Lake Constance, located at the foot of the northern Alps, borders Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Our tour of the German shores of the lake reveals an area rich with arts and history.
Imperia statue looking over city of Constance harbor
The best way to approach the lively town of Constance is by water. The city's emblem, the Imperia statue, greets visitors as they enter the harbor. In her hands the huge fisland of flowersemale figure holds two small naked male figures, representing the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor. It's a reminder of the 15th century Council of Constance, the only time a Pope was elected on German soil. Today the building where the council was held houses a restaurant.
Mainau - locally known as the island of flowers
The next stop on the lake is Mainau, known as the island of flowers. In the 19th century the Grand Duke of Baden bought the island, which gradually became a wilderness. It was not until the end of the 20th century that his great-grandson Count Lennart Bernadotte turned the park into a floral paradise.
Unteruhldingen, on the north shore of Lake Constance, is home to an outdoor museum showing visitors how hunter-gathers, traders and fisherman of the Stone Age lived in huts propped on stilts.
Meersburg Castle looking out over Lake Constance
Nearby, Meersburg castle looms over the lake. The former bishop's residence, now a museum, gave its name to a picturesque medieval town. With its panoramic views, historic architecture and winding streets, Meersburg attracts visitors year-round.
Editor: Sue Cox