Cities & Culture

In the heart of the Allgäu with an eventful past: Kempten

Kempten/Allgäu: Town hall ©DZT (360° Photography Maren Krings)

Kempten, one of the oldest settlements in Germany, is the urban hub of the charming Allgäu region. By all accounts, Kempten is a cheerful 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 definitely want to visit again.

These days, it's a picture of harmony and Bavarian conviviality, but for centuries Kempten was divided by rivaling 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 past can be seen at the Erasmus Chapel on St.-Mang-Platz square, where the captivating underground archaeological exhibition will take you on a journey of magic and mystery. After your visit, be sure not to miss the enchanting Art Nouveau fountain on the square, the Red House opposite and the Church of St. Magnus with its 66-metre-high tower.

Tucked away in the gently rolling hills of the Allgäu at the foot of the Alps, Kempten is an ideal destination for walks, water sports, cycling, golf and cross-country skiing. Traditional customs are also very much kept alive here, with the festivities surrounding putting up the maypole, driving the cattle up to and down from the Alpine pastures and harvest festivals. And just a stone's throw away is Neuschwanstein, the world-famous fairytale castle. The shops in Kempten are a little more in the here and now. The town boasts a huge selection of specialist shops, department stores, boutiques and shopping arcades, as well as cafés, pubs and restaurants. All this just goes to show that Kempten is much more than its illustrious past.

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