The Ammersee lies 35km/22mi southwest of Munich in the Alpine Foreland. It came into existence in the last ice age, when a mighty glacier thrust northward from the Loisach valley.
The lake was originally almost twice its present size, but silt deposited by the river Ammer has steadily encroached on its northern and southern shores.The lake, surrounded by forest-covered morainic hills, is 16km/10mi long by 3-6km/2-4mi across, with a depth of up to 81m/266ft. All round its shores are attractive resorts, with bathing stations and facilities for rowing and sailing, as well as for cycling. There is also good fishing (whitefish, vendace, pike-perch). In spite of these attractions the Ammersee is less crowded at weekends than the nearby Starnberger See.Boat servicesThe larger places on the shores of the lake are linked by regular boat services.Round the AmmerseeThe road round the Ammersee runs at some distance from its shores for most of the way, with views of the lake only at certain points.It is recommended to include the Wörthsee and Pilsensee (both to the northeast of the Ammersee) in the round trip.
At the northern tip of the Ammersee, easily reached from Munich on A96 and B12, is Inning, with a beautiful Rococo church (1765). From here the route continues either direct to Herrsching or (taking in the Wörthsee and Pilsensee) via Seefeld. From the direct road, beyond Breitbrunn, there is a fine view of the whole of the Ammersee.
The popular resort of Herrsching lies in the Herrschinger Winkel, the only bay in the Ammersee, which reaches its greatest breadth of 6km/4mi here.
On the "sacred hill" of Andechs (711m/2,333ft), on the Ammersee, is the Benedictine monastery of Andechs, famed as a place of pilgrimage since 1455. The church (by J. B. Zimmermann, 1754) is in sumptuous Rococo style, with the much venerated 15th C image of the Virgin on the high altar.
In Diessen, on the Ammersee, is a masterpiece of Bavarian Rococo, the church belonging to a house of Augustinian canons, built by Johann Michael Fischer in 1732-39.
At Raisting, on the Ammersee, is a ground station for satellite communications, with huge parabolic dishes. More than 2,500 channels for telephone, telex and data transmission services provide links with some fifty different countries.
The Ammergebirge and Benediktenwand, on the Ammersee, form a backdrop to the beautiful lake scenery. In clear weather the view extends to the Zugspitze in the Wettersteingebirge.
The road north from Diessen soon turns away from the western shore of the Ammersee to return to Inning by way of the commandingly situated little town of Utting and Schöndorf with its 12th C. "lake chapel".