At the south-west side of the crest of the island, quite near the botanical wine trail and the arboretum, is the Swedish Tower. In the old days it probably served as a watchtower for the castle towards the mainland. The date 1558, above the entrance door, tells us something about its period of origin, as well as the arms of the Teutonic Order and of the commander Georg von Gemmingen. The wood paneling of the upper floor and the pointed helm roof of the Swedish tower are – as in the case of the Gardener´s Tower – owed to the 19th century with its historic architectural view.
The Archway House is located at the entrance of the castle area. It was presumably built by Franz Anton Bagnato, the son of the castle architect. The date 1764 and the coat of arms of the country commander Count Königsegg indicate that. The classical annex goes back to the 19th century. In the old days the moat ran directly along the building. Today it accommodates parts of the Mainau administration as well as the Mainau service centre.
Castle of the Teutonic Order
The Castle of the Teutonic Order was built between 1739 and 1746 according to the plans and under the supervision of Johann Caspar Bagnato. In spite of limited resources, a highly balanced, symmetrical castle construction of great harmony was created. The arms of the two side wings open to the mainland in the shape of a horseshoe, while the broad side is turned towards the lake.
The building rests on a base from which two storeys rise. On the west gable you can see the splendid arms of the Grand Master Clemens August of Bavaria, the country commander Phillipp von Froberg and the Mainau commander Friedrich von Baden. The east gable towards the lake bears the arms of the Teutonic Order.
In his plans, Bagnato abstains from a magnificent, representative hallway as e.g. in the castle of Würzburg. The upper floors are reached via modest staircases in the side wings. The core of the castle is the former audience hall, the so-called "White Hall" with a colour scheme of white and gold, which acquired its modern appearance in 1883. It is open to the public only for concerts or special events. Also the arms hall, central room in the basement floor of the original corps de logis, is accessible to the public within the scope of changing exhibitions. In addition to that you can visit the rooms of the castle café at the crossing point to the palm house. In their clear architectural language, church and castle form a brilliant, harmonical ensemble – they are a unique example of the south German baroque period.
Castle Church St. Marien
Together with the castle, the Church St. Marien forms a unique baroque ensemble which ranks among the most splendid historical places of interest of Lake Constance. Inside the church you find a solemn yet cheerful world of sculptures, frescos and stucco. No wonder the castle church provides an atmospheric setting for weddings and for church and worldly concerts.
The Gardener´s Tower, also called Peel Tower, recounts the Mainau history of the Middle Ages and the 19th century. In co-operation with the Bodenseestiftung (Lake Constance Foundation) the Mainau has etablished a modern information centre. Impressive: the multivision with amazing pictures of the scenery of Lake Constance and its outlook for the future
The Flower Island is located in the Lake Bodensee. Lake is very clean, and I was craving to go and take a swim in it. However, I think that would be illegal. Ducks everywhere, docks, nice pathway along the coast... really a place to relax and forget all your worries....
While on the island, be sure to stop in and see the Butterfly House. It's a large greenhouse with all sorts of (I think) tropical plants and flowers. But best of all, there are hundreds of beautiful butterflies flying around. Put out your hands and some of the butterflies will even land on your fingers.
Mainau Island Park
These are pleasant gardens to stroll through. There are excellent views of Bodensee (Lake Constance). Admission is €11.90 for adults and €3.90 for children aged 6 to 15. It is open every day from 07:00 to 20:00.
There are the flowers to see, a "Children's Land", and a toddler's playground called "Zwergendorf". There are restaurants on site.
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
The duck (flowers)
Right after entering the island (after paying the ticket), you have the first opportunity to take some pictures with the big ducks made from flowers, or the big five meter high flower, made also from flowers, or the big pea-cock withe a great tail made also from flowers.
Bridge to Mainau
From Konstanz one can take the bus to the Mainau Island, the bus leave you at few meters from the bridge that you will cross to enter the world of flowers. This is a narrow bridge, giving you views of the Lake Constance and the Mainau Island.
Flower Island Mainau: Tulips, Roses, Lilies ...
Located as a small island within the Lake of Constance (Bodensee) is the beautiful flower Island of Maina (Blumeninsel Mainau).
It is a small island you can easily surround by foot in one hour, allthough only about half of the island is publically accessible. The Webpage of the Island is just great, including all the information you need.
Here an excerpt: "1998 The Mainau receives the eco audit certificate as the first botanic garden in Europe. Having successfully passed an examination, the Mainau voluntarily submits to the environmental regulations according to the EC decree no. 1836/93. With regard to the international region of Lake Constance, the "Verein Europäisches Kulturforum Mainau" is founded in September of the same year, aiming at giving a fresh impulse and introducing new activities to bring together people on a cultural level. That goes for all sorts of initiatives in the fields of music, film, fine arts and plastic arts, in close cooperation with European regions of the same status."
Entrance fee: 6 €
best times: late march to early October: 7:00 to 20:00
Bring books and picnic and spend a whole day there.
- Road Trip
- Spa and Resort
- Theme Park Trips
This is not your typical castle. For one thing, the family of Count Bernadotte lives there, which means it's not jus a museum but an actual vacation home. Guests are also welcome to visit exhibitions, the castle café and other events. In June/July they have classical concerts, in December a Christmas tree, and sometimes welcome important guests.
the Palm House
From spring to autumn the palm house is standing here, architecturally interesting and an oasis in the cold time of year. More than 20 different sorts of palm trees and a valuable collection of exotic plants can be seen here. Among them a Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis), more than 15 meters high, which was planted in 1888.
It offers a unique setting for plant shows, high-calibre events and invites you to stay a while; most of all the famous orchid show in spring invites. The whole year round it is a pleasure to sit on the terrace of the castle café in the palm grove. Also from an architectural point of view the palm house is a feast for the eyes – it was completely renovated in 1998.
This was definitely my favorite part of the island because I love roses. They extend from the castle terrace over the curved staircase to the Italian garden. The strictly geometrical garden with pergolas, sculptures and fountains is mainly devoted to the nobler sorts of roses of both older and new cultivation. Floribunda and polyantha roses give pleasure with their abundance of blossoms, elegant high stems of roses enthrall while you stroll by. Sweet smells, beauty, abundance of blossoms and the elegance of the rose become a sensual experience here. Each year in June/July the Mainau guests are invited to elect the Queen of Roses.
- National/State Park
Arena of fountains
During the warm season a lot of tropical plants line the way to the arena of fountains: a White Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia nicolai) and the Trumpet Vine (Campsis grandiflora), a climbing small wood which from July on
shows its beautiful orange blossoms. A nice artistic touch is created by the bronze sculpture of a bird which was given as a present to Count Lennarts 70th birthday.
- National/State Park