Churches, Monasteries, World Culture!

Lake Constance Region: New Offers

Churches, Monasteries, World Culture!
Lake Constance Region: New Offers

Religious art and tradition have shaped the Lake Constance region and influenced the cultural landscape of Europe for centuries. From the UNESCO monasteries at Reichenau and St.Gallen, to the 1414 Council of Constance, as well as monuments from the flamboyant Baroque masters of Upper Swabia. The tourism project "Inspiration Lake Constance - Churches, Monasteries, World Culture" presents new sightseeing offers for visitors interested in the cultural history of sacred monuments and traditions.

The leading trendsetters of European art and culture were the great monastic centers of Reichenau and St. Gallen. Today, the two Benedictine monasteries (Germany and Switzerland respectively) are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The St. Gallen building plan is the oldest architectural drawing in Europe, and the first horticultural blueprint. For the first time ever, this document will be shown to the public at the Abbey of St. Gallen beginning April 13, 2019.

When the international crisis of the Great Schism (3 illegitimate popes) shook the foundations of the Christian world, church leaders convened at the Council of Constance in 1414, resulting in the largest congress of the Middle Ages. Four years later, a new representative was legitimized by the Holy See, resulting in the only pope ever to be elected north of the Alps. Visitors can still see original buildings and artifacts in the medieval historic district of Constance.

Baroque builders and artists of Upper Swabia wanted heaven on earth. In their 150-year pursuit of perfection, they created more than 50 churches, monasteries, and castles along the Upper Swabian Baroque Road. Visitors are treated to richly ornamental church halls, masterpiece paintings, sculptures, furniture, stucco work and handicrafts that brought meaning and order to the world.

Spiritual icons dot the natural landscape of Lake Constance. Churches and chapels (everywhere) recognize a desire for safe passage and expressions of gratitude. Anyone wandering around the region can still feel the special energy at these sacred places hundreds of years later. The brochure "Lake Constance Church Visitors" points the way to beautiful churches and chapels on the western shore of Lake Constance including the Ittingen Charterhouse in Warth (Thurgau, CH). The former convent is a countryside oasis that shares its monastic hospitality with farm-to-table meals, retreats, seminars, a shop with local delicacies, wines from the estate and overnight stays in a private ‘bubble pod’ or modern rooms overlooking the gardens.

Ecclesiastical traditions are alive today, yet deeply rooted in the Lake Constance region at many fairs, harvest celebrations, and solemn processions.

Regional monasteries and churches offer spiritual shelter and safe harbor from the stressors of everyday life with an interesting selection of overnight retreats ranging from hiking, to days of contemplation, and other creative workshops. For a list of these places visit

For centuries, pilgrims on different spiritual routes have gathered at Lake Constance. Under the motto “Pilgrimage for Locals,” the regional Protestant church in Baden organizes day-long guided tours with an emphasis on outdoor activities and culture around western Lake Constance. 

The MEINRADWEG is a new bike path dedicated to Saint Meinrad, the "Martyr of Hospitality.” The cycle route follows the life of St. Meinrad (by bike) from Rottenburg am Neckar over the island of Reichenau to Einsiedeln, Switzerland where the monastery was built above his saintly tomb.

Ecclesiastic life surrounding the Lake of Constance had a major influence on the  regional landscape and architecture. During the ‘Monastery Life Days’ on Sunday, October 13, visitors can stay overnight in participating monasteries and enjoy special access to monastic life. This cross-border program offers guided historical tours, lively talks and lectures bringing these once great centers of knowledge, culture and power to life.

"Inspiration Bodensee - Churches, Monasteries, World Culture!" This new brochure provides an overview of the offers. Available free of charge from Project Churches, Monasteries, World Culture, c / o REGIO Constance-Lake Constance-Hegau eV, Obere Laube 71, 78462 Konstanz, Germany, phone +49 7531 13 30 42, mail