Allgäu (to be continued)
The Allgäu is a southern German region in Swabia. It covers the south of Bavarian Swabia and southeastern Baden-Württemberg. The region stretches from the prealpine lands up to the Alps. The main rivers flowing through the Allgäu are the Lech and Iller. Allgäu is not an administrative unit.
It is sub-divided into the following regions:
- Oberallgäu (in Bavarian Swabia, in the state of Bavaria)
- Unterallgäu (in Bavarian Swabia, in the state of Bavaria)
- Ostallgäu (in Bavarian Swabia, in the state of Bavaria)
- Westallgäu (mainly in Upper Swabia in the state of Baden-Württemberg, but also a very small part in Bavaria)
The Allgovian area is notable for its beautiful landscapes and is popular for vacations and therapeutic stays. It is well known in Germany for its farm produce, especially dairy products including Hirtenkäse (“herdsman’s cheese”) and Bergkäse, which is also produced across the borders in Austria and Switzerland. Besides tourism and dairyproducts the building of industrial equipment and machines is an important factor of economy. Fendt tractors, developed and produced in Marktoberdorf are one of the most famous products of the region.
“Allgovia” is occasionally used as a synonym for the region. The alpine regions of the Allgäu rise over 2,000 metres in altitude and are popular for winter skiing. The world-renowned castle of Neuschwanstein is in the eastern part of the Allgäu.
The Allgäu is dominated in the south by the Allgäu Alps, which are not part of the Allgäu themselves. The Allgäu is formed by mainly glaciers and glacial debris. A lot of hills and lakes are remains of former glaciers.
We spent one night in the Allgäu region, so I definitely want to go back. In the hotel where we slept, there was a restaurant, where I tasted Maultasch for the first time. In Swabia, Maultaschen are the traditional dish associated with the Lenten commemoration of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. During Lent,Catholics and other Christians are encouraged to refrain from eating meat. However, in a moment of German irony and humour, Maultaschen are associated with these days because the meat in the dish is concealed under the pasta dough and cannot be seen by God. Among the anecdotal stories regarding the origin of the dish, one claims that Maultaschen were created by the Cistercian monks of Maulbronn Abbey for that purpose. Indeed, a Swabian German nickname for the dish, Herrgottsbescheißerle, means “Little cheaters on God”.
We went to this region to search for snow, because in the end of 2013, there was not so much snow in Germany. We found snow in the ski resorts, but because of our lack of ability, we didn´t try skiing. We played for a while in the snow and then decided to discover a bit of the region. We found some beautiful lakes and some ducks and other animals. Later we tried searching for snow in a higher point. This way we discovered Falkenstein, where the Falkenstein Castle is located. This is a High Middle Ages castle ruin in the Bavarian Alps, near Pfronten. The ruin’s German name is Burg Falkenstein (“Castle Falcon Stone”). At 1,268 m above sea level, it is Germany’s most elevated castle ruin. King Ludwig II of Bavaria purchased the ruin in 1883 and planned to transform the site into a magnificent fairy tale schloß. However, the plans were abandoned upon his death in 1886.