Konstanz Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Konstanz

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    NIEDERBURG - THE OLDEST AREA OF KONSTANZ

    by balhannah Written Apr 2, 2015

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    In the "old" town, there is one part that is a little older than the most, and that is the Niederburg. This area dates back to the 10th century. Interesting is many crafts-people came here and settled, and it was their homes where I saw a form of artwork on the buildings, relating to what business they ran in those days.
    The streets around here, like the Klostergasse, Rheingasse, Niederburggasse and many more, have very old homes, narrow alley-ways and interesting names. Some had the dates of when they were built, like Zum Leopard, 1399, which has a leopard on the building.

    Niederburg Niederburg street
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    OLD CATHEDRAL DEANERY (DOMPROBSTEI)

    by balhannah Written Apr 2, 2015

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    Across from the Rheintor, is the brightly painted Cathedral Deanery. It was built in 1609 for the Prince Bishop to be used for administration and official functions, later used as the residence of the Von Fingerlin family. Today, it's the home of the State Notary offices and isn't open for the public to view private Russian-Orthodox chapel with its rococo hall. The only way to see this, is to make a prior appointment.

    Old Cathedral Deanery
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    TRINITY CHURCH

    by balhannah Updated Apr 2, 2015

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    This Church has had quite a life! It has been an Abbey Church, Hospital Church, Parish Church and City Church..

    In the gothic era of 1268, this church was built for the local monastery of the Augustine hermits who worked on the land and took care of the sick. A little of the remains of the Augustine abbey which dissolved in 1802 and was pulled down later, can be seen in Trinity Church.
    King Sigismund stayed at the monastery when he returned early from his trip to Spain, and so did a number of cardinals who came to Konstanz for election of a new Pope.

    Happy with his accommodation, the King rewarded the Augustines with a new organ and the most important art treasure of the church, the frescoes on the nave walls dating back to 1417/18.

    In 1908, the Church became known as "Trinity Church". I loved the high altar and the two side altars which date from 1667, also the beautifully carved wooden pulpit from 1898. Most of these came from St. Michael's church in the town of Zug, Switzerland.

    From Easter 1999, restoration took place at a cost of 8 million euros. When you see the interior of this church, the marvellous frescoes and Altars and the stucco work, perhaps you will be like me and think this was money well spent so future generations can see these old works of art!

    Don't be deceived by the exterior, as Trinity Church is classified as one of the most important sacred monuments of the city of Konstanz .

    More photos in the travelogue

    Trinity church Trinity church Trinity church Trinity church Trinity church
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    MONASTERY ZOFFINGEN

    by balhannah Updated Apr 2, 2015

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    Monastery Zoffingen was established by Bishop Everhard II in 1257 and was the only convent in
    Constance to survive secularisation. Next to it, is a large School building which from 1775, became part of the monastery and was run by the Dominican Nuns. When the Monastery closed in 1926, so did the school until the municipal authorities stepped in and took over the running of it. It is no longer a private school, but a composite school.
    You can visit the small church, convent shop and the modern crypt located next door.

    The Monastery shop can be entered at the opening times listed. Here you will find candles and religious pieces for sale.

    Shop opening times:
    Tue - Fri 9.30am - 12 noon
    It is open on some afternoons, not sure of times though!

    What you can do, is stay in renovated rooms of the former primary school of the Monastery. This is now a guest house run by the Zoffinger Dominican Sisters.

    In August to mid September, the guest house is closed.

    Probably best to check the website as Women over 18 years are accepted and couples are negotiable.
    There are Single and double rooms with shower / WC, bed and breakfast.
    A Lounge with TV and guest kitchen

    Single room:
    Bed and breakfast - € 30.00 to 45.00 €
    Double room:
    Bed and breakfast - € 70.00

    Minimum stay: two nights

    Monastery shop entrance
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    THE SPITALKELLEREI (WINE CELLAR)

    by balhannah Written Apr 2, 2015

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    When I saw the name "Spitalkellerei," I wondered what on earth it was. The mural on the side of the building was a give-away, as it looked like a Wine press I had seen on the other side of Lake Constance. I turned out it was! As the Spitalkellerei Konstanz has been here since 1225, it is the oldest winery foundation still existing in Germany.

    The medieval cellars of Spitalkellerei can be visited on tours and tastings.

    OPEN
    Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 12 noon & 6pm to 2am.
    Saturday 9.00 am to 1 pm

    WINE TASTINGS
    Every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month. Need 15 people.

