Guided tours in Constance
The old store of Constance
Pyre of the Bohemian
The beautiful Imperia of the Council of Constance
Who never knew the time before 1789, has never lived at all.
M. de Talleyrand (1764-1838), French bishop, statesman and foreign minister (Congress of Vienna)
City tours in Constance - choose between different topics!
We take you round the corners - and indeed to the most beautiful, historic places of the medieval town of Constance!
During a historical city tour, stroll along the medieval streets of the old city and explore its history from the early Celts to modern times. Become acquainted with emperors, kings, clergy, heretics, monasteries, and courtesans. Get to know what happened during the Council of Constance from 1414 - 1418, and take a look at the medieval sewerage system.
Our locally knowledgeable guides are experienced for more than 20 years by thousands of city tours - means that we know every little corner! We have made it our mission to show you in a entertaining, lively and witty, but also informative way our home city. We will open your eyes for the essential and put across historic events and contexts as an infotainment, offering you a wide range of different, well-founded topics about the local and the medieval history.
A city tour takes about 1 ½ hours. This is enough time to provide a broad overview of the city of Constance and its history. But we would be happy to provide more time with you showing you one or another corner more.
Choose among our list of topics your favorite city tour! The most common one is our classical tour Constance yesterday and today, providing you a good overview. Of course you can combine the topics. We are sure you will find your favourite tour!
The tours start normally at the historic clock at the port of Constance (see photo right), next to the ticket counter of the ship operations and beside the the so-called 'Konzil', de medieval store of Constance.
We would also be glad to arrange another meeting point with you or we pick you up at your accommodation, at the railway station or wherever you want!
You will find our price list for guided tours below.
Meeting point: Historic clock at the port of Constance
Guided Tours in Constance - our topics
The so-called 'Council', former store of Constance
Our most common city tour!
Classic tour through the historic old town, about the Celts, Romans, Alemans, about the time as a trade center, the Council of Constance, the Reformation, the affiliation to Tyrol, up to the present time as a city of education (Excellence University!), tourism and part of the EU external border.
Experience the history of Constance firsthand, and learn more about what was going on during the last 5000 years. Your view will open up to the often hidden treasures, and the city's rich heritage.
The Pope in Lodi, 1413*
Since 2014 there is a great celebration in Constance: the 600th anniversary of the Council of Constance, where the unity of the church has been restored and even been elected a pope.
Follow the traces left in the town (and in the world) by this formative event of the 15th century. Learn the main things about, and feel the effects which have remained until the present time. On this city tour with emphasis on the Council, you will experience history and stories about the big church meeting between 1414 and 1418.
Embark on a journey through the time, get to know the actors (and actresses) of the time of the Council of Constance, and listen to the anecdotes from that time.
Nevertheless - for nearly 4 years it was discussed, maneuverd, negotiated, quarrelled, deceived, loved, married, died, murdered, spied, canonized, eaten, celebrated, elected, enfeoffed, imperial diets were held, others were put unter the imperial ban, political decisions were taken and many more ...
2014 - 2018: 600th Anniversary of the Council of Constance
We offer special guided tours to the places and events of the Council time!
From 2014 onwards, there will be celebrations in Constance due to the 600th Anniversary of the Council of Constance, where the unity of the church was restored and even a pope elected. The City of Constance commits that anniversary with numerous events, exhibitions and celebrations.
City tour with Seniors
This city tour is particularly suitable for older age groups who don't get along so fast, but nevertheless are curious about making an exciting and entertaining city tour through a city steeped in history.
All good things come from above ...
It's not only nowadays that we have a problem with the waste disposal. And we're not the first ones who are very inventive to recycle our legacies in a creative way ...
Take a walk through medieval fire streets and win an illuminating look at the waste management of former times and the clever ideas our ancestors had in matters of waste disposals. Put your nose into the old sewerage system and the furthest and wicked corners, gaining revealing glimpses at the former waste management, when citizens weren't so highly sensitive as they are today.
And you finally will know why we actually greet with 'Hello' ...
