Can you imagine a town more idyllically situated than Constance? A question asked not only by visitors, but also by the locals who feel a great sense of pride in their hometown. The largest town on the lake, Constance is a resort of captivating beauty with views across the water to the Alps and the Seerücken ridge in Switzerland.
Constance itself may be the main attraction, but there are also plenty of other good reasons to visit. The Flower Island of Mainau, also part of Constance, is a destination in its own right that draws over a million visitors every year. In the spring and summer months, it is transformed into a mediterranean paradise with millions of flowers, orange trees, palm trees and ancient sequoias. Nature lovers will be in their element on the other islands too, for example on Reichenau with its sun-drenched vineyards and 'Wollmatinger Ried', one of the largest conservation areas in Germany. The Höri peninsula is an area of outstanding beauty at any time of year and a wonderful place to relax and unwind. Then there is Lindau, which can be reached from the mainland via a bridge or by train. The harbour and the famous lakeside promenade are among the features of this delightful island town.
Theatre, art, music and museums
Constance is a popular place to stay not least for its rich cultural scene – the perfect complement to all the beautiful surrounding countryside. Highlights include the South West German Philharmonic Orchestra, the theatre Constance, the arts centre (home to the art association and Wessenberg Gallery) and the 'K9' arts and culture centre with its programme of rock, pop, jazz, plays and comedy. The Regional Museum of Archaeology always merits a visit, as does the Rosgarten Museum, which documents the history of art and culture in the town and region. The Sea Life Centre shows visitors the underwater world of the Rhine and Lake Constance, following the Rhine's fascinating journey from its source in the Alps through Lake Constance to Rotterdam, where it flows into the North Sea.
Jan Hus and his ill-fated visit to Constance
One person who did regret paying a visit to Constance was Jan Hus, who came to the town to present his pre-Reformation theses at the Council of Constance in 1414. Despite assurances of safe passage, he was arrested and burned at the stake for heresy. That didn't stop the Church from electing a new pope, however: the papal election of 1417 is thought to be the only one that has been held north of the Alps. The Hus Museum attracts thousands of visitors every year; it documents the life and legacy of Jan Hus, who is greatly esteemed to this day as an advocate for freedom of conscience. Thankfully, his experiences in Constance remain a historical exception to the many happy visitors leaving with fond memories.