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Along the German Alpine Road

By: Cityseeker
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Known colloquially in Germany as the Queralpenstraße, this holiday road is not only one of the most scenic routes in all of Germany but also the oldest of its kind. The route winds exclusively through the Bavarian Alps and passes by some of Germany's most famous natural and manmade landmarks. Below is a list of sights that are bound to lure you on a wondrous journey along this world-famous Alpine roadway.


Neuschwanstein Castle

Situated on a mountainside overlooking the Hohenschwangau valley, the Neuschwanstein Castle is a dream-like structure in an idyllic setting. Construction of the castle began in 1869 but was not completed until 1892. King Ludwig II commissioned its construction so that he could stay in a beautiful castle when he wanted to escape the royal courts. Sadly, the king did not live to see the castle's completion. Visitors can explore the castle's Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic-inspired interior, including the third and fourth floors, which were supposed to have been the king’s residences. These floors house opulent murals and spectacular wood carvings. Tours of the castle are available throughout the day. Visitors must visit the nearby Mary's Bridge, from where the view of the castle and its surroundings is stunning.

Schwangau, Germany
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Wieskirche

When visiting the neighbouring town of Fussen and Neuschwanstein Castle, make a small detour to see the Wieskirche or The Pilgrimage Church of Wies. This stunning building is a true expression of the baroque style and the interiors throw a brilliant light on the craftsmanship and artistic expression of this period. Listed on the UNESCO heritage list, Wieskirche is a must visit. The beautiful frescos painted by the Zimmerman brothers, ornate windows and the fine stucco work elaborate on the theological theme, and bring it to life. The church is, to this day a popular pilgrimage destination.

Steingaden, Germany
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Oberammergau

Oberammergau is known for its woodcarving artisan culture as well as the incredible Passion Play which about 2,000 residents take part in yearly. Visitors travel from all over to view this incredible spectacle which lasts for hours.

Oberammergau, Germany
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Ettal Abbey

Ettal Abbey in the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, is an active Benedictine abbey with over 50 monks, the largest of its kind. Though it was established by Emperor Ludwig in 1330, it is the Baroque designs of the architect Enrico Zuccalli in 1744 that laid the foundation for the beautiful structure that stands today. Visitors can visit the bookstore, cheese factory, art production house and the distillery that produces the famous Ettaler Kloster Liqueur.

Ettal, Germany
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Werdenfelser Land

Located in Upper Bavaria, the Werdenfelser Land cradles a rich assemblage of natural and historical treasures. Getting its name from the Werdenfels Castle, the region's prosperity during the middle ages has earned it the moniker of "Golden Land'. Stretching from Mittenwald to southern Farchant, certain parts of the mighty Bavarian Alps are a part of this picturesque region. Blessed with verdant valleys, castle ruins, the region is made up of several quaint Bavarian towns like Krun, Ettal and Murnau, to name a few.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
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Zugspitze

Zugspitze is the highest mountain range in Germany and a famous ski resort. The mountain stands at an impressive 2,962 meters (9717 feet) above sea level. The area has a variety of activities and attractions to offer both skiers and non-skiers. While the ski enthusiasts might tear the powdery slopes of the white mountain, for the non-skiers, there is a tranquil igloo village and Germany's highest church to visit. Cable cars run up and down the mountain, making the peak accessible to skiers and non-skiers alike.

Zugspitze, Germany
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Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a spa and ski town in the Oberbayern region of Germany. The town was originally made up of two separate towns, Garmisch and Partenkirchen but have been brought together and functioning as one since 1935 when they were combined for the 1936 Olympics. A premier destination for winter sports, this little town has a lot to offer visitors. Ski resorts and Spas abound in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Germany's highest mountain Zugspitze is accessible from here. There are plenty of opportunities to explore nature, go hiking or just relax at a world class spa while taking in the stunning scenery.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
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Karwendelgebirge

The shallow lagoons of a primordial ocean formed the basis for the Alps. The Karwendel chain arose through tectonic displacements of the marine limestone deposits 200 million years ago. Since then wind, sun and water have weathered the stone. This has resulted in craggy peaks, steep rock faces and formations, such as the Vomperloch tributary valley which is popularly called the 'Grand Canyon' of the Karwendel Alpine Park. Hikers and mountain climbers will be rewarded with extraordinary views and wild unspoiled natural settings, but must also take rather difficult tours upon themselves.

Scharnitz, Austria
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Walchensee

Located in the municipality of Kochel, Walchensee is the Germany's largest and the deepest lake. It is rich in natural wealth in terms of varieties of flora and fauna breed in the region. Many enthusiasts for surfing and sailing are common here. Also, recreational activities like hiking and swimming can be done.

Kochel, Germany
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Kochelsee

Lake Kochel lies at the periphery of the Bavarian Alps, in the municipality of Kochel am See as well as the Schlehdorf town. Its name comes from the Latin for cone, cocula, and it was created by the Loisach-Isar glacier. The glacial lake lies on the river Loisach and is surrounded in part by forests and in part by a bog-land. A spectacular natural formation, the scenic environs of the lake are ideal for hikers and outdoor lovers.

Schlehdorf, Germany
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Benediktbeuern Abbey

Housed inside a beautiful building which dates back to the medieval days, the Benediktbeuern Abbey (Kloster Benediktbeuern) is just magnificent. With a long historic trail, this place has been credited to Saint Benedict and Saint James. Today, the monastery is used as a residence by 45 Salesians of Don Bosco. A cultural symbol, various events, community services, festivals, concerts etc, are hosted here. The Kloster Benediktbeuern comes to life during the Christmas and Easter celebrations, when locals flock to the grounds in large numbers.

Benediktbeuern, Germany
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Tegernsee

Situated south-east of Munich, Lake Tegernsee has been a magnet for tourists for many years. Not only can visitors indulge in endless leisure pursuits like swimming, cycling, walking and sailing, it is above all its idyllic location which makes this area special. The lake nestles at the bottom of a range of mountains which rise up from the water's edge, among them Wallberg and Risserkogel. Hikers will be well and truly in their element here, while those looking to relax will enjoy the lovely route to Schliersee. Because of the lake's popularity, there are plenty of hotels, guest houses, pubs and cafés located on its shores. The easiest way of getting here from Munich is to take the S-Bahn (S2) to Holzkirchen and then the train to Tegernsee.

Tegernsee, Germany
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