The Romantic Bavarian Town of Fussen

Perched about 808 meters above sea level, Füssen is the sparkling gem of a town in the Ostallgäu district of Bavaria Germany. Ostallgäu is already renowned as a great Alpine holiday destination but Füssen offers something different. With only 15,000 residents, Füssen’s small population only adds to its charm, which is also reinforced by its idyllic location and medieval architecture.

Fussen1The town’s history was made rich and colorful when it became an outpost of the Roman Empire. To any traveler who has explored Füssen, it is easy to see the town’s fairytale-like and romantic appeal. Part of this uncanny attraction has something to do with the town being at the southern end of famous Romantic Road, and surrounded by imposing yet majestic Alpine peaks. Given all these features, it is not surprising that the town has been the favorite summer spot for royalty and noble people since the Middle Ages.

Füssen is widely known as the access point to two of the most outstanding castles in the country – the Schloss Hohenschwangau and Schloss Neuschwanstein. The Hohenschwangau Castle was built by Maximilian II and exudes the late Gothic architecture. It eventually became the summer residence of the prince bishops of Augsburg. Often referred to as the ‘High Castle’, Hohenschwangau is often admired for its well preserved exterior and interior. The castle’s living quarters are now transformed into galleries that hold the Bavarian State Collections of Paintings.

Just below the Hohes Castle, is another premier architectural attraction in Füssen – Saint Mang’s Basilica. St. Mang’s history spans back to the 8th century, when it started out as a Benedictine monastery. It is well known for its lavish and grand Baroque halls that depict the prosperity enjoyed during its Benedictine times. On the south west wing of the Basilica complex lies the Füssen Heritage Museum, which was once the cells of the Benedictine monks. The museum houses a collection of archaeological objects that were used in the abbey, as well as valuable works of art and historical lutes and violins. The Basilica is in fact only one of the many baroque churches that you will find Füssen’s medieval center.

FussenSituated just a few kilometers to the east of Füssen town, the 19th century Neuschwanstein castle is a stunning architectural masterpiece that showcases the Romanesque Revival style. It was built under the directions of Ludwig II of Bavaria, the son of Maximilian II to compliment the Hohenschwangau castle. Neuschwanstein is known as the fairytale castle in the Alps. It is widely admired for its fantastic location and grand interior design.

But the castles are not the only must see things in Füssen. In fact, if you stay a little longer, you will realize how the town and its surroundings have been blessed with many fascinating sites. Füssen is in close proximity to a number of beautiful public lakes like Alpsee, Alatsee and Mittlerersee, which all make perfect viewpoints and swimming spots. In December, the town celebrates the Christmas season by putting up one of the best open-space Christmas markets in the Bavaria region. Füssen is also home to Kalvarienberg, which famously holds the “Stations of the Cross.”

About Author:

Arie Boris has extensive travel industry experience, including business and sales development for commercial aviation, the International emergency assistance & travel insurance industry and a national association of travel agents. He was a contributing editor to several print and Internet travel publications, including Fieldings’ Worldwide Cruise Guide and was part of the start up team for CruiseCritic. He has written over 400 cruise ship reviews. Arie also produces and hosts Cruise Gourmet Voyages, a variety of fundraising & theme group cruises for various charitable and arts organizations. He has produced theme cruises for a variety of special interest groups including opera, comedy, spiritual retreats and fan clubs for TV shows like Dark Shadows and Dancing with the Stars!