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Hotels of Lake Constance

A hotel in Lake Constance is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Lake Constance hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Lake Constance are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Lake Constance hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Lake Constance hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Lake Constance have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Lake Constance
An upscale full service hotel facility in Lake Constance that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Lake Constance hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Lake Constance
Full service Lake Constance hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Lake Constance
Boutique hotels of Lake Constance are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Lake Constance boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Lake Constance may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Lake Constance
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Lake Constance travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Lake Constance focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Lake Constance
Small to medium-sized Lake Constance hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Lake Constance traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Lake Constance hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Lake Constance
A bed and breakfast in Lake Constance is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Lake Constance bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Lake Constance B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Lake Constance
Lake Constance hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Lake Constance hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Lake Constance
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Lake Constance hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Lake Constance lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Lake Constance
Lake Constance timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Lake Constance often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Lake Constance on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Lake Constance
A Lake Constance motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Lake Constance for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Lake Constance motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Lake Constance

This article is about the European lake. For other uses, see Lake Constance (disambiguation).
"Bodensee" redirects here. For the municipality, see Bodensee, Lower Saxony.
Lake Constance
Bodensee satellit.jpg
satellite image
Karte Bodensee.png
Location Germany, Switzerland, Austria
Coordinates  / 47.583; 9.467  / 47.583; 9.467
Primary inflows Rhine
Primary outflows Rhine
Catchment area 11,500 km (4,400 sq mi)
Basin countries Germany, Switzerland, Austria
Max. length 63 km (39 mi)
Max. width 14 km (8.7 mi)
Surface area 571 km (220 sq mi)
Average depth 90 m (300 ft)
Max. depth 251 m (823 ft)
Water volume 51.4 km (12 cu mi)
Residence time 4.3 years
Surface elevation 395 m (1,296 ft)
Frozen 1795, 1830, 1880 (partial), 1963
Islands Mainau, Reichenau, Lindau
Sections/sub-basins Obersee, Überlinger See; Untersee, Zeller See, Gnadensee
Settlements see

Lake Constance (German: Bodensee) is a lake on the Rhine at the northern foot of the Alps, and consists of three bodies of water: the Obersee ("upper lake"), the Untersee ("lower lake"), and a connecting stretch of the Rhine, called the Seerhein.

The lake is situated in Germany, Switzerland and Austria near the Alps. Its shorelines lie in the German states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, the Austrian state of Vorarlberg, and the Swiss cantons of Thurgau, St Gallen and Schaffhausen. The river Rhine flows into the lake from the south, with its original course forming the Austro-Swiss border, and has its outflow of the "Lower Lake" where - except from Schaffhausen, see above - it forms the German-Swiss border until the city Basel.

Lake Constance: Description

Freshwater Lake Constance is central Europe's third largest, after Lake Balaton and Lake Geneva. It is 63 km (39 mi) long, and at its widest point, nearly 14 km (8.7 mi). It covers approximately 571 km (220 sq mi), and is 395 m (1,296 ft) above sea level. The greatest depth is 252 metres (827 ft) in the middle of the eastern part (Obersee). Its volume is approximately 10×10^ m (13×10^ cu yd). The lake has four parts: the main section, called Obersee, 476 km (184 sq mi); the north section, Überlinger See, 61 km (24 sq mi); the west section, Untersee, 63 km (24 sq mi); and the northwest section, the Zeller See and Gnadensee. The regulated Rhine flows into the lake in the southeast, through the Obersee, the city of Konstanz and the Untersee, and flows out near Stein am Rhein. The lake itself is an important drinking water source for southwestern Germany, called Bodensee-Wasserversorgung ("Lake Constance Water Supply"). The culminating point of the lake's drainage basin is the Tödi at 3,614 metres above sea level.

Car ferries link Romanshorn to Friedrichshafen, and Konstanz to Meersburg.