Bust of Bianca Maria Sforza, at the Emperor Fountain in Constance
(Staged guided tour)
We find ourselves in the year 1417. The imperial city of Constance is hosting the Council, the first european General Assembly, and bursting at all seams due to its many foreign visitors.
Mrs. Konstanze, a chatty and well informed spouse of a merchant and city councilman, will dedicate her time for you to take you through the town, currently the center point of the Occidental happening.
You are closely involved when Mrs. Konstanze tells you the latest gossip, because as a Dame of the medieval-urban society she's very well informed of what's going on in this exciting time of the Council:
What currently is discussed by the Council assembly, what's the state of the Bohemian heretic Jan Hus, who's killing who, who's getting married, who lives where, who's falling into disgrace, who's trying to escape, what's it all about the countless public women, what the female citizens are doing to enhance their houshold budget, what is a 'Council child', who's on the way as a paparazzo, and what the city council imploringly is doing to manage the current world event.
Immerse yourself into the medieval city of the Council and listen to (hi)stories coming directly from the mouth of a skillful burgess of Constance!
Please note: for this staged guided tour we make a surcharge of 100,00 €.
The hangman at his work
(Staged guided tour)
In the Middle Ages, robbery scum was "pilloried and the nose mutilated, executed by the headsman" and after this 'expelled from the country for all eternity'.
Repeat offenders and especially murders received death penalty, whose cruelness was subject to the offence. Executions were a real funfair, like in a procession the delinquent was taken to the place of execution, under the jeers and catcalls of the many spectators, and not infrequently maltreated with redhot tongs by the hangman.
After all, the hangman, as the extended arm of the Blood Court, was responsible to kill the villains. However, he also could provoke the people’s anger by doing his bloody trade too shoddily …
Follow the hangman of Constance on his enjoyable-scary way through the medieval town and listen to his gruel stories about execution rituals, knife drawers, murders, swindlers, bag grippers, footpads, church thieves, muggers, and all their mean tricks in the old Swabia. Get to know the 'Old Lisel', the 'Dotted Jack', 'Jack from Constance', the 'Black Veri' and all kinds of scoundrels.
Please note: for this staged guided tour we make a surcharge of 100,00 €.
Wine taverns in the Niederburg are waiting to be discovered!
Join us on a tour through the Niederburg, the oldest district of Constance!
After the Romans had to give up their fort 'Constancia', the Alemanic fishing settlement developed rapidly to a town, which in the Middle Ages was called 'Costenz' or 'Costnitz', being already an Episcopal city since the end oft he 6th century.
The Niederburg is situated between the bank of the Rhine and the minster of Constance, the 'Bishop’s palace'. This district was a result of the establishment of the bishop and the St. Mary’s Minster, first mentioned in the year 612 in the context of Saint Gall.
Medieval stone houses, some of them from the 12th century, supplemented by Benefice Houses of the canons, impressively administration buildings from the baroque era and last not least numerous old wine taverns with a cozy atmosphere are still dominating the old district. Here we can find houses with names like 'The Black Buck', 'The Rainbow' or 'Purgatory': By strolling through the old, narrow alleys and with our anecdotes, the vivid impression of a very good preserved medieval town is given.
Please note: the Meeting point for this tour is at the main entrance of the Minster.
The Minster of Constance
Take a journey through 1.300 years of diocesan history!
Learn about a monk named Gallus, about the 'Roma segunda' of the Holy Konrad, the time of the Council of Constance, learn about reformation and secularization until the time of the last diocese administrator Baron Wessenberg and the dissolution of the diocese in the 19th Century.
Discover the hidden corners of old religious buildings and enjoy insights into the lives of medieval monastery residents and canons.
Not only inside the cathedral we'll open your view to the historic, cultural, architectural and artistic foretimes of the churches and monasteries, but also you will visit some more important churches in the city, being their numerous historic-cultural art treasures a precious heritage.
