Mittenwald: Scenic Germany
The town of Mittenwald is among the most scenic spots in the Bavarian region of Germany. From this spot, you can experience the grandiose of the Bavarian Alps along with the violin museum. This small German town has had a hundreds of years old violin making tradition. Many of the historically famous violin makers such as the kind of the great Matthias Klotz hailing from the 17th century resided here. One of the other fantastical parts about the houses here are that most of them have biblical figures painted on their outer walls, this is a site worth seeing
Mittenwald grew in popularity sometime in the early parts of the 20th century. At around this time infrastructure development projects were underway resulting in construction o many roadway networks. In the due course, the region witnessed a greater inflow of tourists because accessibility became much more convenient.
This town was also popular because of its marvellous scenic location and romantic sites. It is situated on the northern foothills of the Alps and going further on this route you can reach destinations such as Innsbruck and Austria among others. Mittenwald is equipped with every possible facility concerning adventure sports and sightseeing.
All about the Romance
Mittenwald historically has been the property of the Prince-Bishopric of Freising. He is said to have acquired the town back in the 14th century. The Mittenwald’s coat of arms was then recalled when Bavaria was secularised. The town then went on to develop as a major transit port supplementing the extended trade routes. 16th and the 17th centuries saw more amount of trade conducted between the Bavarian region and other monarchies like that of Spain, the Netherlands, and others.
Later on of course, the economy of the town changed as a result of their expertise in the manufacturing of string instruments such as violins, violas and cellos. This tradition began mid-17th century onwards and the Klotz family is credited for the positive turn.
There is no dearth of people who would not appreciate the simple natural beauty of Mittenwald. Some also say that it is the town’s fortune that not many manmade blunders were constructed here and as a result, the town maintains its medieval propensity of an Alpine village along with its conservative natural spirit.
You must check out the Obermarkt region that has numerous houses whose facades carry brilliant paintings and artworks. Goethe, a poet of German descent had famously said that here at Mittenwald “a picture book come alive,” and this is indeed true. The towns sometimes seem as though it has risen out of a fairy tale.
Back in the Middle Ages, Mittenwald was the central location of a transit system where goods came from the wealthy city states of Venice and went towards Brenner Pass and Innsbruck. By the way of this network, goods could be transported on smaller rafts which further would travel on river Isar and then reach Munich. Furthermore, as came the 17th century, the fortunes of the city started to vanish. This was mainly because the international trade route had shifted.
The tradition of Violin making
The town was not only of economic importance but quite a bit of a cultural tradition flowed within its streets and allies. Matthias Klotz who was a farmer’s son by inheritance, he in the year 1684 returned from his formative stay in the city of Cremona, Italy. He had studied under the guidance of the father of modern violins, Nicolo Amati. Carrying this experience Klotz returned back home to Mittenwald. He then went on to teach the various techniques and methods of violin making to his brother along with his other friends. In no time more than half of the town had been skilled in the profession. Therefore, among the numerous regional names, Mittenwald is also known as the “Village of Thousand Violins.” t
The craftsmen of the town procured wood for making violins from the nearby forest area and their skill, even today is regarded as the best in the world. If you happen to visit this small Alpine town in the right weather conditions then it is likely that you will catch a unique sight. During dry, sunny days craftsmen hang the violins outside so that they can attain their typical natural dark hues. Life was reinfused within this sleepy town back in the Middle Ages and it owes everything to the violin making tradition. In the recent times, Mittenwald has maintained its status of a cultural oasis simply because of this reason. The town further livens up at a certain point in the year when it hosts its famous violin making competition. In additional to the competition, there are numerous lectures and concerts that take place in the town hall. Among the most renowned festival is the St. Peter churches organ festival followed by St. Paul Church concert that is organised towards the end of July and September respectively.
The town is surrounded by a panorama of dramatic mountains. As far as reaching Mittenwald is concerned, you must be prepared to take the most beautiful train journey of your life. In this regard you can take the Karwendelbahn and this journey should not cost you more than 27 Euros per head. Mittenwald has its very own railway station that is the location on the Munich-Innsbruck railway line. Furthermore, trains going to Munich leave at an interval of one hour on the Deutsche Bahn network whereas the ones headed towards Innsbruck, they leave at an interval of two hours. Tourists have particularly insisted on taking the scenic journey between Mittenwald and Innsbruck. It is recommended by one and all.
The town’s location is precisely in the Karvendel Mountain range and the borders of Austria are quite close. On the west of Mittenwald, you can find Lautersee and Ferchensee, two very beautiful mountain lakes along with the Wettersteingebirge range.
River Isar flows through the town and it passes through the town centre along with the picturesque houses, classy and subtle cafes and vivid shops. The town’s 300-year-old history of manufacturing string instruments can be seen quite visibly in the very character of the town and its people. It is truly a haven for music lovers.
The best time to hike and trek in and around Mittenwald is during the warmer months. This is simply because all the plants and flowers are in their full bloom during this season. On the other hand, winters are not at all dull. The region receives ample snowfall and thus it become one of the best skiing destinations in the whole of Europe. At around this time you can take the Karwendel cable car or the Kranzberg-chair lift and scale the heights of the mountains.
If you wish to travel within the town then the ideal way to do that would be by renting a car. They might be pricey and hence not quite suitable for just a days’ worth of a trip. But in any case rented cars can be accessed in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Additionally, if you are here for a shorter period and don’t want to spend much then you might as well take the public transportation system. Buses are quite a convention and also otherwise there are buses which can take you on private torus to the nearby castles along with the surrounding sights. In this regard, you will have to consider the various tour packages that are available with the local travel agencies.
You must also keep in mind the following bus routes:
- The 9608: It is categorised as Oberbayernbus and travels between – Garmisch-Partenkirchen Post / Bf – Klais – Mittenwald – Krün – Wallgau – and Kochel am See.
- The 4186: It is classified as RegioBus Tirol and travels on the following line – Seefeld / Tirol – Gießenbach – Scharnitz – Mittenwald – Leutasch – Seefeld / Tirol – Reith – and Leithen.
- The Elmau: It is classified as Fa. Taxi contactor and travels between – Elmau bus: Mittenwald – Klais – and Elmau.
- The 040: It is classified as Fernbus and covers the following regions – Innsbruck – Seefeld (Rosshütte) – Mittenwald – Garmisch-Parte. – ZOB Munich (Hackerbrücke) – and Munich Airport.
The Violin Making Museum
The museum is divided into two sections. The first one deals with the local history of violin making and the second concerns itself with the various developments that the instrument went through beginning from the time of Matthias Klotz. The museum in its entirety houses approximately 200 instruments that were manufactured at the famous Mittenwald workshops.
Following schedule needs to be kept in mind if you decide to pay a visit to the museum:
The museum is open between Tuesday and Sunday from 10am – 5pm during the following months:
- February 1 – March 15,
- May 15 – October 14 and
- December 17 – January 6.
Also keep in mind that the Museum is closed on Mondays.
During this time, the museum follows the following schedule from 11am – 4pm each day:
- January 7 – 31,
- March 16 – May 14 and
- October 15 – November 4
Also, note that the Museum will remain closed from November 5 to December 16 and also between the 24th of December and 31st of December.
This is a list of the sites that can be visited in Mittenwald:
- In Gries,
- Village Mittenwald,
- Altstadt (Old Town),
- Ferchensee Lake,
- Leutaschklamm / Geisterklamm,
- Hoher Kranzberg,
- Skischule Alpenwelt Karwendel,
- Laintal Wasserfall,
- Mittenwalder Klettersteig,
- Peter und Paul