The city of Lindau am Bodensee is an island located at Lake Constance near the place where the borders of Germany, Austria and Switzerland come together.
There is evidence that the Romans had a settlement there as far back as the 1st century, but the town was first mentioned on paper in a letter written by a monk in 882, which said that a nunnery had been founded there.
Throughout its long history Lindau has been considered at times to be part of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria, as well as Germany. After World War II it was under French control, but has then been returned to Bavaria.
In 1853, a railroad was built to connect the island to the mainland. About the same time, a new, deeper harbor was constructed to improve commerce. A large, regal statue of a lion was erected overlooking the bay, and it stands guard over the entrance along with the only lighthouse in Bavaria.
When you visit the city, you must see the harbor at night. Both the statue and lighthouse are beautifully lit, which makes a breathtaking sight. Tour boats, which come and go are covered with colored lights, as well, contributing to a festive atmosphere.
You may climb to the top of the lighthouse for a small fee and get a panoramic view of the whole area. You can also enjoy swimming or sailing on the lake.
Many different boat tours are available to take folks out onto the lake. These trips give you a terrific view of the clear blue water with the majestic peaks of the Alps in the background.
The town itself reminds you of something from a fairy tale with its narrow streets full of tightly packed gable houses, all painted different pastel colors. The Town Hall is a uniquely Bavarian building with colorful designs covering its exterior. There is an open-air market held every Saturday morning where you can find fresh produce, meat and cheese for sale.
Lindau marks one end of the German Alpine Road, which provides a scenic drive through the Alps. This highway has been popular with tourists from around the world for more than 75 years. Its well-marked route will take you past mountain meadows and quaint farming villages.
There are about 25 castles and palaces to see along the way, as well. If you are very physically fit, you may enjoy the challenge of biking along the adjacent cycling path.
Every year on the last Wednesday in July, Lindau holds its Kinderfest. It is a celebration of the children in the town and takes place just before the schools recess for the summer holidays. Children parade through the old part of town in traditional costumes singing and dancing. The festival is a custom that stretches back 350 years and is an important part of the culture of the island community.