Old postcard of Constance and the lake
Constance and Zurich – what do they have in common? Right, on Saturdays the number of Swiss ist nearly the same in both cities, both were Swabian Imperial cities in former times and nowadays both are still Swiss municipalities… You did not even know that? Well, Constance is situated in the Swiss canton of Thurgau, geographically…
Explore in an exciting round trip the historical events that had led to the coexistence and disassemble between, on the one hand, Constance as a diocesan town, Swabian Imperial city, Austrian provincial town and district town of Baden, and, on the other hand, the neighbourly Swiss confederation. Learn what makes to continue to create differences, considering for example the current high exchange rate of the Swiss Franc, or the green export certificates…
Learn, what kind of calamity was conjured by the abbot of St. Gallen 600 years ago, how a coin from Bern once did mischief, what is really about the border line between Constance and Kreuzlingen, and what’s the reason why Constance never became a "real" Swiss town, although de jure it has the status of a Swiss municipality…
We will be pleased to tell you the How and Why regarding this situation, and by the way you will learn a lot about the Swiss history!
The former Dominican monastery
600 years ago the Bohemian reformer Jan Hus was burnt alive, and in 2017 we commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
On the tracks of the great reformers Jan Hus, Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli we take you on a historical but nevertheless current tour through the Catholic dominated town.
Constance was one of the 14 imperial cities, which, in 1529, requested the rehabilitation of Martin Luther and the remorseless spread of he Protestant faith at the Diet of Speyer in the so-called 'Protestation'.
Nevertheless Constance was more under the influence of Zwingli than of Luther.
Explore on this tour what induced the Episcopal town of Constance to adhere to the reformation, what happened here during the 30 years of Reformation, what unified Luther and Zwingli and what separated them, why the Bishop emigrated "across the pond", and what kind of marks of the Reformation have been left to the present.
Scenery in a medieval brothel
You perhaps know the fate of Iny Lorentz' fictional character Marie Schärer?
Follow the history of the medieval Constance and her 699 official fellows through the Constance of the Council, visiting the locations of the novel.
Learn about the respective events during the Council time, listen to stories of seductive courtesans, of 'common and open women', brothels belonging to the city council, exploitative brothel owners and forbidden punters, gaining a glimpse into the life, love and suffering of prostitutes and courtesans in the Middle Ages.
1499: The Swabian War at the gates of Constance.**
The inhabitants from Constance don’t have nothing against Swabians – at least nothing that would help…
Nevertheless, Constance spent more time belonging to Swabia than to Baden. In this city tour we are offering (winking) a humorous tour exclusively for Swabians and all which want to become Swabians or maybe secretly already are (although they are loath to admit it…)
Embark on a Swabian journey of discovery through the formerly Swabian Imperial city, situated on the border of the Swabian Sea. Come with us back to the time when Constance was connected with Swabian robber barons and formed part of the Swabian Union.
Learn how the Swabian War of 1499 ended for Constance, why the most famous celebrity of Constance built his Zeppelins on Swabian land, to which noble Swabian family the local patron belonged, which traces had left the Swabian Staufer Emperors in the town and how impossible it is to remove the Swabian heirs out of the town until today.
Of course you also will learn about the state of the rescue of Swabians in distress at lake. And listen to the ode of the Council participant and minstrel Oswald von Wokenstein to the 'proud Swabian woman'.
Our city guide is Swabian with migrant background (Swabian-Franconian ancestors and descendants of Baden), who lives in the Baden exile since more than 30 years. The tour will be realized preferentially in Swabian dialect, so you can study a little bit Swabian along the way. But if you want it in English, an interpreter will be consulted - free of charge.
*Nowadays, on the battlefield in the foreground, the district of Stadelhofen is situated. In the background the (white) town gate named "Schnetztor"
Fragment of the oldest banner of Tyrol (around 1500)
You are Tyrolean (or at least Austrian), and you always wanted to know, what kind of Austrian-Tyrolean foretime Constance has?
