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Bregenz

Bregenz, the capital of Vorarlberg, lies on Lake Constance and is famous for its festival.

Every summer for several weeks, an impressive stage appears on Lake Constance: the floating stage of the Bregenzer Festspiele. In 1946, the city of Bregenz did not have a stage large enough to accommodate Mozart's early work "Bastien and Bastienne". So two gravel barges near the gondola harbour were converted into the first opera stage on a lake. In the first year, visitors from Austria, Germany, Switzerland and France made the festival an international event. Four years later, the Bregenz Festival had its first permanent lake stage, mounted on wooden poles. 

Today, the Bregenzer Festspiele is a spectacular festival thanks in part to this floating stage on Lake Constance. The sunset on the stage elements is always a magical moment.

The centrepiece of the city is the 2000 year old St. Martin's Tower, built in the baroque and bulbous style. The Kunsthaus Bregenz is an architectural gem opposite the marina, from which boat trips to the island village of Lindau and the flower island of Mainau depart.

In Celtic times (from around 500 BC), Bregenz was one of the most powerful strongholds in the region. After conquering the region, the Romans built the city of Brigantium, a civil city with a forum, temple quarter, halls, basilica, etc. Important archaeological remains from this period have been preserved, such as mosaics. In the upper town, the old town of Bregenz, the medieval city walls are still largely preserved today.

Also worth seeing is the extraordinary view if you climb to the top of the Pfänder, Bregenz's local mountain, which rises to 1,064 metres. The panorama includes the Swiss mountains, Lake Constance, the Allgäu and the peaks of the Bregenzerwald. You can also take a lake cruise to the medieval island town of Lindau or the flower island of Mainau. 

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