Konstanz Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Konstanz

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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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    THE IMPERIA

    by balhannah Written Mar 31, 2015

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    Time to walk out to the end of the harbour to see the Imperia Statue, probably one of the best known and visited sights in Konstanz.

    This is another Peter Lenk statue, so be prepared for something unique and controversial!
    Peter Lenk, was inspired by Honoré Balzac's book "La belle Impéria,“ in which the Imperia in the book was a mistress/high class prostitute. In the book only the highest and bravest courted her!

    When completed in 1993, protests came from the Church, the Vatican and the conservative members of the Konstanz City Council. They did not like it one little bit, especially as it paid tribute to a prostitute! Perhaps it was too close to the truth for some??

    So I stood infront of this 9 metre high statue located at the harbour entrance, looking at the statue of a woman who is a prostitute. A close look reveals clothing which hardly covers her breasts. Her arms are high in the air, and in each palm sits a naked dwarf, one carrying the Imperial Crown and the other a Tiara.
    Lenk referred to these two characters as "a juggler, which acquired the trappings of worldly and spiritual power." Are the two naked dwarfs with Imperial Crown and Tiara, Emperor Sigismund and Pope Martin v, it is believed so!
    During 1414 and 1418, prostitution flourished in Konstanz.

    Don't worry if when you arrive, Imperia has her back to you, she rotates on her own axis every 4 minutes giving me plenty of opportunities for photos!

    Imperia holding the dwarfs Imperia statue Naked Dwarf Naked Dwarf
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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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    KONZILGEBAUDE

    by balhannah Updated Mar 31, 2015

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    Located near the train station is a massive medieval building known as the Konzilgebäude.
    This three-storey high stone building was constructed in 1388 after a delegation of Milan merchants came in the year 1387 to Konstanz, looking for a base for long-distance trade. So the Department store was built!

    At this time, it was part of the eastern city walls and close to a couple of market places. In the Upper Hall are frescoes created between 1869 and 1876, showing scenes from the city's history. The Lower Hall has two colossal paintings from 1913, one showing a cargo ship in the Middle Ages, the other, a medieval dance scene with musicians. In the Restaurant is a series of frescoes that depict the history of Bodenseeschifffahrt.

    Probably, the biggest event to take place in the building, was in 1417, when an election was held to choose a new Pope, the only election of a Pope on German soil.

    Konstanz was selected because it was a Bishop's seat. Can you imagine this town of 6,000 inhabitants swelling to 72,000 for this big event? Hard to imagine where everybody found accommodation!

    The interior of the building was altered to include 56 individual cells, all of which had the cell window bricked up as only candlelight was allowed. This was where all the cardinals and six representatives of the five participating nations resided. On November 11, 1417, Cardinal Otto was finally chosen, in what was then, a "Department Store."

    On a sad note, two men, "Johannes Hus and Holzschuch" of Prague were burned alive because of their dealings with the Bohemian Reformation.

    Today the building is used as a restaurant, banquet hall and conference centre.

    The listed website gives much more information on this building.

    Konzilgeb��ude Konzilgeb��ude
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    PARKS AND GARDENS BESIDE LAKE CONSTANCE

    by balhannah Written Mar 31, 2015

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    What I love about cities and towns that are located beside lakes, is the gardens and promenades they have beside them.
    Konstanz city park begins at the Konzilgebäude and follows the shoreline to where the Rhine River enters the lake. This a green oasis in the city, with many benches to sit upon and take in the views. For the children, there is a large playground, and a small zoo. For me, an area full of flowering plants that made a dazzling display on a sunny day in May! The Konzilgebäude Restaurant does breakfast, lunch and dinner, or you could enjoy a coffee and cake on the terrace overlooking Lake Constance and the stunning flower gardens. I believe there are more restaurants and cafes located in the garden.

    The gardens have a Band shell, where in Summer, concerts and dance performances take place outdoors. Held over 3 days in August, is the Lake Festival, a musical program held in the city garden in the band shell.

    City gardens City gardens City gardens
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    ONE OF THE OLDEST INNS IN KONSTANZ

    by balhannah Updated Mar 31, 2015

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    The Hotel Krone (Crown) is a short walk from the Railway Station. When I admired the buildings exterior, I had no idea it dated back to 1225.
    Originally some noble families lived here and it was used as a meeting place for international merchants. Then in 1592, a neighbouring house was obtained and became part of the building, today this is the Restaurant of the Krone.
    It hasn't always been a Hotel, it became the Holy Spirit Hospital in 1617 then back to an Inn around 1880. Later in the 1880's, the medieval buildings were rebuilt in the style of the Belle Époque for the new owner - The Ruppaner Brewery. Its most recent owner has converted the Inn into a home for senior citizens - " the Tertianum."
    Today, all the Krone can offer, is Restaurant meals and coffee and cake.
    NO accommodation.

    Opening times:
    Tue - Sun 10am - 10 pm
    Closed on Mondays

    Hotel Krone
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