600 years of MICE experience in the Organization of congresses, conferences and events - that is by no means exaggerated in Constance. Here you can rent the room of the papal election as a worldwide unique and during the conference fast jump into Lake Constance.
- Lake Constance as a tourist destination
- Constance: Election of the Pope and University of Excellence
- Innovative in the MICE area
- Council building - days where the Pope was elected
- Lake Constance Forum
- RIVA Seehotel
- Steigenberger island hotel
- Mainau Island - Conferences like Nobel Prize winners
- Seminars on the ship
- Lots of space for leisure activities
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Lake Constance as a tourist destination
Lake Constance is one of the most important and well-known tourist destinations in Germany: It is divided into the Obersee, which is also referred to as Lake Constance alone, the Seerhein and the Untersee. Numerous leisure activities and sights contribute to the attractiveness, above all the council city Konstanz, in which the 1418 was elected the only pope north of the Alps, as well as the residence of the poet Anette von Droste Hülshof well-known Meersburg, but also Bregenz with its festival stage, Friedrichshafen and Lindau are worth seeing.
There are also other highlights such as Mainau Island, the Birnau pilgrimage church, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Reichenau Island, the prehistoric pile dwellings in Unteruhldingen and numerous museums such as the Zeppelin Museum or the Dornier Museum. The region in and around Constance and especially the lesser known Untersee offer urbanity, cultural offerings, green spaces and bathing beaches directly on the lake like no other area. Since 2001 it has also been possible to fly in a zeppelin again. So it's no wonder that Lake Constance is also suitable for seminars or TeamEvents represents a highly attractive travel destination.
Constance: Election of the Pope and University of Excellence
Constance in particular has been on my travel bucket list for a long time. On the one hand because of the fantastic location at the western end of Lake Constance, but also because of the exciting history. The largest city on Lake Constance brings culture, nature, Economy and science in harmony - and that with only 84.000 inhabitants. The University be the same several times in the excellence initiative successfully was.
The Council of Constance with the only valid Pope's election north of the Alps as an outstanding event before 600 years (1414 - 1418) is still present in the city today. Located right on the harbor, near the historic old town, the Council House is just one of the sights that recall this medieval world event.
Innovative in the MICE area
However, anyone who thinks that tranquil Konstanz is only traditionally on the move is wrong. Because there are also very innovative projects in the city, for example in the area of MICE (short for Meetings, incentives, conferences and events).
With the creation of the so-called micelab, the Lake Constance region wants new transnational ways go - away from frontal teaching, rows of seats and PowerPoint sprinkler towards more participation, creativity and Fun. And since 2015 the micelab:bodensee has been offering research results and how such a lively, contemporary congress can look in detail and how the event rooms can be designed for it Further Training for the practical Implementation in the MICEIndustry.
Council building - days where the Pope was elected
The council building is certainly one of the most spectacular conference locations. Although the building, a three-storey, solid stone building with a hipped roof, looks rather inconspicuous, it was actually built in 1388 as a warehouse for travelers and local traders and served as a transhipment point for goods at the port of Constance for almost 500 years. However, during the Council of Constance in 1417, the conclave took place here Choice by Pope Martin V. - the only valid papal election north of the Alps. The massive oak columns are still true to the original from the time.
The council building is regarded as the largest preserved medieval secular building in southern Germany and has been used as a restaurant, ballroom and congress center since 1912. The upper and lower halls are decorated with historical frescoes, the massive oak columns date from the Middle Ages.
The somewhat smaller “Lower Hall” offers space for events, exhibitions, presentations or family celebrations for up to 400 people. It can be divided into the small area “The Council Room” for approx. 100 people and the large lower hall for approx. 300 people.
300 events per year
The “Upper Hall” is on the first floor of the Council. The adjacent, spacious event terrace offers a beautiful view of Lake Constance and the port of Constance and space for 100-800 people. The expansion of the attic is still relatively new - the small room can accommodate up to 200 people.
There are around 300 events per year - including parties for up to 1300 people. If more space is required, there is close cooperation with the nearby hotels Halm and Steigenberger. Practical: catering and room rental are all in one here Hand.
