For hundreds years, the German town of Constance had the opportunity to witness both great, as well as cruel events. Events that had a huge impact on the world, but not necessarily good one. The city located on the Lake Constance has a good story to tell to anyone, who wants to visit it.
In 2015 it will be 600 years since the events that shook the foundations of European Catholicism. On July 6th, 1415, the Czech reformer Jan Hus, was burned at the stake in the German city of Constance. He died because he wasn’t scared to preach his views – considered controversial even today. He came to Constance to attend the council, but what he found here was only death.
On the ashes of the stack
We don’t know exactly what has caused bigger rage of the highest ecclesiastical authorities – Hus’s sermons or the response of the people. Anyways, it was decided to silence the outspoken orator once and for all. How? It’s not hard to guess. The priest was accused of heresy, calling false witnesses, after what he was sentenced to be burned at the stake. Hus however, was not only going to burn. He was supposed to disappear from human memory, be literally erased from the history. The clergy put a lot of effort to cover every trace he could leave - including the physical, in the form of bones or piece of clothing, so they won’t ever serve as relics. They had also built immensely big stack.
But what had happened later is pretty ironic. Instead of disappearing, the preacher from the Czech Republic became an icon, and the place of his execution - the spark of never ending Hussite wars. 500 years later, in Prague’s Staromestske Namesti erected a giant statue of him. Moreover, July 6, is a Czech national holiday (free of work).
On the wall of the house in Constance, where Hus lived before his death, you can see a plaque. In the place, where the stack was built, now is a memorial stone - from home of the clergyman you can reach it within 15 minutes.
But Constance is not only a dark reminiscent of the past. It's a beautiful city located on Lake Constance. Among others, it’s famous for a great festival Konstanzer Seenachtfest, organized annually on the second Saturday of August. During the event, Constance is filled with hordes of tourists attracted by this huge party, including fireworks shining out over the lake.
The most important monument of Constance is the Cathedral of Our Lady. Equally notable are: the old and the new city hall, Late Gothic Church of St. Stefan, the city gate from the fourteenth century, and the city theater. It’s impossible to omit the place of the election of Pope Martin V, which is Konzilgebäude.
The beauty of Lake Constance
Although Constance lies on the Swiss side of Lake Constance, we have to remember that it is a German city - especially when it comes to the currency. There’s Euro, not Swiss Francs.
By the lake stretches a shaded, well-maintained promenade, where guests can sit down on one of the many benches. Both the shore, as well as the lake itself is beautiful. One of its biggest attractions is the flower island of Mainau, with a garden of tropical plants. Among the sea of flowers you can find orange and lemon trees, palm trees and redwoods. During the spring and summer this place is wonderful.
On the other hand, on the island of Reichenau, you can visit the Swiss city of St. Gallen with the monastery and abbey’s library, recognized as the most beautiful library in the world.
With motorhome by the lake
Those, who are interested in visiting Constance won’t have any troubles finding a place to rest - Lake Constance region boasts of an extensive accommodation base. At a distance of approx. 4 km from the city center, close to the swimming area of Hörnle (10 minutes walk), there’s Campingplatz Bruderhofer. The cost of a parking space is 9 euros per day, while an adult accommodation - 6.50 euros. A three-minute shower costs EUR 0.50.
In addition to the azure waters of famous Lake Constance, it also offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy the Alps and the Swiss band of Seerücken. When we add the number of museums, old city charm and the atmosphere of cafes and coffee shops, we will understand why the locals are so proud to live here.