Bregenz Tourist Attractions
Bregenz Andrew HaywardA 2 Land: Vorarlberg Altitude: 395m/1,296ft Population: 27,000 Bregenz, the capital of Vorarlberg, lies on the southeastern shores of Lake Constance at the foot of the Pfänder, which links up with the Bregenzer Wald. The town extends southwards as far as the Bregenzer Ache, and is divided into the Lower and Upper Towns (Unterstadt and Oberstadt). Bregenz hosts festivals and has numerous cultural institutions. On the site of a Bronze Age settlement the Celts built a fortress which was conquered by the Romans in 15 BC The Roman fort of Brigantium developed into an important trading post. Alemannic tribes settled here from AD 450. After being Christianized by Gaelic monks beyond the eighth C., the town became the seat of the Counts of Bregenz. Following an eventful history it formed part of Bavaria between 1805-14. In 1919 Bregenz was made the capital of Vorarlberg.
Bregenz Lake District
In Bregenz, between the railroad and the bank of the lake, westwards from the Blumenmolo near the harbor, stretch such facilities as the leisure park and music pavilion, with splendid views of the lake and the Säntis mountains. North of the music pavilion lies the harbor. On the other side of the promenade is the extensive bathing area (with covered, open-air and beach bathing pools), the big stadium and the tennis hall. Just off shore is the floating stage, with seats on land for 4,400 spectators. On the bank stands the Festival Theater and Congress Hall, and behind it the Hotel Mercure. Further west on the banks of the lake lie the sports and yachting harbors (at Supersbach).
The Lower Town is the newer part of Bregenz, with the Kornmarktplatz as its center. On the east side of the square the former "Kornmarkthaus" (1838) now houses the theater.
St Nepomuk Chapel
A short way to the northeast of Bregenz's Kornmarktplatz, on Kornmarktstrasse, stands the little round chapel of St Nepomuk (18th C., Roccoco; now the Hungarian Church), with the Kornmesser inn nearby (1720).
Vorarlberg Provincial Museum
This museum is situated on the northern side of the Kornmarktplatz in Bregenz. On display are collections of historical, cultural and artistic interest ranging from prehistoric times to the present day.On the ground floor are stone memorials and special exhibitions, on the first floor archaeological finds from the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages together with Roman finds from Brigantium (first-fourth C.), while the second floor is devoted to domestic culture of the Gothic and Renaissance periods - musical instruments, costume, crafts and weapons. On the third floor will be found works of art from the Carolingian, Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance periods - paintings, (e.g., by Angelika Kauffman, 1741-1807), goldsmiths' work, coins and tapestries.
In Bregenz's Rathausstrasse are the New Town Hall (1686) and the adjoining Lake Chapel of St George which was endowed in 1408 in memory of the victory over the peasants in the Appenzell War (1403-08), and rebuilt in 1698. Passing along Maurachsgasse we come to the higgledy-piggledy old Upper Town built on varying levels.
The once fortified old Bregenz Upper Town occupies the site of the Celtic and later walled Late Roman town of Brigantium. The streets have preserved their old-world character, and parts of the 13th C. walls remain.
St Martin's Tower
The massive St Martin's Tower (Martinsturm) (1599-1602; panoramic view) is Bregenz's landmark. On the upper floor is housed the Heimatsmuseum (local museum) and on the lower floor St Martin's Chapel (Martins- kapelle).
Bregenz's Old Rathaus is a half-timbered building of 1622 by Michael Kuen.
In the western corner of the Bregenz Upper Town stands the little palace known as the Deuringschlösschen, built in 1698. It is now privately owned.
Capuchin Monastery and Church
To the southwest of the Bregenz Upper Town, on the far side of the Thalbach, lies the Capuchin Monastery and Church dated 1636, with the Chapel of St Joseph which was added in the 18th C.; the whole complex is encircled by a wall.
Herz-Jesu Parish Church
To the northeast of the Bregenz Upper Town is the Herz-Jesu parish church.
Parish Church of St Gallus
At a height of 424m/1,391ft on a hill south of the Bregenz Upper Town stands the parish church of St Gallus, a simple Gothic building (14th and 15th C., rebuilt about 1738 by F. A. Beer), with Late Baroque and Roccoco interior decoration. The choir-stalls are from Mehrerau. On the high altar are statues of St Gallus, St Peter, St Ulrich and St Paul, and in the side chapel that of St Nicolas, patron saint of those sailing on Lake Constance.
A little to the southeast of the parish church of St Gallus in Bregenz will be found the Dominican convent of Thalbach (1609-77) with its lovely church.
In Vorkloster, in the southwest of Bregenz, stands the Maria-Hilf-Kirche, a spacious building constructed in 1931 as a war memorial.
The reptile zoo is nearby the Maria-Hilf-Kirche in Vorkloster, in the southwest of Bregenz.
Mehrerau Cisterian Monastery
To the west of Bregenz, near Lake Constance, stands the Cistercian monastery of Mehrerau, founded at the end of the 11th C. and destroyed several times since, together with a Neo- Romanesque church of 1859 (remodelled in modern style in 1961-64).
Bregenz Summer Festival
This annual four-week festival runs from mid-July to mid-August and includes operas, orchestral and chamber concerts, choir and dance recitals and theater performances. The annual opera takes place on a theater stage that floats off the shores of Lake Constance.
Bregenz Spring Festival
This two-month festival takes place in April and May, and includes various types of dance as well as musical recitals.
South of Bregenz rises the Gebhardsberg (600m/1,970ft; path through forests) with the ruins of Burg Hohenbregenz which was destroyed by the Swedes in 1647, and an 18th C. pilgrimage chapel with frescos added about 1900. From the Burgrestaurant there are magnificent views of the town, the lake and the Rhine valley. A climb southwards along the "Ferdinand-Kinz-Weg" is worthwhile.
Immediately east of Bregenz is the Pfänder (1,064m/3,491ft). A cableway a good 2km/1.25mi long, the lower station of which is 1km/1,100yds east of the harbor, ascends to the summit in six minutes. From Lochau (3km/ 2mi north of Bregenz) there is a long, narrow road (7km/4.5mi) up via Haggen (inn). There is also a rather steep footpath from Bregenz via Hintermoos (two hours). A tunnel under the Pfänder (6.7km/4mi long) has been built to provide a link between the German motorway network and the Austrian motorway in the Rhine valley. At the upper station of the cableway (1,022m/3,350ft) are the Berghaus Pfänder (restaurant) and a look-out terrace with fine views over Bregenz and the upper lake. Nearby is an Alpine zoo. Five minutes' walk below the upper station stands the Gasthof Pfänderdohle. From the cableway station it is a five minutes' climb to the summit (1,064m/3,490ft), from where there is a breathtaking view of the Alps and Lake Constance. A little way downhill to the north is the Pfänderspitze restaurant and also a radio station belonging to the Austrian Post Office (1,050m/3,450ft; VHF radio and television), and further north the Schwedenschanze inn, where the road joins that from Lochau. The best way down is to Lochau by way of Haggen (45 minutes). The Pfänder was formed in the Old Tertiary period and is a favorite spot for winter sports (Pfänderdohle and Maldona ski lifts); ski-slopes lead down to Bregenz and Lochau.
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