Lake Constance: History

Lake Constance was formed by the Rhine Glacier during the ice age and is a zungenbecken lake. The Rhine, the Bregenzer Ache, and the Dornbirner Ache carry sediments from the Alps to the lake, thus gradually decreasing the depth and coastline extension of the lake in the southeast.

Lake Constance was first mentioned by the Roman geographer Pomponius Mela about 43 AD. He noted that the Rhine flows through two lakes, and gave them the Latin names Lacus Venetus (Obersee) and Lacus Acronius (Untersee). Pliny the Elder used the name Lacus Brigantinus, after the Roman city of Brigantium (today Bregenz). The lake is also colloquially known as the Swabian Sea (das schwäbische Meer).

The lake was frozen in the years 1077 (?), 1326 (partial), 1378 (partial), 1435, 1465 (partial), 1477 (partial), 1491 (partial?), 1517 (partial), 1571 (partial), 1573, 1600 (partial), 1684, 1695, 1709 (partial), 1795, 1830, 1880 (partial), and 1963.

Approximately 1,000 tonnes (1,100 short tons) of fish were caught by 150 professional fishermen in 2001 which was below the previous ten year average of 1,200 tonnes (1,300 short tons) per year. The Lake Constance trout (Salmo trutta) was almost extinct in the 1980s due to pollution, but thanks to protective measures they have made a significant return. Lake Constance is the home of the critically endangered species of trout Salvelinus profundus, and formerly also the now extinct Lake Constance whitefish (Coregonus gutturosus).

Lake Constance: Name

Lake Constance, seen from a vineyard

After the Council of Constance, the Latin-speaking Catholic world gave the lake its current international name. It was derived from the city of Konstanz, that, in turn, was named after a Roman emperor (either Constantius Chlorus or his grandson Constantius II). The German name, Bodensee, derives from the town of Bodman, situated at a nearby branch of the lake some 8 km northwest of Konstanz.

Lake Constance: International borders

Lake Constance is the only area in Europe where no borders exist, because there is no legally binding agreement as to where the borders lie between Switzerland, Germany and Austria. However, Switzerland holds the view that the border runs through the middle of the lake, Austria is of the opinion that the contentious area belongs to all the states on its banks, which is known as a "condominium", and Germany holds an ambiguous opinion. Legal questions pertaining to ship transport and fishing are regulated in separate treaties.

Naturally, disputes arise. One concerns a houseboat which was moored in two states (ECJ c. 224/97 Erich Ciola); another concerns the rights to fish in the Bay of Bregenz. In relation to the latter, an Austrian family was of the opinion that it alone had the right to fish in broad portions of the bay. However, this was accepted neither by the Austrian courts nor by the organs and courts of the other states.

Lake Constance: Recent floods

  • A 100-year flood around June 1999 (Pfingsthochwasser 1999) raised the level about 2 metres above normal, flooding harbors and many shoreline buildings and hotels.
  • In late August 2005, heavy rain raised the level by more than 70 cm in a few days. The rains caused widespread flooding and washed out highways and railroads.
Flooding on the shore of Lake Constance, May 2013

Lake Constance: Tourism, leisure and sports

The tourism and leisure industry is an important factor for this region. Overnight stays reached 17,56m visitors in 2012 with an turnover of about 1.9bn Euros. The same amount comes from the 70 million daily visitors that visit Lake Constance each year.

Lake Constance seen from Spot satellite.

This region is known for sightseeing, water-sports, winter-sports like Skiing, summer-sports like Swimming (sport), Sailing and recreation. It is also one of the places where modern Zeppelin operate and 12-14 people can take a trip above the lake around various points of interests.

The lake and the region around it have a substantial touristic infrastructure as well as many attractions and points of interests. Important are especially cities like Konstanz, Überlingen, Meersburg, Friedrichshafen, Lindau and Bregenz as they are the big hubs for boating tourism. The main tourism attractions are places like Rhine Falls, one of the three biggest waterfalls in Europe, the Mainau Island and Reichenau Island (UNESCO world heritage), the pilgrimage church Birnau, castles and palaces like Salem Abbey, Meersburg Castle as well as another UNESCO world heritage site, the Pfahlbaumuseum Unteruhldingen (German for 'Stilt house museum).