Lake Constance Forum
On the other hand, the new congress and event center Bodenseeforum presents itself as modern and innovative, for which only recently a former factory building was rebuilt. Since the opening 2016 there have already been events with Reinhold Messner or the Bavarian Landesbank, in total about 120 events with about 85.000 visitors.
Go swimming during the meeting
For the Bodenseeforum is well prepared. It offers approximately 2.000 square meters of conference and exhibition space, capacities for up to 1.000 guests, 14 modular variable event rooms, state-of-the-art event technology and is located directly on the Rhine.
Since it is great that large glass fronts from almost every room from a panoramic view of the water and the nearby old town, yes you can even enjoy coffee and cake in the open air and right on the water, take a short walk or even in between for refreshment and cooling jump into the Rhine.
Modern event technology
However, the event technology, which is probably the most modern in Konstanz, is really inspiring. From loudspeakers to the Weframe, an 85 inch monitor that replaces beamer, flipchart and handouts, because the data can be directly transferred to the participants' devices.
An important step towards a paperless event. The Bodenseeforum maintains an exclusive cooperation with the manufacturer, the in-house salaried technicians are specially trained on this equipment.
This fits well the probably most luxurious hotel in Konstanz, the RIVA-Seehotel. His highlight is the roof terrace for me. Because here is located next to a roof garden and the hotel pool, which is also heated in winter to 30 degrees and so allows swimming with a view of Lake Constance.
The hotel is a modern addition next to an 1908 Art Nouveau villa, which also houses the 2 star Ophelia restaurant.
On the ground floor, the two buildings are connected. The outdoor area was designed by the Swiss landscape architect Enzo Enea.
Rooms and meeting rooms
The 45 rooms and suites are spacious and minimalist-modern, the Wi-Fi works, unlike in other hotels, with a login and then comparatively stable.
In addition, there are four technically well-equipped rooms between 25 m² and 120 m² for professional, exclusive meetings. Currently only two meeting rooms are accessible due to conversions, but with the opening of the extension, the offer will be larger.
Steigenberger island hotel
Even at the Steigenberger Inselhotel in close proximity to the harbor and the council building, people meet on historic ground: Already 1236 was built on the island the Dominican monastery, in which today the hotel is housed. In today's bridal suite was at the beginning of the Council of Constance, from the 6. December 1414 until 24. March 1415 Jan Hus imprisoned in the dungeon of the monastery.
From the monastery to the hotel
In 1785 the monks were expelled from the island by the Austrian emperor Joseph II. The monastery was leased to the Geneva manufacturer and banker Jacques Louis Macaire de L'Or, who opened a cloth factory here.
When this was no longer worthwhile, Eberhard Graf Zeppelin opened his Mother a nee Macaire, 1875 in the building a hotel. His brother, the famous airship pioneer Ferdinand Graf Zeppelin, was born in 1838 in what is today the smallest conference room in the hotel, the 41m² Zeppelin Salon.
Days in the monastery church
The island was sold 1963 to the state of Baden Wurttemberg and leased by this to the Steigenberger hotel company, which re-opened the hotel 1966 as Steigenberger Inselhotel. Since 1992 the island belonged to the Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus AG.
The hotel has 100 rooms (72 double rooms and 28 single rooms), two suites and 6 meeting rooms. In the large ballroom, the former monastery church, can accommodate up to 400 people. Worth seeing are the medieval frescoes and the foyer, which is located in the cloister of the former monastery.
Mainau Island - Conferences like Nobel Prize winners
The 45-hectare island of Mainau has a very exciting conference concept. Because it takes the motto “days in the country” literally - for example, at the regular annual closing of the Nobel Laureate Meeting.
Nobel Laureate Meeting Outdoor
About 1.000 people are then eg in a panel discussion, which takes place in the 150 years old arboretum next to massive redwood trees under the sky, exchange with inspiring conversations about the island or are distributed at a picnic in the spacious park with thousands of tulips, hundreds of rhododendrons, fragrant roses , Perennials and colorful dahlias.
In addition, the island of Mainau also offers suitable infrastructure such as flipcharts to carry around or mobile showers, if swimming or kayaking are part of the conference program.
