Reichenau Island, Germany Guide


The Vegetable Island

Reichenau Island is a UNESCO World Heritage site and major tourist destination on Lake Constance, especially interesting for those who would like to find out more about early medieval times and monasteries as repositories of knowledge. 

By the late 10th century the Abbey of Reichenau began hosting students of art and bookmaking, and eventually became well known as one of the leading centers for the production of illuminated manuscripts in Europe. You'll learn about each of the three Romanesque churches and  monastic buildings through small museums featuring displays meant to explain what you've just seen and enhance your understanding of monastic life on the island in general.

The island of Reichenau is also known for its vegetable gardens, and you'll see a celebration in the form of an artistic arrangement of fruits and vegetables in in the pictures below.

The island has ideal conditions for vegetable growing thanks to an above-average number of days of sunshine and the lake, which stores warmth and guarantees a plentiful supply of water. Here, it is quality, not quantity that counts. The 150 hectares of open land and 40 hectares of greenhouses are mostly planted by small family-run businesses. Germany’s most southerly growing area produces around 15,000 tonnes of vegetables per year. Cauliflowers, broccoli, fennel, cucumbers, kohlrabi, radishes, lettuce, celery, tomatoes – the list goes on and on. The focus is on growing and harvesting produce in harmony with nature. Along with its famous vegetables, the island can also offer fresh fish and its own wines, thanks to its two dozen professional fisherman and 20 hectares of vineyards. -- Lindau, Bodensee

How to Arrive at Reichenau

Reichenau island is located at Lake Constance between Radolfzell and the nearby town of Constance. While you can take a boat from the mainland, there is a 20 meter wide poplar-lined causeway containing a road, footpath and walking path to the island.

You can take a bus from Konstanz Sternenplatz to Reichenau Bahnhof. The 4.3 mile trip takes 15 minutes. A taxi from the center of town will take 9 minutes and cost a bit less than 20 euro.

Where to Stay

You can actually stay on the island with several options. Check out hotels on Booking.com

Compelling Curiosities

In the church of St. George, the  hall crypt for the the head of st. George lies below the choir. The eight murals depicted in the picture below are the largest surviving cycle of monumental wall paintings north of the alps dating from around 1000 AD.

Important relics? The holy blood relic, the bones of St. Mark, the pitcher of the wedding at Kana and the skull of St. George are all found in Reichenau. During the Festival of Mark on 25 April the bones of the Evangelist Mark are carried over the island in the shrine.

Take a look at our Lake Constance Map below to see the location of Meersburg and for more vacation ideas nearby.

Map of Lake Constance

Reichenau Island is located on the southern fork of the lake near the town of Constance.

The lake covers three countries, Switzerland, German and a corner of Austria.

map of lake constance showing reichenau island

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