Explore Baden-Württemberg Stuttgart Ludwigsburg Kloster Maulbronn Tübingen Ulm Upper Danube Valley The Bodensee Karlsruhe Heidelberg Mannheim Share Straddling the Swiss border on the southern side of the lake, the likeable university town of KONSTANZ came out of the war almost unscathed – it was deemed too close to neutral Switzerland to be bombed – ensuring its Altstadt is well preserved. Though with Roman origins, it’s largely medieval, dating back to when the town thrived as a free imperial city, gaining fame particularly between 1414 and 1418 when the Council of Konstanz met here to heal the Great Schism in the Catholic Church in a restructuring that replaced three popes with one. Altstadt sightseeing aside, Konstanz also makes a good base for day-trips to nearby islands, particularly Mainau and Reichenau. With one in seven of its population students, Konstanz is a bustling town, and the restaurant and bar scene unusually lively in this otherwise staid region. The town’s biggest annual festival is Seenachtsfest in August when the lake mirrors a firework bonanza.