Vanderlei J. Pollack - May 25, 2009
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The German city of Konstanz is a town attracting thousands of tourists with its romantic setting, though its past history is even more fascinating. Visit Konstanz to discover the grave religious and political entanglements which signify its once great and powerful past. Konstanz is a moderately sized town of some 80.000 inhabitants and it lies very close to the border to Switzerland and Austria as well as Liechtenstein. The charming setting of Konstanz appears to bewitch many tourists who allow the peaceful vistas over Lake Constance (Bodensee) and river Rhine to absorb them. Walking the crooked streets of the old town immediately suggests this is no ordinary place and that its history engulfs many centuries. The religious relevance of Konstanz is well described in many chronicles.Konstanz dates back to as early as 100 AD, when the first Romans settled on this site. In 6th century, its relevance was confirmed when the town became the bishop’s residence and thus a powerful spiritual centre. Throughout the Middle Ages, several crucial events took place here; one of which is the execution of the infamous Czech religious reformer, John Huss (Jan Hus), who was burnt at the stake here in 1415. He started a massive reformation movement and thus became a threat to the Catholic Church. However, his legacy survived and spread all over Europe. Visitors may not only find marked the place where he died, but also visit the Jan Hus Museum and a house where he lived before being taken prisoner. Konstanz was also the stage of many other religious events – the most famous of which is the schism during the 15th century, which also ended here when the conclave decided upon Pope Martin V. Konstanz was for centuries a strategic crossroad of several trade routes and even gained special imperial rights which exempt the town from taxation. Even though this right was eventually lost, the wealth and prosperity especially during the Middle Ages created a very impressive face of this town. The old town is full of beautiful churches, basilicas, cathedrals as well as tiny crooked streets which are still governed by the overwhelming atmosphere of the intriguing past. Konstanz is a great town to visit – rich history preserved in the architecture and charm, breathtaking natural setting, friendly people and welcoming culture. Konstanz has indeed lots to offer.  Related:TRIER: GERMANY’S HIDDEN ROMAN TREASUREWATERTOWER REDESIGNED – COLOGNE’S MOST AVANT-GARDE HOTEL

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