Popular hiking destination on Überlinger See
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Attention: Complete lock
The Marienschlucht is completely closed until further notice due to a landslide! It cannot be reached on foot or by boat. Access is forbidden. An inspection is not possible. There is a danger of collapse.
The Marienschlucht is a popular hiking destination on the southern shore of Lake Überlingen, a sidearm of Lake Constance that branches off at Überlingen and Konstanz. It is located near Langenrain, between the holiday resorts of Wallhausen and Bodman-Ludwigshafen. The entire shore is a steep bank: in places, the mountain falls almost vertically more than two hundred metres into the depth. Several narrow streams have dug their way into the rock. The gorges are in some places only about one meter wide.
A short excursion into history
The Marienschlucht was opened to tourists in 1897. The immediate occasion was the engagement of Othmar von Bodman, a son of the local noble family of Bodman, to Maria Gräfin von Walderdorff. The area belonged to the Counts of Bodman, Othmar's fiancée Maria lent her name to the gorge: She was also known as the "Bride Maria Gorge". As part of the tourist marketing, a jetty was built and a restaurant was established. Today a kiosk is open to visitors as a rest stop.
The gorge was renovated several times during the 20th century. Due to rain, scree and falling tree trunks, the stairs and footbridges leading into the gorge are repeatedly exposed to severe damage. Thus the gorge was no longer passable at Easter 2005 after heavy rain and a landslide. However, the accesses were comprehensively secured and were fully accessible again since May 2008. According to current figures, around 150,000 visitors visit the gorge every year.
The entrance area has been decorated with a relief of the Virgin Mary since 1986. The relief was commissioned by the then head of the Earl's family of Bodman, Wilderich von und zu Bodman. The work of art was made by Markus Daum.
Places of interest
Kargegg Castle was built at the beginning of the 13th century, probably on behalf of the nobility of Möggingen. In the course of the 15th century, the castle changed hands several times and last belonged to the lords of Bodman. In May 1525, amid the riots of the peasant war, the castle was destroyed by rebellious peasants. Since nothing was done against the decay of the buildings, today only some wall remains of the former residential tower are preserved. But the ruin is definitely worth a hike.
A completely different attraction is the so-called Teufelstisch. With this name, one describes a rock needle before the steep coast of the Überlinger lake, about one kilometre west of Wallhausen. The Teufelstisch rises about ninety metres from the bottom of the lake and ends about one and a half metres below the water surface. The Teufelstisch is clearly visible from the shore. It is a popular destination for divers - although diving has been banned since 1994 due to several accidents. Under strict conditions, however, you can obtain a special permit.
Visits (not possible at the moment!)
Wooden stairs and footbridges allow you to descend into the gorge. The stairs partly lead down between the rock walls. In many places, however, the footbridges from the rock also reach over the gorge. Sometimes, one seems to approach the lower trees and bushes from above like a bird. Thus, one should, in any case, be free of vertigo for the hiking tour! If one turns right above the gorge, one gets over the stairs to the castle ruin Kargegg.
The gorge can be reached by boat via Lake Constance. Several boat lines stop in the surrounding villages. The Marienschlucht is, however, only directly approached by the company "CMS Schifffahrt" with course via Bodman-Ludwigshafen, Sipplingen and Überlingen. Those who set off from Meersburg, Constance, Wallhausen, Dingelsdorf or Mainau Island will have to change.
Holidaymakers who like adventure can take a canoe paddle tour. The lido in Wallhausen is a good starting point. One paddles in an easterly direction along the shore of Lake Constance and first passes the Teufelstisch: an impressive rock formation that is located just below the water surface and is clearly visible. Directly at the Marienschlucht you can go ashore again.
From Bodman-Ludwigshafen and Wallhausen, one can also undertake a hike. The shorter distance from Wallhausen is three kilometres. If you start in Bodman, you have to cover seven kilometres. The paths lead along the shore, but the paths are sometimes very narrow.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to pass the route with bicycles or pushchairs.