Well, it’s quite a lot, this much can be revealed! And maybe you ask yourself, when and how the Lacus Brigantius –the Lake of Bregenz- mutated to the Lake of Constance, and why only a little bit of the lake belongs to Austria (making the purchase of an own marines unprofitable)? Maybe you also want to know, which Tyroleans (and other Austrians) wrote poems and history in Constance, why there is a Tyrolean Alley in Constance and why all the houses have numbers, some of them even adorned by the emblem of Austria?
So you’re at the right place with this city tour, because you will find out this and much more on this theme-walk!
Dip into the Austrian-Tyrolean heritage of Constance and you will be surprised! And finally, if you like, you can finish off the tour with a piece of Sacher cake in a cafe not far from the Tyrolean Alley …
During the Council:
Constance is shaped until now by the life and work of its Jewish inhabitants.
Nevertheless, since the Middle Ages the Jewish of Constance were exposed more than once to presecution, discrimination and Pogroms. Whether if town fires, epidemics or foul water – a lot of times the blame was put on the Jewish. But they had however contributed to the economic success, with their commitment and efficiency up to the modern era.
Come and join our graduated historian and expert of jewish history through the modern Constance. Visit the places which remembers the past, such as the former synagogues or ritual baths. Experience the Jewish past of the old Council city and the wish present in the modern Constance.
Napoleon III. (1857), portrait from Franz Xaver Winterhalter
The busy trading activity of the medieval Constance brought quite early French influence to the town. Since the time of the Council, at the latest, when exotic culinary delights brought by the 'Franzoni', the ambassadors of the French nation, took hold in the Council city (the chronicler Richental tells us of frogs, snails and other delicacies), the Frech savoir-vivre became apparent to the awareness of the inhabitants of Constance.
Finally, the modern times brought numerous French visitors to the Lake Constance, such as the essayist Montaigne, but also political refugees, among them with Napoleon III. one of the most celebrity French. And last not least, during the Coalition Wars and after the Second World War, the French occupying forces left their traces still present in Constance.
Take part in an entertainig and interesting journey with our See-Guide-expert and romance philologist through the town situated on the Lac de Constance, tracing the French past and present. We would be pleased to accompany you also to the Napoleon Castle Arenenberg.
This tour is perfectly suitable for student groups who slave away at school with their French lessons. With pleasure the tour will be carried out in a French easy to understand, according to the level.
Not all roads leads to Rome...
Even though you don't believe it, but Spain and the Spaniards played one and another decisive role in the history of Constance. For example, you still carry along the 'Spaniard Street' (Spanierstraße) before crossing the Rhine bridge, in order to proceed to the historic center of the city.
During the Council of Constance, in 1417, the Council meeting lift de Spaniard Pedro de Luna, also known as 'Papa Luna' or Pope Benedict XIII., out of his position – well, at last they tried to.
At this time, the international espionage found its way to Constance in the person of a Spanish jester called Mossén Borra, commissioned by the Spanisch king of Aragon, meanwhile Spanish theologians discuted against Conciliarism, and the Tyrolean minstrel Oswald von Wolkenstein came back to Constance from a diplomatic mission to the Iberian Peninsula, decorated with the Spanisch-Aragonese jug medal.
131 years later, Spanisch soldiers terminated the imperial freedom of the city of Constance, and nowadays there are several Spanisch restaurants in the town, which deserve to be visited ;-)!
Finally, the pilgrim path 'Schwabenweg', as an important section of the Way of St. James, arises in the minster. In former times, the pilgrims came to receive their blessing before they set off to their journey to Santiago de Compostela, under the eyes of St. George, patron saint of the Catalans, and St. Teresa de Avila, mystic and patron saint of Spain.
Wiborada, the anchoress of
Fear and terror was spread in the 10th century by the raids of the Magyar veldt riders, also and above all on the Lake Constance.
In 926, they plundered the monastery of St. Gallen, and it was only many years later, in 955, that they suffered a decisive defeat by Otto the Great, at Lechfeld near Augsburg, whereby incidentally also men from Constance were involved.
