Mainau Things to Do

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    Blumi
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    Butterfly house entrance
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Best Rated Things to Do in Mainau

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    Butterfly House

    by Krumlovgirl Written Nov 17, 2004

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    Mainau has Gernmany's largest butterfly house. It's a beautiful, tropical preserve that houses more than 25 types of butterflies. It's an extraordinarily peaceful place. In display cases you can watch them emerge from their cocoons and in the rest of the area they are free to inhabit as they like. Don't miss the Butterfly Bistro either, if you're craving a snack.

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    Arboretum

    by Krumlovgirl Written Nov 17, 2004

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    The arboretum was founded by the Grand Duke Friedrich I. Due to his special liking for rare woody plants from all over the world the first exotic trees arrived on the Mainau shortly after he had acquired the island in 1853. Today the tree collection of the Mainau consists of more than 500 different kinds of deciduous trees and conifers. It makes the Mainau a exceptional park experience – at any time of the season. The park invites you to promenade, stay for a while and to study. Welcome under huge Giant sequoias, Atlas cedars and cedars of Lebanon, Redwood and Tulip Trees – to name only some of the most famous.

    We especially liked this area because it gave us a place to sit down, write in our journals, eat our ice cream, and people watch under the shade.

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    Arena of fountains

    by Krumlovgirl Written Nov 17, 2004

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    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.

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    the Palm House

    by Krumlovgirl Written Nov 17, 2004

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    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.

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    Mainau Castle

    by Krumlovgirl Written Nov 17, 2004

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    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.

    Mainau castle

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    Rose Garden

    by Krumlovgirl Written Nov 17, 2004

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    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.

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    THE SHORE GARDEN

    by balhannah Written Jul 5, 2015

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    This was a WOW! Colour, colour, colour! All the plants were packed in to make a monster carpet of brightly coloured flowers. They looked extra special as the garden was on a slope.
    In this area, I found a map of Lake Constance made entirely from flowers and what looked to be a shield.
    More garden beds were interspersed with lawn on the opposite side of the pathway. A short walk across the lawn and I was on the edge of Lake Constance admiring the view.

    Shore garden Shore garden Shore garden map  of Lake Constance
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    ENTRY TO THE GARDENS

    by balhannah Updated Jul 5, 2015

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    Mainau Island is open from sunrise until sunset.
    I suggest allowing a half day so you can really enjoy the gardens and see everything! You could easily make the gardens a full day's outing, especially if you have children with you.

    Really, I wanted to spend longer, but had made an agreed meeting time and found I didn't get to see all!
    You may need longer if you decide to have a meal at one of the Restaurants.

    We arrived by car, then had to pay an additional 4 euros to park in the large car-park. Even though we were here in the shoulder season, the car-park was getting full. By the time we left, cars were parked in the overflow area.

    From the car-park, there is a short flat walk along a narrow piece of land surrounded by lake on both sides until reaching the Parks entrance gate. Along here I saw White swans, one was sitting on a nest.
    This is where you buy your tickets, plants are for sale, a Restaurant is located and so is the Souvenir shop.
    Once I had my admission ticket, I walked across the bridge where flags were flying high and onto the Island.

    The ENTRANCE FEE FOR 2015/216
    Take note there are different prices for Summer and Winter

    21st March to 25th October 2015 HIGH SEASON
    Adults 19 euros
    School children 13 and above / Students (mit ID card) € 11,00
    Family (2 adults and children under 16) € 39,00
    Children under 13 years FREE
    Parking fee € 4,00

    26th October 15 to 17th March 2016 LOW SEASON
    Adults 9,50 euros
    School children 13 and above / Students (mit ID card) € 5,50
    Family (2 adults and children under 16)
    Children under 13 years FREE
    Parking FREE

    A variety of garden tours can be undertaken, these are not cheap, so check this link if your interested
    http://www.mainau.de/tours.html

    Sunset ticket from 5 p.m. HALF PRICE

    OPENING HOURS
    Boutique of Mainau Castle and exhibition
    10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    House of Butterflies
    10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (during flowers year until 7 p.m.)

    House of Palms
    9 a.m. to approx. 8 p.m. (during flowers year until 7 p.m.)

    WHERE TO FIND FOOD ON THE ISLAND
    Restaurant Schwedenschenke
    Schlosscafe
    Rothaus Seeterrassse
    Café Vergissmeinnicht

    Closed from 23 December 2013 until 6 January 2014

    If you live in Europe and have a chance to choose when to come, I would check this website
    http://www.mainau.de/bluetezeiten0.html
    which tells you what flowers are blooming in what month.

    There are plenty of Toilets scattered around the park and even an ATM machine!

