THE BUTTERFLY HOUSE
What-ever you do, DO NOT MISS THE BUTTERFLY HOUSE, the second largest in Germany and up with the best I have seen!
It is warm in there and you will not need warm clothing, I needed my water bottle though!
The entrance is a walkway through a large caterpillar, don't be put off by the queue as it moved quite fast. Once inside, I could feel the warmth, a high 90% humidity and temperatures between 25°C and 30°C.
Tropical plants, waterfalls, orchids and a mix of colourful Butterflies made for many smiling faces, especially when one landed on you! There are approx 80 different species in the Butterfly house, I didn't see anywhere near that many but still enough to keep me happy! The Butterflies are from Africa, Asia, Central and South America . I did see some of the monster moths with a wingspan of up to 30cm.
Only 30% of the butterflies breed and lay eggs on the forage plants in the Butterfly House, the other 70% arrive as pupae every week on Mainau Island.
As you walk around the Butterfly House and I did more than once, there are large information boards with all you wish to know about the life of a Butterfly. Getting a photo that wasn't blurred was quite a challenge for me and others!
The exit is through the souvenir shop, which if you take a look at from the outside, you will notice it is built in the shape of a Butterfly.
Opening hours 10am to 7pm.HIgh season 10 - 5pm Low season
- Family Travel
FOR THE CHILDREN
I am fairly sure I had a map to help me find my way around. I was here in mid May and there was quite a lot of flowers blooming!
My first sight was a huge smiling flower named "Blumi" what a welcome this was!
Now, if you have children with you, they will be more than happy playing in the children's "Blumi" areas - "Lakeside World," "Kinderland" and "Dwarf Village." These areas stretch quite a way alongside the lake and include many different experiences for the children.
The underwater world in Mainau Kinderland is set out like Lake Constance was many years ago. It has a lake with an island located in the middle and lake-dwelling groups who live in houses connected together, just like the real ones I saw earlier when exploring Lake Constance. The fun is the suspension bridges and chain webs between the houses, can they make it across without falling into the water, I hope so!
I have never seen this before, an "icebreaker" a dryer to dry the wet clothes, I think there was a charge, good idea to bring dry clothes with you.
The animal enclosure was popular, always is! The children can see miniature ponies, miniature donkeys and dwarf cattle, while on the farm are chickens, goats and rabbits who love being petted.
Pony rides and Miniature train ride are sure to be a hit!
Now you know what that SMILING FLOWER represents, it may be best to keep left and see what you want first, and come here last!
- Family Travel
- School Holidays
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
- Theme Park Trips
- Spa and Resort
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.