In the east of the lake, the Alps are reaching almost to it thus allowing a great view over the lake. The Pfänderbahn goes from top of the mountain right down, next to the lake in Bregenz.

Biking around the lake is also possible on the 261 km long trail called "Bodensee-Radweg". It brings its visitors to the most interesting sites and goes around the whole lake. Nevertheless, various shortcuts via ferries allow shorter routes and the trail is suitable for all levels. Note: There is also a trail that goes by the name "Bodensee-Rundweg". This road was intended for pedestrians so biking is sometimes not suitable or allowed.

Furthermore, Lake Constance is the location for the annual Bregenzer Festspiele, a well known arts festival that also takes place on a floating stage in Bregenz. Opera and music performances generally tend to come from popular pieces and among contributors are top music bands like the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

Lake Constance: Islands in the lake

The three major islands are:

  • Mainau Island
  • Reichenau Island
  • Lindau

These are all of the islands and former islands in Lake Constance, listed from east to west:

Island Area (m²) Population Municipality Country Coordinates
1 Galgeninsel peninsula since 19th century - Lindau (Reutin district) Germany

 / 47.55000; 9.70389 (Galgeninsel)

2 Hoy 53 - Lindau (Reutin district) Germany

 / 47.5492639; 9.69667 (Hoy)

3 Lindau 680,000 3,000 Lindau (Island district) Germany

 / 47.54639; 9.68333 (Lindau)

4 Wasserburg peninsula since 1720 27 Wasserburg (Island district) Germany

 / 47.56722; 9.62944 (Wasserburg)

5 Mainau 447,584 185 Konstanz (Litzelstetten district) Germany

 / 47.70500; 9.19611 (Mainau)

6 Dominikanerinsel 18,318 21 Konstanz (Altstadt district) Germany

 / 47.66417; 9.17833 (Dominikanerinsel)

7 Mittlerer Langbohl 31,254 - Konstanz (Industriegebiet district) Germany

 / 47.67167; 9.12556 (Mittlerer Langbohl)

8 Triboldingerbohl 135,570 - Konstanz (Industriegebiet district) Germany

 / 47.67222; 9.12278 (Triboldingerbohl)

9 Reichenau 4,300,000 3.200 Reichenau (Niederzell|Mittelzell|Oberzell) Germany  / 47.69444; 9.06333 (Reichenau)
10 Liebesinsel 300 - Radolfzell (Mettnau district) Germany

 / 47.72167; 9.00528 (Liebesinsel)

11 Werd 15,854 9 Eschenz (Untereschenz district) Switzerland

 / 47.65528; 8.86667 (Werd)

12 Mittleres Werdli 4,000 - Stein am Rhein Switzerland

 / 47.65667; 8.86583 (Mittleres Werdli)

13 Unteres Werdli 6,000 - Stein am Rhein Switzerland

 / 47.65694; 8.86389 (Unteres Werdli)

Lake Constance Islands 5,637,079 6,400 6 municipalities

Lake Constance: Towns and cities at the lake

Bodensee Steamboat Hohentwiel.
View from Mount Pfänder of Bregenz and the lake (with Lindau in the background).
Reichenau seen from the German shore.
Lake Constance from Lindau
Twilight near Arbon.
The Lower Lake (Untersee).

Lake Constance: Austria

  • Hard
  • Hörbranz
  • Bregenz
  • Lochau
  • Höchst
  • Fussach
  • Gaissau

Lake Constance: Germany

From the entry of the Rhine, on the northern or right shore:

