Photo Essay: A Day in Fussen, Germany and Its Authentic Gothic Castle

The southern end of Germany’s Romantic Road, Fussen, Germany makes a nice home base when visiting the nearby Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles.  After a day of fantasy castle sightseeing, it was a pleasure to wander the colorful, quiet streets of the old town center and take in the historic sights and the colorful buildings.With lots of cafes and restaurants, there was no lack of choices for a snack or a meal. The local shops had plenty of choices from the standard souvenirs to local crafts and clothing.

Holding court over the town is Fussen’s own real castle.  This “Hohes Schloss” or High Castle, was the summer residence of the prince-bishops of Augsburg.  Archaeological excavations found early remains of a roman fortress on the hill built to protect the Via Claudia, the roman roman road through the alps. The first castle was built in the 1200’s, but the building in it’s current form was built in the late 1400’s – a true Gothic castle.  The most interesting features of this building are the illusionary  paintings on the outside facade which are all said to be original, and were painted in 1499.

Fussen’s High Castle

Facade of the High Castle with the illusionary paintings around windows and doors

 

Slightly downhill from the castle are the buildings of the former St. Mang’s Monastery whose origins date from the 9th century.  The building was secularized in the 1800’s and now houses the City Hall and Fussen Heritage Museum.

The St Mang’s Basilica is still actively used by the town parishioners and is another fine example of Baroque architecture.

Nearby is also the very colorful Church of the Holy Spirit, today the church of Fussen’s old folks home.

Wandering the streets of Fussen it was inevitable that I would come across the two fabric shops in the old City Center.  Handarbeiten Bruggesser located at Hutergasse 5, is primarily a yarn shop but also carries a small selection of German designed cotton fabrics suitable for patchwork. A conversation in my broken German with the owner, Dorotheas Jesdinski, informed  me that patchwork is more popular in northern Germany, and not so much in the southern region.  The second fabric shop, Die Nahgallerie located at Brunnengasse 3, is all fabric.  The selection is primarily targeted for making your own “tracht” clothing. Tracht refers to the traditional clothing worn in the region-the dirndl dress for women and the lederhosen (leather shorts) for men.  There is a rainbow selection of cotton fabrics as well as blends and other materials.

With interesting sights, fabric shops and plenty of outdoor cafe options, Fussen made for a wonderful afternoon diversion.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose