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The German Alpine Road

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Those ornate castles, picturesque abbeys, and clear mountain lakes don't just exist in fairytales. They live in the Bavarian Alps. Just two hours from Munich, the 300-mile German Alpine Road winds along the Germany-Austria border from Berchtesgarden at Lake Königssee to Lindau at Lake Constance. Meadows, forests, and farm villages set the scene for this region's old and enchanting way of life. Not to mention the 20 mountain lakes and 25 castles, palaces, and abbeys.
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Named for Saint Bartholomew the Apostle, patron of alpine farmers and dairymen, St. Bartholomew's Church is located on the western shores of beautiful Lake Königssee. Founded in 1134 and later rebuilt in 1697, the church is still the sight of an...
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Obersee, 83471 Schönau am Königssee, Germany
My fiancé and I spent the morning at the Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden surrounded by a cloud. Of what is supposed to be the most beautiful panoramic view of the Alps, we could't see a thing. Still hoping for the day to clear, we descended the...
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83209 Herrenchiemsee, Germany
... a mini version of it. Bavaria's King Ludwig II certainly did have a passion for the extraordinary just like King Louis the XIV did. He build the famous Neuschwanstein Castle that served as a model for the the Walt Disney Castle and the castle...
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Kampenwandstraße 85, 83229 Aschau im Chiemgau, Germany
Sixteen apartments—plus a library and wine cellar—owned by German furniture designer Nils Holger Moormann sit at the foot of the Bavarian Alps. Inside a 17th-century estate, Moormann’s modern interiors are fashioned from brick, clay, and untreated...
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Bayrischzeller Str. 13, 83727 Schliersee, Germany
Slyrs, Germany's largest whisky distillery and first single-malt maker, proves that it's not all about beer and wine in Bavaria. The whisky is matured three years before it is bottled and sold in very limited amounts. Visitors can tour the...
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83646 Bad Tölz, Germany
Each year on November 6, the small Bavarian town of Bad Tölz celebrates Leonhardifahrt. The highlight is a grand procession of horse-drawn hand-painted carriages covered in flowers and carrying the town's women and children, who are elaborately...
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Innsbrucker Str. 13 D, 82481 Mittenwald, Germany
Some friends had been hiking in Austria in May and had to cut the trip short because of an unexpected blizzard. After all day hiking in the snow and not prepared for it, we came to a hut that was open to guests run by a woman named Helga. Helga...
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Ballenhausgasse 3, 82481 Mittenwald, Germany
Immerse yourself in Mittenwald’s violin history at the Geigenbaumuseum. On-site luthiers demonstrate violin carving. This appeared in the August/September 2014 issue.
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Wildenauerstraße 26a, D-82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
This region of Germany is near the Austrian border and offers the type of scenery you would imagine for this part of the world: jagged mountain peaks, cows grazing in rolling green meadows, and charming little Bavarian villages and churches. It's...
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82488 Ettal, Germany
Move over Switzerland. The southern part of Germany offers stunning panoramas, Alpine lakes by the dozen, quaint Alpine villages, and the world's largest ice caves. What's more, it's the getaway to the most romantic road in the world. The German...
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Linderhof 12, 82488 Ettal, Germany
Schloss Linderhof might be the smallest of the three palaces built by King Ludwig II, but it is nothing short of extravagant. Inspired by France's Palace of Versailles, this "Royal Villa" is the only palace that King Ludwig II lived to see...
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Kreislainenweg, 82487 Oberammergau, Germany
Zipping down the foothills of the German Alps in an alpine coaster, I screamed out of fear and fun. And my husband, Shawn, quickly learned a new German word: Bremsen (brakes)! Seeking an Alpine adrenaline rush in Oberammergau, a tiny town situated...
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Kappellaine 1, 82497 Unterammergau, Germany
As we sauntered closer to the village of Unterammergau, Germany, horses trotted past us, their highly decorated manes and tails blowing in the late autumn breeze. Not to be outdone by the animals’ distinguished appearances, the horse owners also...
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The Pilgrimage Church of Wies at Pfaffenwinkel (Wieskirche) is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Considered by UNESCO as "a masterpiece of human creativity and an exceptional reminder of a lost cultural tradition," the church is known for its...
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Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany
Few sights encapsulate the magical feel of the Bavarian Alps like Neuschwanstein Castle. The impressive towers, vast halls, and mountain-top setting bring out your inner child, transporting you back to a time of bedtime stories and...
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Alfred-Nobel-Platz 1, 88131 Lindau (Bodensee), Germany
Lindau originally began as a small town on an island in Lake Constance. Today the city of Lindau expands beyond its historic island to just beyond the eastern banks of the lake. In addition to the Medieval architecture, check out the Lindau...