around Lake Constance
Medieval monks and nuns built the cultural landscape around Lake Constance resulting in a grandiose blend of spirituality, nature and architecture. There are many different stylistic timelines starting with the romanesque and baroque monastery churches in Stein am Rhein and the Ittingen Charterhouse, located in Switzerland. There are magnificent parish churches in Upper Swabia and in the Hegau region of Germany. Not to forget pilgrimage chapels in all variations throughout the countryside. The interior treasures of carved altars, stained glass windows and figures of saints invite you inside to retreat and reflect.
There are many reasons to visit the churches, monasteries and chapels on Lake Constance … for their art and architecture, as a pilgrim visitor, and for quiet refuge.
Many churches and chapels are embedded in the natural landscape. The monastery island Reichenau with its World Heritage churches rests in the middle of the Untersee section of Lake Constance. The former monastery church on the Schiener Berg is located in a valley where the Celts worshipped centuries earlier. The parish church of St. Johann and St. Veit in Gaienhofen-Horn is enthroned above the lake, visible from afar.
Every church has its own history. Once they were places of retreat and refuge. Today, modern pilgrims are joined by tourists and others interested in history and culture -- all are welcome.
Pilgrims on the Way of St. James use the pilgrim's pass to document their route, collect stamps from monasteries, and receive special pilgrim benefits. The Lake Constance Church Visitor Pass also follows this tradition. Stamps are available from 20 participating churches. Pilgrims get discounts on guided tours and museum fees after collecting stamps from at least 8 churches.
The passport is included in the printed version of the brochure Bodensee Kirchenbesucher (Lake Constance Church Visitors). The brochure leads to more than 80 sites on the west end of Lake Constance and is available in numerous churches and local tourist offices.
There are well over 300 monasteries in the Lake Constance region, and many more churches and chapels.
The interactive map gives an overview of the top destinations.