Birnau abbey church at Lake Constance

Travelling through Baroque Heaven at Lake Constance

Anyone setting off from Lake Constance on a journey along the Upper Swabian Baroque Route is in for a surprise. Countless baroque gems await visitors along the four cultural and holiday routes between Lake Constance and the Danube. The tour begins with a visit to Birnau Basilica and a breathtaking view over Lake Constance. The next stop is Meersburg with its more than one thousand years old fortress. The monastic heritage of this region at the heart of Europe can be experienced at first hand – when walking through the authentic rooms of Salem Palace, in the neighboring monastery or on a guided tour to the baroque basilica in Weingarten. After visiting the collegiate church in Bad Waldsee, visitors can discover one of the most attractive village churches in the world nearby – the Church of St. Peter and Paul in Steinhausen. Roggenburg Abbey is also a stopping-off point on the way to Ottobeuren, which is home to a baroque basilica and an imposing monastery complex. Then visit the baroque church St. Martin in Bregenz. To end the tour head to the swiss city St.Gallen, an UNESCO world heritage site, to visit the abbey district with its baroque cathedral and the famous abbey library.

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Your Lake Constance experience for 4 days

1. Brinau Basilica | Germany 
Known as the “Birnau Basilica”, St. Marien’s church towers over the northern shore of Lake Constance. The church of pilgrimage is a baroque gem standing on the western Upper Swabian Baroque Route. It boasts a rich baroque décor with impressive frescoes, stucco work, altars and sculptures. 

Experience time: 1 hour

2. Meersburg | Germany 
The baroque palace complex offers a magnificent view over Lake Constance and encourages visitors to take a fascinating journey of discovery through the splendid staircase by Balthasar Neumann, the majestic hall of mirrors and the palace museum on the Beletage.

Experience time: 1 hour

3. Salem Monastery and Palace | Germany 
Salem monastery is one of the most attractive cultural monuments around Lake Constance. The once powerful Cistercian abbey blends Gothic grandeur with baroque splendour. During the 19th century, the margraves of Baden made the huge monastery complex their palace.

Experience time: 2 hours

4. Weingarten | Germany 
When you stroll through the history of the town and monastery in Weingarten, you naturally also visit the “Swabian St. Peter” – Germany’s largest baroque basilica. The monumental façade was designed by the Italian architect Donato Frisoni.

Experience time: 2-3 hours

5. Bad Waldsee | Germany 
Even from a distance, the emblematic towers of Waldsee collegiate church stretch skywards to greet visitors to the town. Baroque influences can not only be seen in architecture and art; baroque is an all-encompassing attitude in its own right. Selected inns offer baroque fare prepared in the traditional style. 

Experience time: 2-3 hours

6. Steinhausen | Germany 
It has been said that the parish church of St. Peter and St. Paul is the most beautiful village church in the world. It rises – majestic and almost unreal – over the little village of Steinhausen. Flooded with light, the interior is overwhelming with its artistic decorations, stucco work and frescoed ceiling.

Experience time: 1 hour

7. Roggenburg Abbey | Germany 
An abbey has always been not only a place of spiritual contemplation and learning, but also a source of physical well-being. The Roggenburg Abbey inn maintains this old tradition. Indulge in the culinary delights and spend a night in the hotel, surrounded by lush nature. 

Experience time: overnight stay 

8. Ottobeuren | Germany 
The Ottobeuren townscape is dominated by the magnificent baroque basilica and the impressive abbey complex. The basilica and abbey are still home to Benedictine monks and form the largest religious complex of 18th-century Germany, earning it the sobriquet “the Swabian Escorial”.

Experience time: 2 hours

9. Bregenz | Austria 
The Tower of St. Martin with St. Martin’s chapel was the first baroque building around Lake Constance and, from a historical perspective, is linked to the founding of the medieval city which dates back to the Counts of Montfort in the mid-13th century.

Experience time: 2 hours

10. St.Gallen | Switzerland 
The baroque cathedral with its doubletower façade is the emblem of the city of St.Gallen and one of the last monumental abbeys of the baroque period. The heart of the abbey district is the abbey library. The rich rococo decoration of the library’s baroque hall is most impressive.  

Experience time: 2 hours

Tip: Baroque pleasure
Opulent meals like at the royal court? Yes and no! In some Upper Swabian inns, you can still enjoy a meal like those served in the time of King Ludwig XIV. The delicacies are prepared according to original recipes, naturally adapted to suit modern taste buds. 


Overnight stays: 3 nights

Travel information:The transfer between the different stages can be undertaken with your own car/coach or partly by public transport (rail,bus).

Contact address

Internationale Bodensee Tourismus GmbH
Hafenstr. 6
78462 Constance

Tel.: +49 7531 909430
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Abbey library in St.Gallen close to Lake Constance

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