Some time has passed since my last trip but as I have mentioned
before, many projects and interests keep me very busy. But today I am off.
The sun is shining and I will take you to Upper Bavaria and the picturesque
village of Starnberg and its magnificent lake of the same name. This is truly
the wide-open gate to paradise as we invite you to enjoy our beautiful state,
First let me describe where we are today. If you arrive
by plane at Munich airport, we will travel about 25 kilometer in the direction
of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Now we are at the lake
which is surrounded by places steeped in history.
Most of you already know, Bavaria is Germany's most southern and mountainous
state. However, did you also know, that the Bavarians have had a large fleet
of ships for the last 300 years?
Here is a picture of this fleet. Now, in our democratic
times, we are no longer allowed to use these ships, not even for criminals.
What a pity! I am only kidding, of course, because even in the old days, all
oarsmen were hired for wages.
The biggest ship in the picture was the "Bucentaur",
owned by the Duke of Bavaria. She could hold 500 people and was used for festivals
and the amusement of the aristocracy and their guests. Today, everybody can
embark for a small fee and on many Bavarian lakes.
The ship "Seeshaupt" is named for a small village
at the southern end of the lake. In earlier times, this was the seat of of
a court, where the rights of fishermen were established and adjudicated.
A boat-ride from Starnberg to Seeshaupt takes about two
hours on this large lake, which is but one of five in this beautiful area.
The other are "Ammersee", "Wörthsee", "Pilsensee"
and "Wesslinger See".
"See" is the German word for lake and the district
of Starnberg is called "the 5-Seen-Land", or "land of five lakes".
My home town Gilching is also in this district.
But today we shall visit just the largest of the lake. Future
trips to the others will follow as there are so many interesting sights to
Let us start with "paradise". This is not reserved for earthly sinners
but for everybody who loves to swim or just simply relax. While waiting for
the boat, we are wondering why this region is known as "paradise"
It's simple: to make sure, that the citizens of Munich will
have a relaxing area in summer times the town mayors bought in the past a private
area with marvellous tree groups at the beachground and opened for everybody
for free. It was a "paradise" for the not so rich people and so the
name was founded. Connected by suburban train directly to Munich it is easy
to reach and in summer times a lot of "water rats" are enjoying themselves
First now to the town Starnberg itself. Starnberg is the
district town, has around 16000 citizens, a castle ( now occupied by the Financal
Goverment - there is the money, like in your country, I guess) lots of nice
restaurants and accommodations and a marvellous view over the lake till to
the chain of the Alps.
By the way, castles, around the lake there are four of them.
The next, we will touch on our trip, is this one in the village Possenhofen.
Between Starnberg and Possenhofen we cross "the paradise" and then
we see this castle. There once lived in her young years the later Empress of
Austria, Elisabeth, well known through movies and her tragic death by a murderer.
Just in the contrary of that castle, on the eastern beach
of the lake, you will find the castle of king Ludwig II. in the small town
Berg. There he lived in his youth, there he met with the famous musician Richard
Wagner and from there he sent (love ?-)letters to the young maid "Sisi"
in Possenhofen. On the island between both castles, the "Isle of Roses"
they should had have several dates.
One last castle is located in the village Tutzing, we will
reach after Possenhofen. About this my legend part will tell you a little bit
more later on. From Tutzing we will drive through the village Bernried, it
has the name "to be one of the most beautiful villages" in Bavaria.
There is an old and interesting monastery and a lot of wooden farmhouses, all
under history protection. Next stop will be Seeshaupt and we have reached the
south corner of the lake. Going back on the eastern beach we will touch the
village Berg, see above. There our king Ludwig II. not only live in his youth,
there he also find a curious death in the water. Many rumours are told about
that, but the truth nobody knows till yet.
This village area is full of miracles too, that's now the
first of my legend from the five-lake-area.
The story of the pilgrim church in the village Berg.
Since the year 1300 it is documented, that on a hill
there was a little chapel. A lot of prayers pulled miracles behind them and
so more and more people were visiting this place. As at 1600 the crowd was
so big, that the small chapel was really to small, they decided to build a
new church. But, how everwhere, they quarrel about the right location. A wise
decision was made, let the heaven show us the place. For that reason they choice
two oxen, bound them to a heavy load, covered the old chapel with green knots
and let the animals go. The thougt was, where they stop, this will be the new
location for the church. What happened? The oxen walked directly to the hiden
chapel and no good word or treatment could move them further on. So the new
church for the pilgrims was built there and in church books till 1853 all miracles
there happened after the prayers are documented. Every year, also nowadays,
a great light procession is made to that church on the day of the Assumption
of the Virgin Mary.
The second legend, I promised, tells about the castle
It was once the posess of the aristocrats family of Vieregg.
From 1803 till 1832 one of these owners, crude and unpolite, named Frederic
of Vieregg, was the ruler there. Not even to his king, Max Joseph of Bavaria,
he was polite and his manners were like these of Dagobert Duck from Walt Disney.
As Frederic was dieing, he should have said at last " nobody should find
my money". After that, people could see at night a walking candlelight
from window to window, from room to room and the sound of a big bundle of keys.
That was the ghost of Frederic, looking for thieves. In the revolution times
1848 citizens of Tutzing occupied the castle to get revenge for the cruel treatment
and to found the treasure. But neither the son of Frederic nor any treasure
So, that was our trip for today. Believe me, the lake of
Starnberg and his area is wonderful for vacation, relaxing or only day-trips.
You can sport nearly everything connected with water, nice bike roads are there,
marvellous beer gardens a many to see. More informations you can get by the
touristic office, click the link. And don't forget, a sightseeing trip or your
pick-up from the Munich airport you can always book with me. I will enjoy to
Script by J.W.Lohfink, for any mistakes in
spell or grammar I apologize as a precaution, corrections, questions or comments
mail to me.
>> German version
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