    Mainau Island Mainau Island Mainau Island
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    THE BUTTERFLY HOUSE

    by balhannah Written Jul 4, 2015

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    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

    Butterfly house entrance
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    CASTLE OF THE TEUTONIC ORDER

    by balhannah Written Jul 4, 2015

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    After walking through the Gatehouse entrance, the sight before me was of the magnificent Castle of the Teutonic Order.
    The palace is still the residence of the Count's family, so if you want to know if the Count's family is home or not, check for the flag on the Castle roof, if it's there then the family is in residence.
    The private rooms are located in the north wing, this is the non- accessible part of the castle.

    The Castle was designed by Johann Caspar Bagnato and built under his supervision taking 7 years to complete (1739 – 1746). Money was tight, yet he still managed to build an impressive three-winged Baroque castle around a courtyard and a side terrace garden. Take a look at the magnificent Coat of Arms above the three arches on the west gable. These are of the Grand Master Clemens August of Bavaria, district commander Philipp of Froberg and the Mainau commander Friedrich of Baden. On the Eastern gable which faces the lake, are the coat of arms of the Teutonic Order.

    In the centre of the Castle is the "White Hall" or "Audience Hall" which is painted in white and gold, this dates back to 1883. To see this you will have to come to one of the concerts or special events The Heraldic Hall is in the centre but in the basement, was the home of the former Corps de Logis, this too is only open for various exhibitions.

    Still not to be missed!

    Castle of the Teutonic Order. Castle of the Teutonic Order.
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    SCULPTURES IN THE GARDEN

    by balhannah Updated Jul 5, 2015

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    On Mainau Garden Island there are two types of sculptures, ones made of flowers and the usual metal type....

    The flower sculptures were excellent! I came across a most beautiful Peacock made out of flowers, one that I had previously only seen in photos. I noticed they have a different colour scheme every year, the same as the four Duck's in the pond. These were great!
    There is a floral clock down on the lakeside near the Ferry harbour, somehow I missed seeing it!

    The other sculptures I saw, were a Sundial, Birds in the fountain and a pair of weird looking nudes sitting on a bench.

    The flowers were my favourite!

    Hunt them down as they are a must see!

    Peacock Peacock Nudes Mainau Island garden
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    WHEN TO SEE THE TULIPS AND OTHER BULBS FLOWERING

    by balhannah Written Jul 5, 2015

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    With any garden, it is the weather that predicts when plants bloom. Dates are suggested as this is the usual time the bulbs flower, how-ever with the unpredictable weather these days, they could be flowering before or after the estimated flowering month.

    Most bulbs flower in Spring, some exceptions are the Snowdrops and Winter aconite. Crocuses begin flowering at end of March - beginning of April, then are followed by narcissi (Daffodils, Jonquils etc) and tulips.
    Each year a team of 60 gardeners plant almost 400 different varieties of tulips in the flower beds and lawns. Can you imagine 100,000 tulip bulbs flowering at once in the meadow on the southern side of Mainau? Better have the camera with you!

    Well, I didn't see this, but I did see the un-expected, Tulips still flowering in mid-May, past the main flowering season.

    Mainau Island Tulips Mainau Island Tulips Mainau Island Tulips
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    FOR THE CHILDREN

    by balhannah Written Jul 4, 2015

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    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!

    Blumi
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    FLOWERS IN MAY

    by balhannah Written Jul 4, 2015

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    As it turned out, coming to the gardens in May wasn't that bad at all!
    Nearly all the bulbs were finished although there were quite a few Tulips flowering and some of the Spring flowers were still flowering, I guess it all depends on the season. In the Butterfly house was a nice display of Orchids and in the Palm house also in May.
    One of my favorites is Rhododendrons and Azaleas and I was here at the right time to see the many varieties at their best, these flower to the end of May. Beautiful Peonies only flower in May, so come then to see the huge double and single flowers. In tubs around the garden were some summer flowers, no Roses though, they mostly bloom in June.

    As you can read, there is quite a few flowers blooming in May, in-fact the garden was really colourful, I wonder how much better it would be in Summer!

    Mainau Island garden Rhododendrons Orchids Tulips Rhododendrons
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    THE ARBORETUM

    by balhannah Written Jul 4, 2015

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    The Arboretum has a great collection of trees and shrubs, including many exotic ones.

    The Arboretum of Mainau was founded in 1853 by Grand Duke Friedrich I, who acquired trees from nearly every continent in the world, then planted them on his island.

    What a pleasure it was to walk along the pathway leading through a forest of giant trees. Quiet and peaceful, these trees were reaching for the sky!
    Giant sequoias, Coastal Redwood, Atlas, HImalayan and Lebanon cedars, many different Cypresses, Fir and Spruce trees and many others, then the beautiful Magnolias, Japanese cherry trees and so many more, you will have to come and see for yourself!

    A nice time would be Autumn and Spring, but I was here in May, and even though the trees still were green I thoroughly enjoyed my time in this part of Mainau Island.

    Arboretum Arboretum Arboretum
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Mainau Things to Do

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