Strings and Skis in Bavaria′s Living Picture Book | DW Travel | DW | 22.01.2006

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Strings and Skis in Bavaria's Living Picture Book

Nestled in the Bavarian Alps, this picturesque town was for years one of the best kept secrets among ski travellers. Now Mittenwald is an internationally renowned resort famous as much for its violins as its ski slopes.

Mittenwald's frescoed buildings

Mittenwald's frescoed buildings

From the pure snow that crackles under each footstep to the white mountains towering above you, this town is truly a winter wonderland. In the skiing season, wall paintings which adorn many houses and public buildings provide a warmth of color. Mittenwald is still today, as Goethe described it in 1786, a living picture book.

Evangelische Dreifaltigkeitskirche Mittenwald

Winter wonderland

Long before the area gained its reputation as a skiers' paradise, Mittenwald rose to prominence through the Klotz family of violin makers. Matthias Klotz founded his business here in the late 1600s. The craft was carried down through the generations and Klotz violins are still considered the best in Germany.

Mittenwalders are proud of this tradition. Frescoes depicting instruments and angels plucking at strings are dotted around the village center. The recently renovated Geigenbaumuseum traces the important role of music in this area. Outside St. Peter and Paul's church Klotz's statue keeps an eye on present day violin makers heading to their workshops.

Picturesque views

Mittenwald im Karwendel-Gebirge

Karwendel mountain range

In summer the area becomes a picture postcard with its blue lakes and undisturbed green meadows. At 2,244 meters (7,632 feet), the Karwendl peak offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountain range. Further down the Isar Valley, a two kilometer (1.2 mile) trek will bring you to the dramatic Leutaschklamm waterfall, a 23-meter gorge just inside the Austrian border.

Only 100 kilometers from Munich, Mittenwald offers a unique experience for sports enthusiasts, music buffs and nature lovers. Whether in summer or winter, it's an area where you can't help feeling the hills really are alive with music.

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