Kempten is the biggest town in the beautiful Allgäu region and also one of the oldest settlements in Germany. It may be historical, but Kempten is also a cheerful, happy-go-lucky place, warm and welcoming towards visitors, proud of its important artworks and its rich cultural heritage. A town you'll fall in love with and you'll definitely want to visit again.
Today it's a picture of harmony and Bavarian gemütlichkeit, but for centuries Kempten was divided by rivalling powers: on one side, there was the Catholic monastery town ruled by a prince abbot, and on the other, the free imperial town loyal to the Protestant faith. Artefacts illustrating Kempten's chequered history can be seen in a captivating presentation at the Erasmus Chapel on St. Mang-Platz square. Offering a journey of magic and mystery, this underground archaeological exhibition uses ultra-modern light and sound technology to bring to life the ruins of the site and the 700 skeletons that were discovered there, the oldest of which dates back over 1,300 years. After your visit, be sure not to miss the enchanting art nouveau fountain on St. Mang-Platz, the 'Red House' opposite and the Church of St. Magnus with its 66-metre-high tower.
Lakes, scenery and plenty of fresh air: the Allgäu region
Kempten is a picturesque town set amid beautiful surroundings. Tucked away in the gently rolling hills of the Allgäu at the foot of the Alps, it is an ideal base for walks, swimming, cycling, golf, tennis and cross-country skiing. Wellness is a top priority in Kempten, the lakes are perfect for canoeing and sailing, and the town is a dream destination for paragliding. Traditional customs are very much kept alive: the Funkenfeuer bonfires, for example, putting up the maypole, driving the cattle up to and down from the Alpine pastures, harvest festivals and the twelve days of Christmas. All these events provide a truly fascinating experience for visitors. Oberstdorf is a lovely place to visit nearby, as are Lake Constance, Ottobeuren basilica and the fairytale castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau.
A passion for history and rich rewards
The Roman Museum and Cambodunum Archaeological Park bring Kempten's history to life. The former displays many artefacts from the Roman town of Cambodunum, and the latter is an excavation site and museum about the original settlement during the rule of Emperor Augustus. Not dating back quite so far, but equally fascinating, is the Residenz Palace, whose rococo state rooms are without parallel in southern Germany. If, after all this history, you fancy a spot of retail therapy, Kempten is a shopper's paradise with over 200,000 square metres of retail space. There is a huge selection of specialist shops, department stores, boutiques, shopping arcades and much more, as well as cafés, ice-cream parlours, pubs and restaurants. Shopping, dining, relaxing or simply watching the world go by: the historical town of Kempten has so much to offer.