Mittenwald Things to Do

  • Karwendel seen from the Isal valley trail
    Karwendel seen from the Isal valley...
    by Kathrin_E
  • Icy peak 1
    Icy peak 1
    by Kathrin_E
  • Icy peak 2
    Icy peak 2
    by Kathrin_E

Most Recent Things to Do in Mittenwald

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    hike to the Dammkarhütte

    by richiecdisc Updated Apr 14, 2014

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    Bavaria is very Catholic, especially up high
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    With Mittenwald's strategic location in the heart of the German Alps, it is no wonder it is a Mecca for hikers in summer and those more ski-inclined in winter. There are hikes for all levels of fitness, from flat lake-side strolls to steep stoney trudges. Of course, we opted for the latter even though we had not done any hiking in four months. After all, that very hike had been a six-day backpacking trip in mountains over 4000m in Colombia. Our first choice was to the Dammkarhütte at a mere 1650m. With Mittenwald resting at 930m it was only a 600m climb over approximately 5km. This seemed like a good warm up. As it turned out, those four months of mere flat terrain low altitude exercise pretty much wiped out any of the “training effect” of the Colombian trek. To make matters worse, it was very exposed with absolutely no tree cover. Add to this, it was the hottest day of the whole summer and we were cursing our choice right from the get go. Once at the actual Dammkarhütte, it was nice as it was set in a half bowl of jagged peaks and was appropriately enough built of stones from the surrounding “quarry.” We sat at one of the tables and ate our simple carried snack only to be told later that the tables were for people buying food from the hut. The view from the hut was certainly nice but the trail up was not particularly scenic or enjoyable to hike. The area around the hut looked worth exploring and there were man people coming down from rocky side trails where it is recommended to fasten yourself with clips to provided rings.

    Something less strenuous but equally pretty is here.

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing

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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    one of Europe's most scenic train trips

    by richiecdisc Updated Apr 10, 2014

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    Alp views from the train
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    We had been to Mittenwald two years prior for a few days of hiking but on our most recent trip there, it was a mere two hour stopover so my Dad and sister could see a cute traditional Bavarian town. It just so happened to be on one of Europe's most scenic train trips that would bring us to Innsbruck and eventually Bolzano. Since we could stop for free we figured why not. The point of this is that the trip to Mittenwald in itself is a reason to go to Mittenwald. It is a gorgeous trip and if you just went there and back it would be worthwhile. Since it's only 90 minutes from Munich you can do quite a bit more with an early start and enjoy the early morning light on the mountains and small villages that dot the landscape on your way.

    Thecolorful locals of Mittenwald are here.

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    • Trains
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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    hike to Lautersee

    by richiecdisc Updated Apr 10, 2014

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    Lautersee with mountains in rear
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    The Lautersee is a very pretty alpine lake easily reached from Mittenwald and well worth the excursion especially if the weather is fine. Sitting just over 1000m it is a short 45 minute stroll from town and with only 100m of elevation pickup, it's not strenuous. The views from the lake are stunning and there are a few restaurants at which you can grab a bite to eat while soaking in the scenery. Of course, don't expect solitude since it's so easy to reach. In fact, there is even a small beach with families enjoying the sun and a little swimming in summer.

    An equally scenic and easier train trip is here.

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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Photography

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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    Barfußwanderweg

    by richiecdisc Updated Apr 10, 2014

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    barfu��ing it
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    The Barfußwanderweg (barefoot hiking trail) is not something that would normally interest me and to be honest I only did it because my wife wanted to do it. Nature trails as a rule are not my thing and since I left my teenage years walking barefoot isn't either. I figured how bad could 1.6km be? Well, if your feet are not toughened up, pretty bad actually. You walk over all kinds of terrain. With this nature trail, the “stations” are various natural materials which you might not normally consider walking over without your shoes on. When you are doing it, it's pretty obvious why you might not consider doing it. Ouch. The best bits are when you walk over nice soft grass which after the other bits is quite soothing. I guess I somehow imagined the whole trail feeling like that but if that is what you are looking for, just kick your boots off at the beach on your local park.

    One more hike for the road is here.

