FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Füssen and the Forggensee

Posted in Füssen, Germany by folkestonejack on June 4, 2015

Füssen is a wonderful place to stay, with a collection of sights that make it worth a visit in its own right. Sadly, most visitors pass straight through on their way to the castles, missing out on the wonderful interiors of the State Gallery in the Hohes Schloss and the baroque halls of the Benedictine Monastery of St Mang, as well as the delights of a cruise on the Forggensee.

The church of St. Maria und Florian in Waltenhofen

The church of St. Maria und Florian in Waltenhofen

Although we thought our timing was pretty poor, having not realised that we were staying during a Bavarian public holiday (Corpus Christi) or the G7 summit, neither factor caused us any great complications. Nothing much seemed to shut during Corpus Christi and a planned closure of the castles during the summit was cancelled (though they did still project the flags of the G7 nations onto Neuschwanstein at night).

The State Gallery in the Hohes Schloss and the Benedictine Monastery of St Mang can be visited on a combination ticket for 7 euros which is great value (it costs 6 euros to visit each individually) and you share the space with hardly a soul (we only counted two other visitors when we wandered around the museum in the former monastery).

The Füssen Heritage Museum in the monastery is a labyrinthine place which includes a wonderful library, some beautiful baroque halls and a chapel with a macabre Dance of Death cycle. The cycle, painted by Jakob Hiebeler in 1602, presents images of 20 individuals from all classes dancing with death under the motto “Say yes or say no, you must dance”. Besides this, there are a plethora of fascinating exhibits including all sorts of rare wooden musical instruments that hark back to the town’s past as a manufacturing centre in this field.

The carved wooden ceiling in the great Knight’s Hall of the Hohes Schloss

The carved wooden ceiling in the Knight’s Hall of the Hohes Schloss

Our short cruise of the Forggensee in the afternoon gave us a different perspective on the local landscape and the castles. I never would have envisaged people sunbathing on beaches in front of Neuschwanstein without taking to the waters and it was all the more pleasurable with an on-board bar serving up radler. Besides, I would never have seen the even more delightful sight of a dog paddle boarding alongside us although others on board managed to miss this completely!


We stayed at the Hotel Sonne in Füssen which is handily located close to the railway station and right at the heart of the old town. I would heartily recommend this place with its unbeatable location, friendly staff and for serving up the tastiest breakfast of our travels. For similar reasons, we found the Ristorante-Pizzeria La Perla utterly charming – the most wonderful staff and an artistically arranged Tiramisu that we won’t forget in a hurry!

It is impossible to miss the museum in the monastery and the state gallery as they tower above the old town. It takes a couple of hours to do both places justice, though you could easily spend much longer. The church next to the monastery can be visited free of charge and is just as marvellous with some wonderful ceiling decoration.

It takes around half an hour to walk from the town centre to the boarding point for lake tours. Tickets for the trips are sold on the boarding ramp (prices range from 8 euros per adult for the small circuit, lasting 55 minutes, to 11 euros per adult for the large circuit, lasting 2 hours, with discounts for holders of the Füssen card). We opted for the small circuit, which takes you as far north as Rieden before crossing the lake to Waltenhofen with its distinctive lakeside church, then back to Füssen.