In any case, obviously this experience engraved into the collective memory, because during the stay of the German-Bohemian-Hungarian(!) King Sigismund in Constance, as the wordly patron of the Council, his Hungarian bodyguards aroused highest displeasure in the town: The Hungarians are doing mischief and they do not know how to behave, so the people from Constance agreed, and whenever there was a 'running around and a hue', they were walking together to chastice the Hungarians – this is what’s relating us the chronicle Richental laconically.
Nevertheless, during the Council almost the entire Hungarian aristocracy was in Constance, and King Sigismund gave enfeoffments and privileges also to them, but only in return for extraordinary services, as Richental tells us...
What kind of return services this were, and many things more, you will learn on this amusing guide tour with specific mention to the particular part of Hungary and its delegates during the Council of Constance.
The Magical Mystery Tour
On this guided tour you experience the mysterious and mystical Constance!
Discover mysterious symbols, magical signs, magical signs, quaint occurrences, dark corners, oracularly sayings, occult representations, demonic figures, macabre pictures and abysmal allegories. Listen to dreadful stories and come to know about miraculous incidents from the past.
Unravel the secrets of the medieval town of the Council! This guided tour is not only suitable for the dark evening hours, it also provides creepy moments during today. Of course also appropriate for school classes!
Sculptures by Peter Lenk
We have something against dry and tasteless city tours!
The production area of the wine of Constance is small, but nice. Unfortunately, the local wine is exposed to severe risks: every year the major part of it is being destroyed by the local communities in a 4-day-meeting in July or August, the so-called Wine-Festival ...
So make sure to get a small part of the remaining stock, saved out of the wine-festival-hustle by brave and undaunted citizens!
You can complete (almost) each of our guided tours with a wine tasting! For this purpose, a tipical wine tavern will offer you different varieties of local wine, along with a glass of sparkling wine or a glass of wine spirits, accompanied by a pretzel or a selection of antipasti. Incidentally you can also learn more about (hi)stories aroung the viniculture on the Lake Constance, among others also what this revealing lady on the left has to do with the wine of Constance.
Additional charge for each person: 25,00 € for a wine tasting with pretzel, 30,00 € for a wine tasting with antipasti (depending on availability). Wine tastings should be booked as soon as possible!
Or maybe you have other carvings? Maybe appetite for cheese, chocolate, seafood, sausages, handmade jelly babies, cold ice cream, hot tea or coffee specialities, a cocktail or a fresh, local handmade German beer? We would be happy to arrange enjoyable and delicious tastings as a culinary 'cherry on the cake' for your city tour! Charges according to product and on request.
Boat trip on the Lake Constance
A city tour by a motorboat is a very special experience! We take care of the boat charter, and you simply enjoy some pleasant hours on a boat trip on the Lake Constance and the river Rhine.
Seen from the lake, the impressions are more intense, and by our competent guidance you will learn a lot about the City of Constance, the lake and the seafaring on the Lake Constance, which changed over the past 100 years from cargo to excursion ships. According to the tour, the trip takes between 1,5 and 2 hours. The boarding to the ship is possible at the port of Constance or on a jetty in a suburb.
For these roundtrips we ask you to make your reservation as soon as possible.
Price on request and according to the season.
City tour for blind and partially-sighted persons
In TOUCH with the history!
Learn about the old Council city by feeling, listening and smelling! You will be surprised at what old -and new- stones are can tell you, how the acoustics of a room reflects su function and how 1000 years of past times smells!
Listen also to many stories and anecdotes from the past and the presence of Constance that have never been heard before.
Small Rhine canal
In cooperation with Greentours we are offering the first guided tour that focussed specially on the issue of sustainability.
This city tour is refreshingly different, because instead of history we will show you ways of an environment-concious living style, alive and very practically. We cater to all who are interessted in the topics of sustainability and urban development, and who like to learn more about.
On our way across the city we will present different stores, campaigns and associations who have made sustainability their business.
You will also get many useful informations about different labels of garments, food, and fair trade. Also suitable for school classes!
Groups may book additionally a tasting of regional products. In this way, the city tour is becoming a tasty treat and a common experience (on request).
