Forggensee — Bavaria’s Bathtub, Germany’s Largest Reservoir

Picture the Forggensee like Bavaria’s Bathtub. Just not filled with warm water and a whole bunch of bubblebath. But, just like a bathtub you can “pull the plug” (so to speak) on this man-made lake.

Pull the plug?

Yup, the Forggensee can be drained, just like a tub. A unique little feature, I must say, all done in order to keep the towns alongside it from flooding. I guess someone had to do something. The Lech River is responsible for the water coming in; and at its mercy since it’s responsible for it going out.

Consequently, “Bavaria’s Bathtub” just happens to be Germany’s largest reservoir.

What’s even more unique is that while the Forggensee was man-made, it was partially created during the Ice Age. Don’t ask me how. I’m no geologist (or some other Earth-science expert). I’m just a simple geography and geology fan that just happens to know that it’s filled with all sorts of fish — like trout, pike, eel, and perch. No wonder you’ll find all kinds of fisherman scattered around its 15 square kilometers.

Sorry, Fisherman Guys, it freezes over in the winter. Darn… that means no surfing, sailing, or boating in the dead of winter. ;-)

Oh well, I guess you’re just going to have to hike around the Forggensee instead. Don’t freak out, it’s only 12km long and only 3km wide at its widest point. If the Ancient Romans could do it, so can you. Anyway, consider it a great way to see all of the Forggensee’s towns.

Speaking of Ancient Romans and great towns, it reminds me of Roßhaupten. This town lies along the Via Claudia Augusta scenic route, but it is the story of an 8th century saint who slayed a dragon here that it’s most famous for. This explains the stone dragon you’ll see here, doesn’t it?

Schwangau is another famous Roman town, but this place too is more famous for something else: Hohenschwangau Castle. Did you know that King Ludwig II’s family used this castle as a summer home? Except this 12th century castle did have to be rebuilt before Ludwig’s dad, King Maximillian II, and his family could move in — it was in ruins, ya know. His work to restore the castle is the reason we’ve got another stop on the Romantic Road.

Before you’ve gotten to Hohenschwangau you might have noticed the church of Sts. Mary & Florian first. It’s located right on the bank of the Forggensee, so how could you not.

Would you like a birds-eye view of the Forggensee? Go to Halblech and take the cable car. The view of the Alps isn’t too shabby either. ;-)

On land, Halblech is a quiet town of around 3400 people — with all sorts of great outdoor recreational activities. Even in the winter, walks around the meadows and hills are replaced by cross-country skiing and ice skating.

Ha-ha-ah-ha. Take that, Nero. When you created the Via Claudia Augusta you didn’t have any clue as to how awesome Füssen was going to turn out. No one had a vision — except my buddy, King Ludwig II.

Thanks, Louis (that’s his English name). You were a visionary when everyone else thought you were off your rocker. You’d be happy to know that millions of people come every year to see your Neuschwanstein Castle — which is probably the most famous castle in the world. Buckingham Palace/Glamis Castle… blah blah — don’t want to hear it. ;-)

Füssen isn’t limited to just my pal Ludwig’s castle, the city has a fantastic Baroque church at the Kloster Mang; then there’s the Museum of Füssen too.

No hard feelings if I don’t join you? Thanks, I’ll be out on the Forggensee admiring the scenery. Just don’t let them pull the plug while I’m out there.

 

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