Mittenwald in the Bavarian mountains –

the birthplace of good violins

Munich airportshuttle - a service from Mietwagen Lohfink - Office 0049-8134-558720 Mobilphone 0049-172-9607143 Fax 0049-8134-558722

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all town descriptions in German

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another good travel guide from Bavaria from my friend Helmut in Canada

Let's go in the Bavarian mountains – to Mittenwald

Hi everybody, here I'm again, your George (for those who know me). For new visitors a short introduction: my name is Joerg W. Lohfink – easier to call me George – and my job is driving people. In main in and around Bavaria and Austria handling my airport-shuttle from the Munich airport Franz-Josef-Strauss. There I pick up the most of my clients and drive them to their destinations, either hotels or vacations resorts.
In summer often to Passau for a Danube cruise too.

And now you are on my travelguide, where I'll try to give you a small taste of the beautiful Bavarian landscape, show you some scenery and hidden jewels from architecture and history. So you can get some suggestions, where your next vacation could be.



Today my „munich-airport-shuttle“, with space now for eight persons and lots of luggage, will bring you to the town Mittenwald. Do you like a short lesson in German? Ok, „mitten“ is in English „middle“ and „wald“ means „forest“ - so the town name explains the location: middle in the forest. German language is easy, isn't? :-)

If you have a map of Germany, you can follow me now like I explain: leaving the Munich airport we'll switch on the highway coming from
Passau via Landshut in direction Stuttgart. After a few miles we change over to the highway Nuernberg – Munich and will reach in shortly three quarters of an hour Munich itself.

Sometimes the traffic to and in Munich is very crowdy, then we can surround Munich in the north and reach the necessary highway Munich –
Garmisch-Partenkirchen on a another way, maybe driving through Starnberg on a marvellous lake.

The highway to Garmisch-Partenkirchen ends 14 miles before Garmisch, then we use the old Olympic Road and drive in direction
Innsbruck / Austria. More ande more we will be sourrounded by 3000 m high mountains and about 13 miles behind Garmisch we are there: Mittenwald in the mountains.


The first we'll see is the big church tower in town, on which you'll see very soon marvellous paintings. Maybe you see on our way into town one or two old rain rails. These were in former times usual because in the middle of the road the muddy water channel was built and the rain helps to clean. Here an old picture of former times.



The town Mittenwald is really an old town, once upon 2500 years a tribe named „Bojer“ settled here. These guys were like all Bavarians (I'm only kidding) strong, brave and made lots of robbering attacks to Italy. The old Romans were nasty about that, came over the mountains, conquered the area and build a small military camp to watch these guys and the street.

Between 500 and 1000 after J.Chr., the Romans had long time leaved the area, the town was nearly empty, because there were no food and the weather was lousy could too. Around only woods and mountains, no „tourists“ to that time also. But with the beginning middle ages traders from the South, especially those from Venice, found the old army way and came more and more to sell their goods in the North.

But the way through the mountains was very hard and so they needed a good rest station. That was the luck of the old town middle in the forests – Mittenwald offered warm houses, foodplaces, the horses and goods could be stored, so the town grew up again.

You can see it by the paintings on the old houses, only with money in the pocket a house owner can get these outfits.



Back to history a little bit. Maybe you know from history lessons in school, that in Europe there was a thirty-years long religious war around 1600. Although Mittenwald was very far away from the real battle fields the town has also to suffer under a lot of warlords, the traders stay away to save goods and live and so the town fall back in deep poorness.But one citizen of the town had a dream, here you can see his statue.



His name was Matthias Klotz, he liked music and dreamed to build same wonderful violins like Stradivaris and others well known peaces. So he went to Tyrolia where a famous violin-building master was living. With the learned knowledge he came back to the town after some years and gave a lot of families work and income.



Each family was specialized to one part of the violin body and so he could be seen as the „Henry Ford“ in violin manufacturing in Germany. But they had no running tapes to these times, but a lot of running kids (bringing the ready parts to a central point). First the selling was naturally slow, mostly monesteries, convents ore some aristocrats bought the instruments. But more and more the good name of these violins attracted clients and in the 19th century about 12 000 pieces a year were sold to America.



In our times, the town Mittenwald is more and more attractive for people who want relax and have a nice and convenient, but silent resort. The violin-time you can visit in a beautiful museum, but the town itself is also wonderful to discover. It seems with the first view not big, but to find all nice corners and views, you'll need good feet.

By the way „good feet“, in Mittenwald they have a „bare-feet-walk-path“ - a wonderful march without shoes and an unforgettable memory too. Very helpful to get new strength for your body and soul. But not in wintertimes, this path is only for warm seasons. In the winter, you can slide, skiing or play with curls – in summer, you have lots of interesting wandering pathes, nearly all possibilities in sports and the Austrian border is very near for visiting Tyrolia and the marvellous town Innsbruck.



In Mittenwald don't forget to visit the church inside, wonderful baroque artefacts are there to see. I'll now see, that I'll get some nice pieces of the tasty cakes in one of Mittenwalds cafes and then go back to Munich.

Via Bad Toelz, there is a client waiting for me to bring him to the airport in the evening. So, I wish you much fun in Mittenwald, maybe I can meet you there sometimes or bring you into.

With best regards, your George

Script and pictures by J.W.Lohfink

>> German version

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