More than a thousand years ago, the tiny town of Isny in Allgäu was a strategic locale within the Holy Roman Empire.
Today, it’s a popular health resort town that sits on the Upper Swabian Baroque Route, a German scenic route that stretches for 500 km and highlights some of the region’s most popular Baroque buildings.
For you fans of medieval life, there are plenty of buildings and churches from that time period to see, as well. A great first stop in town is the Watergate Museum filled with exhibits on the region’s cultural history (all the better to appreciate this bewitching village).
Another amazing place to visit is the Prädikantenbibliothek. It’s this library that houses historical letters and books from as far back as the year 1200 and writings from none other than Martin Luther himself.
If you’re wondering why Isny is on the Baroque Route, look no further than the Parish Church George and Jacobus Monastic Church, originally built in the 11th century. It was reconstructed in a beautiful ornate Baroque and Rococo design, as was the Chapel Parish Church Josef.
If looking for a good old-fashioned medieval church, then put the Nikolaikirche on your itinerary — remaining true to its medieval style, even after is was restored in the 15th century.
Because of Isny’s strategic importance within the Holy Roman Empire it remained vulnerable to fighting warlords and invaders. So, the town built a Stadtmauer and moat for its protection. Most of the wall is now gone, but the Thief Tower still remains attached to the Stadtmauer (built in 1402), so called because it once housed two prisons.
The Espantor, a 13th century gate tower also remains. One of the most impressive of the towers is the tall white Blaserturm; attached to Isny’s former cloth house, it was used as a lookout for fire and marauders.
Don’t worry; no one will think you’re an invading warlord when you come to town for the annual Opera Festival in July, the Theater Festival at the end of August, or to see Isny’s Art Center. ;-)