Fussen Tourist Attractions
Situation and characteristicsThe old Town of Füssen on the Lech, between the Ammergau and Allgäu Alps, is a popular altitude resort and winter sports center. It has also a spa in the outlying district of Bad Faulenbach. It lies at the end of the Romantische Strasse, and is a good base for visits to the famous royal castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau.
Above Füssen stands the Hohes Schloss, formerly the summer residence of the Prince-Bishops of Augsburg. Originally built in 1291, it has been little changed since around 1500. It is now occupied by local government offices (Knights' Hall, chapel and Staatsgalerie, with Gothic pictures and sculpture).The Rittersaal or "Knight's Hall," is known for its stunning coffered ceiling. There's also a collection of Swabian art work from the 1400s to the 1700s.
St Mang Abbey
At the foot of the castle hill in Füssen is the Benedictine abbey of St Mang (founded 728), with a Baroque church (by J. J. Herkomer, 1701-17). There are an old tower and a crypt, with wall paintings of the Reichenau school (c. 980), both dating from the 10th-11th centuries. The conventual buildings are now occupied by municipal offices and the Municipal Museum (history of the monastery; lute and violin-making in Füssen). There are fine state apartments (Banqueting Hall, Library, Papal Apartments), and in the adjoining St Anne's Chapel can be seen a Danse Macabre by Jakob Hiebeler (1602).
Füssen Heritage Museum
The Füssen Heritage Museum is located in the south-west wing of the former Benedictine Monastery of St Mang.Exhibits include artifacts relating to the history and culture of the region, including a collection of musical instruments. A highlight of the collection are lutes and violins from the 16th to 19th century.
Church of the Hospital of the Holy Ghost
Near the bridge over the Lech in Füssen is the Heilig-Geist-Spitalkirche, the church of the Hospital of the Holy Ghost, with a lively and colorful Roccoco facade (1748-49).
To the west of the town center in Füssen lies the outlying district of Bad Faulenbach (spring of sulfurous water, mud baths, natural baths). Beyond this, in the Faulenbach valley, are the Mittersee and Obersee (bathing stations).
Reichenstrasse, the principal shopping spot in town, was known in Roman times as the Via Claudia. The cobblestone street is flanked with houses from the Middle Ages, most of which have towering gables.
1km/0.75mi north of Füssen is the 11.5km/7mi long Forggensee, an artificial lake formed by the damming of the Lech (boat hire and excursions on the lake).
Northwest and west of Füssen are the Hopfensee and Weissensee, both with bathing stations, boat hire and facilities for water sports.
5km/3mi southeast of Füssen is Schloss Neuschwanstein, one of the "fairy tale castles" of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. This towered and battlement fantasy was built by E. Riedel in 1869-86 to the design of the stage painter Chr. Jank. Conducted tours of the sumptuous interior (Throne Room, Singers' Hall; views).
Address: Neuschwansteinstr. 20, D-87645 Hohenschwangau, Germany
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Sep 30: 9am-6pm; Thu: 9am-8pm
Oct 1 to Mar 31: 10am-4pm
Oct 1 to Mar 31: 10am-4pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), All Saints' Day - Christian (Nov 1), New Year's Eve (Dec 31), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), Mardi Gras - Shrove Tuesday - Christian
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €9.00, Concession or reduced rate €8.00
Useful tips: Guided tours every 30 minutes.
Guides: Guided tour included with admission.
South of Füssen is Schloss Hohenschwangau, a neo-Gothic castle built for King Maximilian II in 1832-36 to the design of the stage painter D. Quaglio (frescoes by Moritz von Schwindt).The large hall also called the Hall of Heroes and Knights, takes up the whole width of the Castle. The ceiling of the hall features a pink background with silver stars. There are numerous royal bedrooms in Hohenschwangau Castle with painted walls and images from poems or myths.
Address: Alpseestrasse 27, D-87645 Hohenschwangau, Germany
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Sep 30: 8am-5:30pm
Oct 1 to Mar 31: 9am-3:30pm
Oct 1 to Mar 31: 9am-3:30pm
Always closed on: Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24)
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €9.00, Senior over 65 €8.00, Group of 15 or more €8.00, Military discount €8.00, Students €8.00, Child 18 & under €8.00
Useful tips: Guided visits available with a reservation.
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
From Schwangau, south of Füssen, there is a cableway up the Tegelberg, with views and a skiing area.
Church in the Meadow
5 km/3mi southeast of Steingaden, set against the backdrop of the Ammergau Hills in the Alpine foreland, is the widely famed Wieskirche or Kirche in der Wies. This pilgrimage church, built 1746-54, is the finest achievement of the great Baroque architect Dominikus Zimmermann and one of the maturest creations of German Roccoco architecture.The interior, with its consummate assimilation of architecture and decoration, creates a magnificent effect of light and space. A porch leads into the oval nave with its shallow-vaulted roof, in which eight columns form a kind of ambulatory. The choir, with the much revered image of the Scourging of Christ on the altar, is narrow and elongated, and is also surrounded by an ambulatory. The sumptuous stucco ornament and ceiling paintings were the work of Johann Baptist Zimmermann, the architect's brother. Dominikus Zimmermann himself spent the last years of his life in the nearby inn run by his son.
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