the back of the painting is a clockwork, always showing the correct time on the church tower.
If you plan to visit Lindau, allow about 4 to 5 hours in order to take it all in and explore the harbor and city center areas. For more information on cultural happenings or other things to do in or around Lindau, check out their official website here.
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