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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    hike to Kranzberg & surroundings

    by richiecdisc Updated Apr 10, 2014

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    cute chapel in the mountains near St. Anton
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    Since we were not entirely pleased with our hiking experience to the Dammkarhütte the previous day, we decided to forego what we imagined a similar hike to the Mittenwalder Hütte on the same side of the valley. We figured the views would be similar and though the hike would surely be easier (it was quite a bit lower in elevation) we wanted to seek out a hike with more of a chance of seeing something green en route to a lofty spot. We headed to the other side of the valley which the Kranzberg calls home. With no particular plan, we made a circuit that took in the Kranzberg, an small alpine lake and at in Sankt Anton with marvelous views. The trail was not as steep and offered some shade as well as passing through big meadows of green and flowers. It was a much prettier trail than the one to Dammkarhütte. The alpine lake was quiet with lots of shade and the Berggasthof St. Anton offered much better views than the hut from the previous day as well. Part of the Dammkarhütte's problem was it is set right in the Karwendel massif which is the most spectacular group of peaks in the area. You can't see 'em if you're in 'em, right? Even without the better views, it was a more varied and interesting hike. The complete circuit was no more than 7km and you can add the Barfußwanderweg (barefoot nature trail) when at Sankt Anton for good measure.

    The Barfuß is here.

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    • Budget Travel

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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    Geigenbaumuseum

    by richiecdisc Updated Apr 10, 2014

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    Geigenbaumuseum is worth a peek from the outside
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    As it turns out, Mittenwald is not only a Mecca for alpine pleasures but also for violin makers. A recognized by law market town as early as the13th century, it became such an important stop on the route between Venice and Augsburg that an overnight break was made mandatory and thus sprang the production of some popular items of the time, one of which were stringed instruments. Of course, it did not hurt that there was a preponderance of good quality wood in the area and the Klotz family was the first of a line of violin makers to give Mittenwald a lasting name in violin production. There are still quite a few violin artisans in town and a small museum for those interested in learning about their production and a more in depth history of Mittenwald's role in it.

    The Geigenbaumuseum is open from 10 till 5 daily except Mondays and cost €4.50. We unfortunately were only in town for about 24 hours and with such great weather we prefered to enjoy the mountains but hopefully we'll get there again one day.

    Tired of the town? The mountains surrounding it are here.

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    • Music
    • Museum Visits

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    St. Peter and Paul Church

    by richiecdisc Updated Apr 10, 2014

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    from the far end of Obermarkt w/ zoom
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    The St. Peter and Paul Church is Mittenwald's man-made focal point rising up from the Obermarkt pedestrian area even if paling in comparison to the peaks that ring the town. It is nonetheless a colorful pastel stunner that is best photographed from afar due to the narrow streets that surround it as well as to offset its simple beauty against the jagged peaks that Mittenwald is more renowned for. Its interior is typical Baroque extravagance with lots of gold and statues rising seemingly to the heavens.

    Built in the mid-1700s, its tower features a colorful Lüftmalerei by Matthias Günther who also did the church's interior.

    More of Mittenwald here.

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    the murals of Mittenwald

    by richiecdisc Updated Apr 10, 2014

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    just like you imagined Bavaria to be
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    Mittenwald is a story-book alpine mountain village despite it not being in Switzerland. In fact, it's every bit as pretty as any number of similar towns in that more noted alps-laden country. Quite in the same vein, buildings are painted with colorful murals depicting everyday life laced with an undercurrent of Christian overtones. No matter your religious orientation, they make for nice eye candy when strolling the town's quaint streets and set off particularly well against the more inspiring of the divine peaks that rise around Mittenwald higher and more mightily than any man-made fortress walls ever built.

    This style of decoration typical of southern Bavaria and is an example of Lüftmalerei from the 17th century. It was derived from Italian trompe l'oeil painting of which Franz Zwinck is the most famous exponent. His house in Oberammergau was named Zum Lüftl, apparently where the style's name comes from.

    More to see here.

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    flowered balconies

    by richiecdisc Updated Apr 10, 2014

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    flowers are everywhere in Mittenwald
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    One thing you have to love about being in the Bavarian Alp towns is their love of flowers. They are everywhere but nowhere more eye-catching then decorating the typical brown wooden traditional balconies that are the hallmark of Mittenwald. The also make great additions to the painted murals the town is noted for.

