Sights and attractions
Herreninsel and Fraueninsel
A French Baroque château in the middle of a Bavarian Chiemsee island. During the day a lively magnet for people from all over the world; in the evening, after the departure of the last steamer, a place of magical silence. In 1878 Ludwig II created, in the form of Herrenchiemsee, his brilliantly anachronistic replica of Versailles as the realization of a Baroque contradiction: the royal court as a sheep farm.
One of Germany’s first artist colonies was founded on Frauenchiemsee in 1828. The convent was reinstated and remains to this day. Grandiose architectural monuments, including the Carolingian Gatehouse and the Romanesque Minster, bear witness to the continuity of twelve hundred years of culture.
Chiemsee and Chiemgau
With an area of more than 80 square kilometres, and a depth of more than 70 metres, Chiemsee is the largest lake in Bavaria, so to speak the Bavarian Sea. The lake takes its character from three islands: the Herreninsel with Herrenchiemsee Palace, the Fraueninsel with its convent, and the smaller Krautinsel. Already settled in prehistoric times, the islands bear traces of Celts and Romans, and with christianization in the 7th and 8th centuries, the lake became a centre of Christianity. Today one of the biggest attractions is Ludwig II’s palace, which, since his death in 1886, has been visited by people from all over the world.
The countryside around Chiemsee is one of Europe’s most attractive holiday regions. Developed from ice-age moraine between the rivers Salzach and Inn, the Chiemgau offers everything which those in search of relaxation and enjoyment might desire, from alpine regions to a tranquil lake landscape. Numerous protected nature reserves and areas of natural beauty, and not least a ban on motorboats on Chiemsee, bear witness to the determination of the local people to harmonize tourism with nature. But it is not just winter sports and summer resorts that attract visitors: monasteries and convents, stately homes, museums, and not least the closeness to Salzburg make the Chiemgau a cultural region of the first rank.