Mainau, "The Flower Island", is an island in Lake Constance in Germany. The island is 1.1 km long and 600 m wide with a total coastline of 3.2 km. The highest point is at 425 m.
HistoryUntil the Napoleonic mediatisations and secularisations of small German fiefs this island belonged to the Order of Teutonic Knights. It was later sold into private ownership. In 1853 Grand Duke Frederick I of Baden purchased the island as his personal property and built a summer palace there. At the end of World War I Baden became a republic with the abdication of Grand Duke Frederick II of Baden, son of Frederick I. The former Grand Duke retained his private property including Mainau (a controversial referendum to expropriate some of the remaining "private" property of the former ruling houses narrowly failed in 1926 for not meeting the 50% of eligible voters quorum). When he died childless in 1928 the island passed to his sister Victoria of Baden, wife of King Gustaf V of Sweden. Upon her death two years later she bequeathed the island to her second son Prince Vilhelm, Duke of Södermanland and his descendants. In 1932 Prince Wilhem gave Mainau to his only child Count Lennart Bernadotte of Wisborg who owned it until 1974 when he transferred the island to a foundation. Count Bernadotte formed Enterprise Mainau GmbH in 1991 as a private enterprise to manage the island for the benefit of the Lennart Bernadotte-Stiftung. The Count remained active in managing Mainau until his death in 2004 but appointed his second wife Sonja co-manager in 2001. Lennart's widow Sonja Countess Bernadotte af Wisborg and his children ran both the foundation and the management company until 2007. Since January 2007 Bettina Bernadotte, the eldest daughter of Lennart and Sonja Bernadotte, directs the Mainau GmbH as the current manager.
Flora and fauna
The Italian Rose Garden laid out geometrically with pergolas, sculptures, and fountains, and includes some 500 rose varieties. The Mediterranean terraces contain exotic pot plants, including palm trees, agaves, cacti, and Bougainvillea. The island as a whole contains about 30,000 rose bushes representing 1,200 varieties, and about 20,000 dahlias of 250 varieties.
ClimateDue to being inside a rather large lake, the climate of this island is rather distinct from other European places at the same latitude.
By carFrom Konstanz follow Mainaustraße. Cars are not allowed on the island and you have to park outside for €4 during main season and free during off-season.
By busFrom Konstanz take bus line 4.
phone: +49 7531 3640-0Offers regular boat services from most major cities e.g. Konstanz (€8.20), Überlingen (€8.20) and Meersburg (€6.80).
phone: +43 5574 42868Offers daily boat cruises to Mainau. The trip is about 3.5 hours. Adults between €26-49.90 from various locations on the lake. The price includes a return ticket and entry fee to the island.
By bicycleBicycles are not allowed on the island.
Main season (mid-Mar - mid Oct): €19 for adults, €11 for school children (13 and above) and students (with ID card), €39 for a family (2 adults and children under 16) and free for children (under 13). A special sunset ticket is available from 17:00, which offers half price on any ticket. Groups per person (minimum 10 people) cost €14.90.
Off-season (mid-Oct - mid-Mar): €9.50 for adults, concessions €5.50, group tickets €7.50. The family ticket and sunset ticket are not available. Parking is for free.
You will have to walk as no vehicles or bicycles are allowed on this island. Most but not all of the island is accessible to people in wheelchairs.
The CastleThe Castle of the Teutonic Order is the architectural highlight of the island located in the eastern part. The royal Bernadotte family still lives in the parts of the building.
Palm HouseThe Palm House is the exotic heart of Mainau with palms and orange trees and a stunning view from the castle terrace.
ButterflyhouseOne of the main highlights on the island is the tropical butterfly house. See hunderts of butteflies while walking through the humid rainforest house. It is the secand largest of its kind in Germany.
ArboretumA park with a collection of old and huge trees.
address: TorbogenkellerDuring the main season, every first and third Friday of the month you can taste the wine from the island. The tasting starts at 15:30 and takes 30 min.
phone: +49 7531 303-156Cheaper quick lunches during the day and fine dining in the evening. If you have a reservation, you are allowed to drive on the island from 18:00 and park next to the restaurant.
ComtureyIn this area you can find a restaurant, a bakery, a beer garden and an ice cream shop.
SchlosscaféCafe offering a large selection of different coffees. Also has teas, cakes and ice cream.
Rothaus-SeeterrassenSelf-service restaurant and café with outside seating area right at the lake.
phone: +49 7531 303-156Offers various barbecued sausages and beverages.