Ecological Charter with Albert Schweitzer
On the other hand, you will not be able to realize elaborate laser shows or musical sound effects on the island, because economic, ecological and social aspects should keep the balance:
Already the founder of today Company, Lennart Bernadotte, born Prince of Sweden, designed the former summer residence of his great-grandfather, Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden, into a flower and plant paradise and opened it to the public. The Mainau Charter, initiated by Albert Schweitzer, has been in existence since 1961, with a focus on nature and the environment.
Meeting rooms and cooking classes
But bad weather is also provided, so there are meeting rooms for smaller groups in the gatehouse next to the baroque Teutonic Order Castle from 1776, in the Comturey at the harbor with bakery and restaurant there is space for up to 300 people if you connect all three rooms. There is also a show kitchen here, which is used for events and cooking courses.
In general, there are all kinds of gastronomy on the island, from the traditional Schwedenschenke in Style a Swedish country inn to the castle café to the organic beer garden.
And even in the rain there is something exciting to discover, such as the tropical butterfly house, where the year frolicking day and moths in a total of about 120 species frolicking, and the palm house with around 20 different types of palm trees.
Seminars on the ship
Boat trips are of course an excellent way to get around on Lake Constance. And ships are a good one too Alternatives, if, for example, conference capacities are not sufficient. For this purpose, the Bodensee-Schiffsebetriebe (BSB) provide two different conference ships that can be chartered in their entirety: the MS Graf Zeppelin offers space for up to 300 people, integrated screen, projector and dance floor, the MS Lindau has capacities for up to 100 people as well as lighting and conference technology including an integrated TV screen.
In addition, other ships can be rented for excursions, such as the MS Schwaben in the Art Deco style of the 30s. Whiskey or wine tastings on ships are also possible and are offered as a finished tour. All ships have loudspeaker systems and microphones, handicapped accessible equipment and elevator, on board a "normal" 230V electricity is generated on board. This is available via standard household sockets that are distributed in the ship. Heavy current connections are also possible.
It is also a shame that Konstanz is only very poorly connected to the long-distance traffic of Deutsche Bahn. The best way to get to the city is actually by plane from Zurich.
On the other hand, I really liked the local public transport: For example, even more remote towns and districts can be easily reached by bus even in the evening and Constance has the only water bus on the lake. It's just a pity that there is no uniform ticket that would allow the combined use of all trains, buses and ships on Lake Constance. Unfortunately, guests have to explore a wide variety of options. Here you notice clearthat Lake Constance is a four-country region with different administrative channels.
Lots of space for leisure activities
The region offers a multitude of very different leisure activities: The Rosgarten Museum of City History and various wellness offers can be wonderfully combined in one day.
Shopping in the intact old town
Constance does not offer a variety of options for conferences, but also options for a varied supporting program. So the city has to elicit the enthusiasm of every historically interested tears of joy: The largely intact medieval old town not only survived the Second World War unscathed because it was mistaken by the Americans for a Swiss city.
There are also hardly any new buildings from the Baroque period, as in many other cities, since the city at that time simply had no Money had. Above all, the oldest part of town, Niederburg, will fascinate you with its picturesque alleyways and facades, rustic wine taverns and pubs and small, fine shops.
Rarities at sight seeing
The city tour with art historian Henry Gerlach is great and very exciting in this connection, which the expert for the Constance Council also holds in part in historical costumes. He not only leads you to the locations of his Council novel “In Nomine Diaboli”, but also shows you rarities that you would otherwise have missed:
The best example of this are the four fire-gilded copper disks exhibited in the crypt of the Konstanz Minster, which were previously attached to the east gable of the choir. The largest disc is dated to the 11th century.
A prostitute as a landmark of the city
I found the story about the Imperia statue erected in the harbor in 1993 particularly original. Its creator, the sculptor Peter Lenk, is known for his hearty Art known and was inspired for the creation of the nine meter high statue of Balzac's daring stories, which deal with the prostitute Imperia at the time of the Constance Council. In its hands the statue holds the naked figures of Emperor Sigismund and Pope Martin V, the rulers at the time of the Council.
Probably the world's largest statue of a prostitute was at the beginning of much controversial. However, since the statue was built on the private property of Deutsche Bahn and not on urban terrain, it was not possible for the local council to prevent the construction. Later, it became a tourist attraction and landmark of the city.
