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Allgäu Marketing GmbH

Germany's snow-covered peaks ­ soaring ski jumps and climactic concerts

Neuschwanstein Castle in the Allgäu is a German icon instantly recognised by people all over the world. This region in south-west Bavaria is more Alpine than any other in Germany; the majestic peaks and crystal-clear lakes of the Ammergebirge mountains, the Allgäu Alps and the Bregenz Forest together create a magical impression. Oberstdorf is surrounded by the ten highest summits of the Allgäu Alps, all rising to around 2,600 metres. The Allgäu's romantic towns have preserved their medieval charm and villages with woodshingle houses and quaint church steeples make the scene picture-perfect.


Oberstdorf gives you wings ­ but it's only professional ski jumpers who get to actually fly through the air. The Heini Klopfer ski jump is where the starting gun is fired for the annual International Four Hills Tournament and also one of the few places in the world able to stage ski flying competitions. Oberstdorf hosts both world championships and world cup competitions. After so many highs, it's time to delve deep into culture: outside the snow season Oberstdorf is a rendezvous for world-class musicians, distinguished soloists and award-winning newcomers. The Oberstdorf Summer Music Festival thrills audiences with concerts in unusual venues and memorable musical experiences at 2,000 metres altitude. Down below, at the end of the Kleinwalser valley, hikers can discover the Breitachklamm, the deepest gorge in the Bavarian Alps.

The 2.5km trail through the gorge attracts several hundred thousand nature lovers every year.


Ottobeuren, south-east of Memmingen, is a resort and spa retreat where health, wellbeing and a beneficial climate take centre stage. This is the birthplace of Sebastian Kneipp, the naturopath whose five-tenet notion of hydrotherapy retains great currency to this day. All over the Kneippland, holistic, therapeutic treatments based on natural products are used to reinvigorate mind and body. Music and the arts also play an important role in the town. The Ottobeuren Concerts marked their 60th anniversary in 2009. The first concert, on 31 July 1949, was a major event laden with political and religious symbolism. Its assertions about the coexistence of people and states and about music as an internal, binding force are still relevant today.


Over the centuries Memmingen has retained a delightful medieval appearance and its historical quarter offers many attractions. The various outstanding museums include the municipal museum in the Hermansbau and the Anthonite and Strigel Museum in the Antonierhaus, a former hospital and residence that is one of the Anthonite Order's oldest properties anywhere. Other highlights are the seven-roofed Siebendächerhaus and the market square where the town hall, the Steuerhaus and the Grosszunft form an impressive architectural ensemble. Memmingen has cafés and wine taverns serving all kinds of food and drink, museums, galleries and theatres offering a wide choice of entertainment and a brimming events calendar including the Fischertag (fishermen's day), Memmingen blüht (Memmingen in bloom) and the Christmas market. Visitors are always welcome to join in the fun.


Kempten is the Allgäu's largest town and one of the oldest in Germany. It dates back to a Roman settlement ­ Cambodurum ­ founded over 2,000 years ago, the remains of which can be seen in the archaeological park. Kempten's Roman past still gives the town an almost mediterranean feel, and on balmy summer evenings the town hall square has the air of an Italian piazza. The magnificent Residenz palace, founded as a Benedictine abbey in 750 AD, was rebuilt after the original building was destroyed in the Thirty Years' War. When the prince abbot Roman Giel von Gielsberg set about having his palace rebuilt in 1652, it was to become Germany's first large-scale example of rococo abbey architecture.

The Viehscheid cattle drive

The Allgäu festival known as the Viehscheid celebrates the descent of the cattle from their mountain pastures at the end of the grazing season. 30,000 cows and calves spend their summer in the mountains, but in the autumn they are driven down into the valley ­ in a procession led by a cow decorated with flower garlands ­ to be reunited with their owners on Scheidplatz square. The Viehscheid cattle drive is a centuries-old tradition that is celebrated in the valley with brass bands and a fair.

Cheese from the Allgäu Alps

Allgäu mountain cheese tastes so delicious because the expertise of the local cheesemakers has been passed down and perfected through many generations. But its excellent quality, which has made the cheese such a successful export, also derives from the landscape in which it is produced. The Alpine region's long winters, short growing season and poor soil make grassland farming the only viable option. Agriculture is therefore centred on cattle rearing and dairy farming. One local speciality is kässpatzen (cheese noodles), best appreciated after an energetic walk to a mountain restaurant. Krautkrapfen (sauerkraut rolls) and mostküchle (apple dumplings) are almost exclusive to the Allgäu, ideally enjoyed with freshly pulled weissbier from one of the region's many independent breweries.

Romance and charm

Füssen is so romantic that strolling in the old quarter is like stepping into a storybook. Where better to start out on Germany's most famous scenic route, the Romantic Road?

Food and drink

Memmingen has several award-winning patisseries and cafés in historical properties. Restaurants are plentiful in the old quarter and follow one after another beside the river.

History and tradition

Immenstadt showcases the region's rural traditions: besides the spectacular Viehscheid cattle drive in mid-September, it has a mountain farm museum set high above the Ill valley, with wonderful panoramic views of the Alps.

Nature and scenery

The Steinbocktour crosses many peaks and ridges that are home to the mountain goat. A tour from mountain hut to mountain hut, it starts at the Edmund Probst Haus on Mount Nebelhorn (2,224 metres) near Oberstdorf and offers a unique opportunity to see these animals.