  • On the Upper Lake (Obersee) and Überlinger See
    • Lindau (in Bavaria)
    • Wasserburg
    • Nonnenhorn
    • Kressbronn (in Baden-Württemberg)
    • Langenargen
    • Eriskirch
    • Friedrichshafen
    • Immenstaad
    • Hagnau
    • Stetten
    • Meersburg
    • Uhldingen-Mühlhofen (on Überlinger See)
    • Überlingen
    • Sipplingen
    • Bodman-Ludwigshafen
  • Konstanz with suburbs
    • Wallhausen
    • Dingelsdorf
    • Litzelstetten
  • On the lower lake (Untersee)
    • Reichenau (including the island with same name)
    • Allensbach (on Gnadensee)
    • Radolfzell (on Zellersee)
    • Moos
    • Gaienhofen
    • Öhningen

Lake Constance: Switzerland

From the entry of the Rhine, on the southern or left shore:

  • On the Upper Lake (Obersee)
    • Altenrhein, St. Gallen
    • Rorschach, St. Gallen
    • Horn, Thurgau
    • Steinach, St. Gallen
    • Arbon, Thurgau (as all the following)
    • Frasnacht
    • Egnach
    • Romanshorn
    • Uttwil
    • Kesswil
    • Güttingen
    • Altnau
    • Landschlacht
    • Münsterlingen
    • Bottighofen
    • Kreuzlingen (and Konstanz, Germany)
  • On the Rhine
    • Gottlieben
  • On the Lower Lake (Untersee)
    • Ermatingen
    • Mannenbach
    • Berlingen
    • Steckborn
    • Mammern
    • Eschenz
    • Stein am Rhein, Schaffhausen

Lake Constance: See also

  • Überlingen mid-air collision
  • Württembergischer Yacht Club
  • Lake Constance is also the title of a track from Mike Oldfield's The Millennium Bell album
  • Obersee (Lake Constance)

Lake Constance: References


  1. Image #432, Flying Camera Satellite Images 1999, Lloyd Reeds Map Collection, McMaster University Library.
  2. 1:25,000 topographic map (Map). Swisstopo. Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  3. McLachlan, Gordon (2004) The Rough Guide to Germany. London: Rough Guides Ltd. Buy book ISBN 1-84353-293-X.
  4. ‘Extinct’ fish found in Lake Constance
  5. Red List - Volume 1: Vertebrates (2009) - General assessment for the vertebrate groups
  6. Kahn, Daniel-Erasmus (2004). Die deutschen Staatsgrenzen: rechtshistorische Grundlagen und offene Rechtsfragen ("The German national borders: legal-historical foundations and open legal questions"). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9783161484032.
  7. Jennings, Ken (June 16, 2014) "The Borderless Black Hole in the Middle of Europe" Conde Nast Traveler
  8. Mark, David and Smith, Barry, et al., "Bizarre Shapes: 100 Geographic Monsters"
  9. "DWIF - dwif Wirtschaftsfaktor Tourismus Bodenseeregion". Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  10. "Zeppelinflug : Bodensee Tourismus". Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  11. "Bodensee-Radweg". Bodensee-Radweg (in German). Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  12. "Wandern rund um den Bodensee". Retrieved 2016-12-30.

Further reading

  • Zimmermann, Rolf (2004) A Look at Lake Constance. Konstanz: Stadler Verlagsgesellschaft. Buy book ISBN 3-7977-0507-7. (Pictures and texts of the cities around Lake Constance).
  • Bodensee-Hochwasser (German) waterlevels
  • Internationale Bodenseekonferenz
  • Regio Bodensee Statistics
  • Lake Constance: pictures
  • Photos of Lake Constance
  • Bibliography on Water Resources and International Law Peace Palace Library
  • GrenzRaumSee: A project from the Ludwig-Uhland-Institut für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft (Ludwig-Uhland-Department of European Ethnology / Empirical Cultural Science) of the University of Tübingen
  • Lake Constance/Bodensee Lessons learned managing the lake
  • Lake Constance Accommodation
  • Tourist Information Lake Constance
  • Karl Heinz Burmeister: Lake Constance in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  • Nixdorf, B.; et al. (2004), "Bodensee" (PDF), Dokumentation von Zustand und Entwicklung der wichtigsten Seen Deutschlands (in German), Berlin: Umweltbundesamt, p. 4
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