City Museum: From prehistory to a climate emergency
The city museum is located in the former butcher's guild house, which was built in 1454 - with unique, faithfully preserved rooms and exhibits from the time it was built. The permanent exhibition is exciting and of a high standard:
Important works of art and cultural history of the Vierländerregion Bodensee, the conflict-filled history between "Sauschwaben" and "Kuhschweizern", Heckers rebellion of 1848, but also the fates of the persecuted during the Third Reich are vividly presented. Interesting in times of climate change - in fact Constance was the first German city to declare the climate emergency - is the special exhibition "The dangerous lake".
Pure deceleration: salt grotto and thermal baths
After so much culture, it may be time to slow down: Not only the cozy courtyard and the historic museum cafeteria invite you to linger, nearby also offers the Eugen's excellent organic cuisine.
Konstanz also has excellent offers on the subject of wellness: For example, the salt grotto, which you enter in normal daywear and then cuddle up in blankets on wellness loungers with soothing relaxation music and gentle lighting effects for 45 minutes - ideal for respiratory diseases, as the special Combination sea and Himalayan salt creates a unique microclimate in the salt cave, which is otherwise only found by the sea or in natural salt mines.
Or a visit to the Bodensee-Therme-Konstanz with sauna wing, thermal and open-air swimming pool: the Bodensee-Therme invites you to swim, bathe and relax on its over 3.000 square meters of water. In the bright bathing hall, guests can relax in the 33 ° C warm thermal pool on bubble loungers and in the 36 ° C warm spring pot. In the open air you can also enjoy the steaming outdoor pool and another spring pot with breathtaking views of the majestic lake and alpine panorama, which can be seen particularly well from the terrace of the sauna wing, which makes up the great feature of this thermal bath.
Swimming and cycling
The region around Constance is also ideal for many other sporting activities. Cycling and swimming are sports that are practically inextricably linked with constancy. Not only is there a separate traffic route for cyclists who even have their own bridge, the city also impresses with the large number of free beach baths right on the lake, which are open from May to September and offer infrastructure such as toilets and showers.
The largest lido with 50.000 square meters of lawn and 600 meters of bank length is the “Hörnle”. It lies at the end of the Bay of Constance near the Lake Constance Stadium and offers a fantastic view of the lake and alpine panorama. The Bodensee-Therme Konstanz is also located directly on the lake shore. You are particularly close to nature all year round in the 400 square meter and 34 degree warm outdoor pool. If you like it a little fresher, you can get to Lake Constance via a jetty and cool off in your waves. Family-friendliness is also important in the Bodensee-Therme: the separate parent-child area offers little bathers the joy of playing.
Wellness offers in and around Constance
The hotels in Constance have long since adapted to wellness customers: there is the Hotel 47°, for example, a personally lovingly run boutique hotel with 99 rooms and studios in a clear, modern design. It is located in the new Constance quarter on the Seerhein, which, with 6 conference rooms, is aimed at business travelers as well as families and single travelers who want to get away from the hectic Everyday life want to relax. In addition to a sauna, there is also a fitness area with functional and personal training. In addition to the very good Restaurant Friedrich, which also fulfills guests' special requests for healthy food, my highlight is the roof terrace with a spectacular view over the Rhine, the old town and the Säntis mountain range. Yoga sessions are held here in summer.
A something different Concept follows the Hotel Volapük, which lies above the flower island of Mainau in the Konstanz suburb of Litzelstetten. This family-run hotel offers modern, cozy rooms and family apartments with a balcony. The wellness area with its panoramic sauna, steam bath, fitness room and terrace and excellent massage treatments are sure to impress. In the rather simple hotel restaurant you can enjoy as a down-to-earth classic, but the health aspect is not so short, which surprised me very positively.
Untersee excursion region
But the western Lake Constance region offers more: The natural shores, hidden coves and bizarre volcano formations just at the upper lake invite you to decelerate bird watching: In fact you will find here at the Untersee in Wollmatinger nature reserve 50% of all waterfowl, as they find here particularly excellent food conditions.
The small islands, picturesque harbors and places can be discovered very well, for example by canoe, the solar ferry or the ships of the Swiss shipping company Untersee and Rhein AG, which can also be rented for seminars and events. Bicycles, which are among the most popular means of transport in the Lake Constance region, can also be transported here.
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