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    THE RHEINTORTURM

    by balhannah Written Apr 1, 2015

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    I have now come across the last historical gate tower of the three remaining in Konstanz.
    The Rheintorturm, situated beside the River Rhine, was used as a defensive tower and a Bridge Gate. The traffic mostly came from the north, crossed the old wooden bridge and passed through the gateway and made their way into Switzerland.

    Built around 1200, this Tower has some history! Emperor Frederick II always came to Konstanz and entered via this gate, then it was from here the Spanish mercenaries Emperor Kart V was held back from entering Konstanz

    Today, the Rheintortum houses the Constance Carnival Museum where you can see 40 life size carnival figures and information about the custom of celebrating Carnival.

    MUSEUM OPENING TIMES
    Friday 6pm - 10pm
    Saturday and Sunday 2pm - 5pm

    ADMISSION

    ADULTS € 2 Young people (6-14) € 1 Children up to 6 free

    Rheintorturm Rheintorturm
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    STATUES ALONG THE RHINE

    by balhannah Written Apr 1, 2015

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    As I made my way along the pathway from the Pulverturm towards the Rheintor, I came across some nice statues. These were of prominent people and happened to be all men!

    There used to be an old bridge across the river (well many - they kept needing replacing) and these statues were on the old bridge from 1860. The Statues of Bishops Konrad and Gebhard of Constance and Duke Berthold, Duke of Zähringen and Grand Duke Leopold once stood on the four pillars, now they have been re-located to stand on the wall beside the Rhine River.

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    THE PULVERTURM (POWDER GATE)

    by balhannah Written Apr 1, 2015

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    I have emerged from the old town and are now beside the River Rhine and the Powder Gate. This Gate, built in 1321, formed the cornerstone of the inner city wall that surrounded Konstanz. It started off being used as a tower for storage of gun-powder, later it was used as a Prison.

    The Tower was often known as the Jewish Tower. Jews were not allowed to enter the city of Konstanz, so they were made to build the Tower, then around 1400 male Jews were imprisoned in it for about 40 weeks with the consent of their protector, King Sigismund. His plan was the money he received from their release would be enough to cover his council debts.

    An inscription on the tower tells some of the story
    "Was built as a foundation to defend the city from the Jews of Constance in the 13th century ... 1430 to 1443 the Jews were imprisoned here to extort ransoms."

    Pulverturm Pulverturm
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    THE TRIUMPHAL ARCH STATUES

    by balhannah Written Apr 1, 2015

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    The Triumphal Arch is another created by Artist Peter Lenk, a contemporary sculptor who always causes controversy with what he designs. I imagine there would have been plenty of objections when this fountain was unveiled!

    This fountain has caricatures of more than 30 familiar people from the past and the present. Even the Pope can not escape from Peter Lenk, he is sculpted in his modern Pope-mobile!
    There are statues of vain people, ones enjoying themselves, those that are mad about cars and ones showing typical bad habits people have.
    I think he had lots of fun with these characters, who come in all shapes and sizes, young and old. This is not some where to come, take a photo and go, but is a place to take your time and have a good look at each sculpture, you never know, you may find one representing what you do in daily life!

    It is really unusual and you have to see it to believe such a creation exists!

    Triumphal Arch Triumphal Arch Triumphal Arch Triumphal Arch Triumphal Arch
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    HOTEL GRAF ZEPPELIN

    by balhannah Written Apr 1, 2015

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    It was a wow when I came across the Hotel Graf Zeppelin, for the building was covered in beautiful frescoes.
    Sadly, this is not the original building from 1835 that caught fire and burnt to the first floor. The Hotel was rebuilt in its original style and renamed "Graf Zeppelin" in honour of the pioneer of Airships who was born in Konstanz.

    Graf Zeppelin Hotel Graf Zeppelin Hotel
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    THE LUTHERAN CHURCH & LIBERTY BELL

    by balhannah Written Apr 1, 2015

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    Another church I came across on my walk, was the Lutheran Church that was built between the years 1865-1873. I wasn't able to enter this Church, so information and photos of the interior can be found on the listed website.
    Out the front of the church was the Liberty Bell, one of three that Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden donated to the Lutheran Church. The three bells were The "Liberty Bell" with the coat of arms of Baden, the "Peace Bell" with the coat of arms of the city of Constance and the "Friendship Bell" with the arms of Prussia.
    The largest of the three bells was the "Liberty Bell.

    Concerts are often held in this church.



    .

