You creepy, homey town, you. The old town of Bregenz: coats of arms, legends and dungeons.

Upper Town Bregenz

Oberstadt Bregenz


Whether it's a shark from Lake Constance, a not-so-antique tower from St. Martin, an amazon decisive for the outcome of a war, a gallows bell or a "prison house": the upper town of Bregenz fascinates us thanks to its medieval buildings, most of which are far more than only have one story to tell.

The upper town of Bregenz seems to be more than just a steep city path away from the tourist hustle and bustle at the lake or the hectic shopping world in the city centre. The old fortification walls can be seen from afar, which – depending on their character – make a threatening or calming impression on visitors.T he modern world is left out already at the entrance, the historic city gate. Historical coats of arms, a mummified shark and the relief of a Celtic goddess allow everyone to immerse themselves in a mystical-mythical world and think of ages in which cults, wars and heretics were omnipresent.

Blick durch das Stadttor der Oberstadt auf Bregenz Blick durch das Stadttor der Oberstadt auf Bregenz

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The Bregenz Tower Keeper

The somewhat antiquated-sounding title of "Türmer" still exists today. Until a few years ago, he even lived in the Martinsturm, the baroque landmark of the state capital. Even if one inevitably thinks of the “Hunchback of Notre Dame” when one thinks of the “Turmer of St. Martin” – with the maintenance of the historical walls and the exhibition rooms on the history of Bregenz housed in them, the Bregenz tower keeper did not have any horrible tasks at all. The inmates of the prison, which has now been renovated and now appropriately houses the Federal Monuments Office, probably felt much less comfortable. And those for whom the "hangman's bell" rang in the Martinsturm were truly horrified, as this meant the imminent execution of the unfortunate. Luckily, for many decades now, it has only announced the time.

Das Innere des Bregenzer Martinsturm Das Innere des Bregenzer Martinsturm

Honor the Guta!

Political decisions are no longer made in the Old Town Hall (1662), the largest half-timbered building in the city, although it is still a real "jewel" in Bregenz's old town. The Deuringschlössle, which was built in the 17th century, served as a motif for painters such as Egon Schiele. Only a few meters in front of it is the Ehre-Guta-Platz - the old woman "Guta" saved the people of Bregenz from an attack by the Appenzell people in 1406, who she had been secretly overhearing and revealing their plans. So we owe it to Guta that the upper town, where almost every house serves as a photo motif, has been preserved as a place of peace, contemplation and - just a little bit - of horror and was not razed by the medieval hordes. That is definitely worth a square and a fountain named after her. Ultimately, the upper town developed more and more into a gem not only for the people of Bregenz, but for anyone interested in history in the region. A gem that is definitely worth a visit!

Blick auf Gebäude der Stadt von der Oberstadt aus, der See ganz hinten Blick auf Gebäude der Stadt von der Oberstadt aus, der See ganz hinten

Discovery Tour

A leisurely one-hour tour starts at the tourist information office. Via Rathausstraße and Maurachgasse you reach the upper town. Past the Martinsturm (2) and medieval walls, the path leads through cobbled streets to the Meißnerstiege and out of the old town. The Thalbach monastery and the parish church of St. Gallus (6) are the next stations, which are connected by the Ernst-Volkmann-Stiege. Once at the top, the view falls on Lake Constance and the striking corner tower of the Deuring Schlössles (3) opposite. Shortly after the Capuchin monastery (7) you will reach the Thurn and Taxis Park with its mighty trees. In the magnificent palace in front of it (8), the professional association of visual artists in Vorarlberg shows its exhibits. The Kirchstraße with its charming little shops and cafés is the last stage on the way back to Leutbühel.

Blick von der erhöhten Oberstadt auf den See, die Häuser der Stadt von oben Blick von der erhöhten Oberstadt auf den See, die Häuser der Stadt von oben