    More to see here.

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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Photography
    • Hiking and Walking

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    SAINT PETER & PAUL CHURCH

    by balhannah Updated Jan 15, 2014

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    St Peter & Paul Church
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    When I first saw the Pink Catholic Saint Peter and Paul Church, I couldn't help but stand in amazement and take in the beauty of this Church. Walking along the street, I could see the Luftlmalerei painted Tower, and then the Church came into sight. Built in the Rococo style between 1738 – 1740, this church is full of frescoes inside and out.
    It was painted by students of Matthaus Gunther, a famous Bavarian church and frescoe painter of the 17th century.
    Now, after taking all that in, it was time to go inside. Wow! It was just as beautiful as the outside! Dome frescoes inside, show the church’s patrons Sts. Peter and Paul. .

    Guided tours take place every Monday at 5.15 p.m. (1 hour) from the middle of May until the end of September.
    It also hosts an organ festival during late summer.

    Known as one of the finest Churches in the Bavarian Alp's.

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    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

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  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Catholic Church of St Peter and Paul

    by Kathrin_E Written Jul 23, 2013
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    The catholic parish church of St Peter and Paul is originally a gothic building but facades and interior have been redesigned in the baroque era. The master builder was Joseph Schmuzer, who had learned his craft in the school of Wessobrunn. The date 1746 is inscribed on the steeple; the entire works took one and a half decades from 1734 to 1749.
    The beautiful baroque steeple with the bell-shaped roof is Mittenwald's landmark. The upper storeys have architectural elements in stucco while on the lower parts it's all trompe-l'oeil, Lüftlmalerei - columns and rustications on the corners are just painted on the flat wall.

    The church is open for visitors all day.

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    Violin Makers Town

    by Kathrin_E Written Jul 23, 2013
    A violin maker's shop in town
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    Mittenwald is famous as centre of violin making. Traces of this craft can be found all over town: the artisans' workshops, pictures in Lüftlmalerei on some houses. Even the steeple is ornated with a large treble clef on one side.
    If you want to learn more about Mittenwald's violin makers, visit the Geigenbaumuseum - unfortunately we did not have time to see it.

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    • Music

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  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Lüftlmalerei: Painted Houses

    by Kathrin_E Written Jul 23, 2013
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    The art of painting the facades of the houses, known as Lüftlmalerei, is popular all over Upper Bavaria but Mittenwald is maybe the capital of it. A walk through the town is like browsing through a picture book. The majority of houses in the centre are ornated with frescoes. This folk art has its origins in the baroque trompe-l'oeil, painting fake elements of architecture onto plain walls to imitate the more expensive three-dimensional stonemason or stucco elements. However, the Bavarian artists preferred figural scenes to pure architecture. The facades are populated with historical people and events, with scenes depicting the profession of the house owner, or country life in the mountains, or rural festivals, or angels and saints. Such paintings have been done for 250 years, hence styles vary. Some are of high artistic value, others are on the brink of kitsch. But all are fun to look at.

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    Karwendelbahn

    by Kathrin_E Written Jul 23, 2013
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    A cable car takes visitors from Mittenwald high up into the Karwendel mountains. The top station is perched on the edge of the rock and looks like a stranded UFO, especially at night when the lights are on (photo 3). A recent addition is the giant telescope, which contains Germany's highest nature information centre with an exhibition about the Alps, and of course the view.

    Sorry to admit that I did not even think about going up. I am scared of heights and this is not for me. For all further details what to do and see at the top, timetables, fares etc. please consult the Karwendelbahn website.

    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing

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  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Karwendel Mountains

    by Kathrin_E Written Jul 23, 2013
    Karwendel seen from the Isal valley trail
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    The Karwendel massif is Mittenwald's "house mountain". The town sits at the foot of the steep rocky massif which appears in many street views. The mountain range consists of four chains with 125 peaks over 2000 m altitude. It is popular among hikers and mountain climbers, in winter also among freeskiers. The limestone has been eroded into ragged rocks.

    The highest peak of the northernmost chain which is towering over Mittenwald is Westliche Karwendelspitze, 2385 m above sea level. Closely below is the top station of the cable car. The ridge marks the border. The major part of Karwendel is in Austria.

    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park

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