    Liberty Bell Lutheran Church
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    THE SCHNETZTOR

    by balhannah Written Apr 1, 2015

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    On my walk around Konstanz I have come across one of the old city gates. In the Middle Ages, a medieval ring wall with 30 towers and gates surrounded the city, now only three remain.

    This one is the Schnetztor which is more than 600 years old and now is a monument of National importance!
    The Schnetztor had a watchman who lived in the Tower for free, who was given a small income to keep watch and to keep the town safe, and a little extra money for the ringing of the bells in the attic.
    One is an hour bell, the other for the last convoy of prisoners sentenced to death.

    Luckily, the "Fool's club" could see the Schnetztor deteriorating badly, so they decided to restore the gate to its former glory. Now, the guild room of the Fools Association, a small museum and and restaurant are housed in the Gate.

    Schnetztor Schnetztor Schnetztor opposite side
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    THE BODANPLATZ

    by balhannah Written Mar 31, 2015

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    After I left the Lago shopping centre, I made my way to the smallish Bodanplatz. There were plenty of people sitting at the outdoor tables lapping up the sun and lovely old buildings surrounding the plaza.

    In medieval times, this was a green space in the city, it wasn't cobbled until the 16th/17th centuries. Back then, a cattle market was held where the animals were sold for slaughter.

    The fountain in Bodanplatz is a reminder of these times. A-top the fountain, is a person standing who happens to be a butcher holding a shield symbolising the guild of master butchers.
    The Master Butcher's premises were in the Haus “Zum Rosgarten” (“The Horse Garden”).

    Butcher's fountain Bodanplatz
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    THE IMPERIAL FOUNTAIN

    by balhannah Updated Mar 31, 2015

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    The Imperial fountain was one I loved and one that you should see!

    Located in the Marketplatz, this fountain was completed in 1897 and sits in the place of an old fountain. In 1892, a public competition was held to find a design for the fountain. Four artists submitted their designs, then the winning design was chosen by the City council. The winner was the design by local sculptor, Hans Baur, of a fountain with an Emperor theme.

    This fountain is "different," if you know what I mean, I think you will when you see the photos!

    This fountain tells the medieval history of Konstanz and the Holy Roman Empire. A look at the fountain and I could see in the four niches were men. These men represented the four German dynasties - Henry III ( Franconia ), Frederick Barbarossa ( Hohenstaufen ), Maximilian I. ( Habsburg ) and Wilhelm I ( Prussia ). Sitting on a balustrade, is the bust of Maximilian's wife, Bianca Sforza who has a little bird sitting upon her bonnet that spits water into Maximilian's outstretched hand. A pair of pigeons represent a Bishop and Emperor, religious and worldly power, whilst the three-headed peacock with three crowns, is there to resemble the three popes who were dominant in the one church, all at the same time. I loved the group of rabbits/hares that were spitting water into the fountain!
    The other important bronze sculpture was of the Konstanz Peace Treaty of 1183.

    In 1942, some of the sculptures were given as a "metal donation of the German people" to the copper smelter in Rastatt. In 1993, Barbara and Gernot Rumpf, sculptors known for their witty art works, were commissioned to make the new sculptures.

    I think their wittiness has really shone through in these sculptures, I know I loved them!

    A big bronze horse is beside the fountain, I am not sure if there is a story to it, but I do know, children love the horse!

    Imperial fountain Imperial fountain Imperial fountain Beside Imperial fountain Imperial fountain
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    GRAF ZEPPELIN MONUMENT

    by balhannah Written Mar 31, 2015

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    From City park I was on my way to see the Imperia monument when I came across a monument to Graf Zeppelin. Previously, I had been to the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen and had found it very interesting. This is a short trip by ferry across the lake.

    It turns out, that Ferdinand von Zeppelin was born in Konstanz in 1838. This clever man was a designer and manufacturer of airships, founder of the Zeppelin airship company.

    This monument wasn't as I expected to see this famous man! Zeppelin was made to look like the the greek myth "Icarus!"

    I could see why after I read the details about Icarus.

    Quote found on "Mythweb"

    " Icarus was the Son of Daedalus who dared to fly too near the sun on wings of feathers and wax. Daedalus had been imprisoned by King Minos of Crete within the walls of his own invention, the Labyrinth. But the great craftsman's genius would not suffer captivity. He made two pairs of wings by adhering feathers to a wooden frame with wax. Giving one pair to his son, he cautioned him that flying too near the sun would cause the wax to melt. But Icarus became ecstatic with the ability to fly and forgot his father's warning. The feathers came loose and Icarus plunged to his death in the sea."

    Graf Zeppelin monument
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