Prices for the Green City Tour (Duration approx. 1 ½ hrs.): Groups up to 25 persons: € 150,00 / Student groups: € 140,00
City tour with a students group
We also are offering special tours for children up to 12 years with only 1 hour of duration and a special, children apted content.
The children will be investigating a ghouhlish old sewerage system, discovering weird details at the numerous wallpaintings of the town, casting a glance at the secret treasures inside the Cathedral, puzzling over the old Roman Castle and learning incidentally a lot about the famous Council of Constance.
For youths / school classes over 12 years we are offering tours with a duration of 1 ½ hrs.
Special price: € 130,00 (up to 20 youths + 2 teachers, each additional = € 5,00).
Children and youths up to 14 years are admitted free if accompanied to a group of adults.
Up to 2 adults / teachers are admitted free if accompanied to a school class.
Peacocks at the Kaiserbrunnen
Bestially city tour for children from 6 years on age
Everywhere you can find animals: there a unicorns, several bears, apes, all kinds of poultry, awkward hoofed mammals or such with stumple-suspected 8 legs, even a flying ox, marine mammals, critters ...
A perfect program for children's birthdays (meanwhile the adults are having a cup of coffee ...).
Drawing lessons with Luise Merle
with the painter and sculptresse Luise Merle
Equipped with a sketch pad and apencil, this creative city tour takes you to selected historic places in the city of Constance, provides facts about the city, its history and architecture and combines it with on-site drawing lessons.
Basic knowledge of drawing technique will be transmitted by buildings or cityscapes. Particular attention will be given to the graphical representation of the perspective. For beginners and advanced learners.Duracion approx. 1 ½ hrs.
Prices per person and for 1 ½ hours (including equipment): € 16,50
Rheintor tower, Constance
The visitors of the Council came from all directions and went back there - even some have fled!
The wellknown author of numerous books about the Lake Constance, Dr. Patrick Brauns, will take you to a round tour on the north-south and the east-west axes, whereby the most important scenes of the Council are being located along these two axes.
The entire route has a total length of approx. 4 km, and it takes you to the centre of the City of Constance, which is often overcrowded in summertime, leading you to the boarder line of Switzerland. On this tour you will follow the old Roman road, from the Rhine bridge to the Schnetztor (north-south-axe), and the ways between the port of Constance ant the Tägermoos near by the Rhine, situated in Swiss territory (east-west-axe).
The duration of this tour is approx. 3 hours, including a stop for a bite to eat or to drink, where you can trace the three most important questions, as they are: where do we come from, where do we got to, and what do we drink thereunto?
Please note: for this tour we make a surcharge of 100,00 €.
Or do you want a different theme? Ask us, we know!
A guided tour takes approximately 1 ½ hours and is only feasible by means of walking (car-free city center). Bookable at your desired appointment, for individuals and groups.
Give us a call or write us and make your appointment. Short-time appointments can been made at any time!
Call us at 0049 - 7531 - 284 6643 or 0049 - 176 - 508 298 09 (mobil) or write us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are at your service around the clock, also on the weekends!
We will always give you good advice!
Our prices for classic city tours (in €):
Small groups up to 5 persons
Mon-Thu 100,00 / Fr-Sun 120,00
Groups of 6 - 10 persons
Groups of 11 - 15 persons
Groups of 16 - 20 persons
Groups of 21 - 25 persons
Groups of 26 - 30 persons
each additional person
Schoolclasses (up to 20 pupils),
Prices valid for bookings until 31/12/2021
The prices apply for a guided tour in English. Duration approx 1 ½ hours.
For guided tours after 18.00 o'clock a surcharge of € 10,00 will be charged.
Children and youths up to 14 years are admitted FREE if accompanied to a group of adults.
A bad omen: The Popes accident. John XXIII at the Arlberg, on the way to the
Foreign bakers in the Council time, preparing obviously pizza...*
Fishmarket in the Council time
* Cronicle of Ulrich Richental, Constance edition (15th century)
** Federal Swiss Cronicle of Diebold Schilling (15/16th century)