Reichenau — A True Gem On Lake Constance

Ahhh, I’m so confused. Is Reichenau a town? Or an island? Not an island? What the heck is going on? I need some time to figure this out. Give me a minute… maybe 10. Be right back. ;-)

Whew, that was tough, but I think I got it now. I knew there was something nagging in the back of my mind about where I was, it’s the Reichenau, which is found partially on an island and on the “mainland,” home to a former Abbey, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

History buff that I am, I’m starting there. Everyone’s gotta start somewhere, right?

Anyway, the Kloster Reichenau, or the Reichenau Monastery, was founded in the year 724, and it’s real “attraction” is the Church of St. Mary & St. Marcus (don’t ya just love this name?). You can visit the church year-round, so long as there aren’t any services taking place.

And it’s a real treat to be here for one of Reichenau’s holidays, like the Feast of St. Marcus (April 25th), the Feast of the Holy Blood (a week after Whit Monday), or the Ascension of St. Mary (August 15th).

You could easily spend a month of Sundays right here, but you’re not anywhere near done yet. Also on the island is the Schloss Königsegg, a castle from the 16th century that’s the venue for a number of summer theater performances.

As for churches, there are still more to see. You’ll be happy to know there’s another 9th century church to be found, the Church of St. George; come see its 10th century murals. Grand as the Abbey and St. George’s are, there’s something uniquely special about the Church of St. Peter & St. Paul. Perhaps because it’s been here since the 8th century, and even has its own “treasure chamber” filled with all kinds of relics. Yes, it’s worth the few Euro entrance fee — I swear. ;-)

All this, and I haven’t even mentioned Reichenau lies in/on Lake Constance — a perfect place to canoe, kayak, rent a boat, attend Sailing School, or even go diving. Lake Constance, BTW, separates Germany from Switzerland, so if you climb the Hochwart you can see its southern neighbor.

Pretty as Switzerland might be, I’m staying right here. There are the most amazing hiking and cycling trails around these parts, and bike rentals are easy to come by. Trust me, you’ll love meandering past vineyards and pastures, buying organic veggies when you’re hungry.

Yes, I might’ve been a bit confused when I first started out — but there’s no confusion now, Reichenau is one of the best places to visit in all of Germany.

 

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