If you ask the Lindauer about the most beautiful sides of their hometown in and around Lake Constance, you will get many different answers. No wonder, because Lindau has a lot to offer both on the mainland and on the island. Here we present some of the highlights – and promise you that you will discover even more.
Lindau's harbor entrance
Probably the most famous sight in Lindau as well as at the entire Lake Constance is the Lindau harbor entrance: the ensemble of the Bavarian lion and lighthouse, which has been photographed countless times, is the city’s landmark.
Coming from the land side on the left, the imposing, six meter high sandstone lion statue is enthroned with a view towards the Bregenz shore.
To the right of it is the New Lighthouse, in which 139 steps lead to a height of 33 meters. The climb is rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view of the island city, Lake Constance and the Austrian and Swiss Alps.
The Mangturm in Lindau
If you look at the port entrance, you can also see the Mangturm: the square stone building from the 12th century is directly located on the lake promenade of Lindau at Lake Constance.
The 20-meter-high tower was originally built as part of the medieval city fortifications and was only accessible via a drawbridge in the past. With the construction of the New Lighthouse it lost its function as a signal and observation post. It was raised by one storey and covered with distinctive glazed bricks. 91 steps lead up to the roof, where fairy tale hours for adults take place in summer.
Lindau's most famous sights
- Lindauer harbour entrance: Lindau’s harbour entrance is known far beyond the city’s borders: The Bavarian Lion and the New Lighthouse are majestically emblazoned in front of an impressive panorama of the Alps and Lake Constance. The city’s landmark is considered the most beautiful harbour entrance on the whole of Lake Constance.
- Mangturm: When the sun shines on its colourful roof and the yellow upper storey is visible from afar, it almost looks like a second lighthouse – the Mangturm on the harbour promenade. And indeed, the square stone building was erected in the 12th century as part of the medieval city fortifications.
- Lindaviabrunnen: On the Reichsplatz near the Old Town Hall, the Lindavia Fountain invites you to discover and relax. Where the fish market of the small town on Lake Constance used to take place, an elaborately designed water fountain made of bright red marble is enthroned today.
- Old Town Hall: Many people wish that old buildings could tell stories – of all the things their windows have seen and their rooms have experienced. Lindau has such a building: the Old Town Hall in Maximilianstraße. Magnificent, proud and colourful, it stands in the heart of the island, its large wooden staircase facing invitingly towards Bismarckplatz – as if it were virtually inviting you to discover a piece of Lindau’s history on and in it.
- City Theater Lindau: A former monastery church from the 13th century serves as a stage for important drama in Lindau. The house is the first new theatre building in Germany after the Second World War, which excellently documents the architecture of the 1950s. The municipal theatre was ceremoniously opened on 19 May 1951 with Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro”, a guest performance by the Bavarian State Opera.
- Diebsturm: An ivy-covered, white hull, playful-looking corner towers, colourful bricks – as romantic and inviting as the Thieves’ Tower appears today, many would have been happy to forego a visit there in the past. Built around 1380, the round tower was used as a prison for a long time and naturally offered little comfort on its four floors with a diameter of eight metres.
- Maximilianstraße: Anyone travelling on the island cannot avoid it: Maximilianstraße is a promenade, architectural gem, shopping street and history lesson all in one.
- Pulverturm: The bulky structure at the westernmost point of the island was built in 1508 as part of the city walls. In 1629, the tent roof of the already low round tower was lowered another two metres so that it offered less surface to enemy attackers.
- Nobel Laureate Bridge: Since 2019, the Nobel Laureate Pier has been a year-round place to memorialize Nobel laureates, represent conference history, and invite people to linger.
- Ring for Peace: In the run-up to the tenth world conference of “Religions for Peace” in August 2019, a large wooden sculpture in the form of a standing Möbius strip was created in Lindau.
Diebsturm in Lindau at Lake Constance
Somewhat hidden in the maze of streets on the island of Lindau, there is another sight: the Diebsturm, built in 1380, whose colorful bricks and playful corner towers make it visible from far away.
For a long time, the 35-meter-high, stocky building formed the western end of the city fortifications. Since it is located at the highest point of the island – Schrannenplatz – the Diebsturm was used as a watchtower for a long time. Later it was declared a prison – this explains its current name.
In the immediate vicinity is also the over 1,000 year old Peterskirche, which together with the Zeughaus and the former bell foundry forms a picturesque medieval ensemble around Schrannenplatz.
- St. Peter’s Church: at over 1,000 years old, St. Peter’s Church is Lindau’s oldest church and one of the oldest on Lake Constance. The fascinating building houses an important art treasure.
- St Stephen’s Church: Behind its heavy wooden doors, the outside falls silent; inside, there is a stark, beautiful simplicity. It is above all the high side windows that make the church interior seem so inviting and calming: Their light reflects off the white walls and draws the eye to many delicate, light green ornaments.
- The Minster of Our Lady: The Minster of Our Lady is a fascinating building in many respects. Directly opposite the Protestant church of St. Stephen is the Catholic city parish church, whose mighty peal can be heard far across the island.
- Museum friedens räume: The “friedens räume” in Villa Lindenhof are more than just a museum – the interactive forum invites visitors to engage with peace issues by seeing, hearing and feeling.
- Formerly Imperial City Library: Behind the thick, leather book covers are the stories of generations long past: Whether adventurous travelogues about America or philosophical reflections, detailed drawings on how to repair a hernia or advice for wenches: the former Reichsstädtische Bibliothek Lindau (ERB) in the Old Town Hall is a treasure trove full of centuries-old knowledge.
- Haus zum Cavazzen: Probably the most beautiful house on Lake Constance, the “Haus zum Cavazzen” stands on Lindau’s market square. With its mighty hipped roof and fascinating façade painting, the magnificent Baroque building is one of the most striking structures in the island town of Lindau. Please notice that the museum is currently closed for renovation.
Exciting city tours
To get more background information about the sights of Lindau and to learn the stories associated with the buildings, it is best to take part in a city tour.
With lots of humor and background knowledge, our guest and city guides will accompany you on a journey through Lindau’s culture, history, tradition and life.
From April 01 to October 28, 2023, guided city tours will take place weekly. More details can be found here
Contrary to what some people think, the Mang Tower has nothing to do with the Lindau plastic surgeon Prof. Dr. Mang.
The tower’s name refers to a former building in its vicinity: the Tuch- und Mangenhaus. This was the name given to the warehouses of the clothiers’ guild in the Middle Ages. The name Manghaus is therefore derived from the mangle – the dyers’ smoothing machine.
Lindau’s honorary citizen Count Lennart Bernadotte af Wisborg (1909 – 2004), whose family is still based on the island of Mainau and whose grandfather – the future King Gustav V of Sweden – awarded the first Nobel Prizes in 1901, was co-founder and longstanding spiritus rector of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings in 1951.
Today, his daughter Bettina Countess Bernadotte is President of the Board of Trustees for the conferences. Their office, as well as that of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings Foundation, is located in the house at Alfred-Nobel-Platz 1, as is the tourist information office. The close connection to the Swedish royal family was also demonstrated in 2019 by the visit of Queen Silvia of Sweden to Lindau and the Lennart Bernadotte House.
Order the walking tour guide
Learn more on a walk about the most important sights on the island of Lindau with the Lindau Walking Tour Guide.Order now