© 2011 Aaron Füssen old town as seen from a Stadt Museum window

Füssen Stadt Museum and Downtown

On our last day in Füssen we were all pretty tired from romping around in castles, so we remained in Füssen to explore the old town. We found a free parking spot, then walked into the downtown area and into the old town, enjoying side streets with colorful painted buildings. We happened upon an entrance to a museum located in the St. Mang abbey. For only 8 euros we perused some of the history and culture of the area, with the assistance of a full color printed tour guide.

At the entrance to the exhibits, we strolled a walkway above an archeological dig that exposed 8th century walls and arched doorways from the former Benedictine monastery of St. Mang, named after St. Magnus the missionary. The walkway led us into the Baroque chapel of St. Anne which, honestly, felt more like a grave than a chapel. High on the wall opposing the alter, there was a mural called a Totentanz, the Dance of Death. This is Bavaria’s oldest remaining Dance of Death mural. The alter was black and the walls contained marble engravings that emphasized how even important people of the day were required to meet death. Mary and the baby Jesus are central to the alter – in that order of visual emphasis. The frescos on the ceiling emphasize the Trinity, with the Spirit represented as a dove, and Jesus at the right hand of God. Jesus is holding light/fire in his right hand while God is holding the earth. St. Anne is pictured interceding in front of the Trinity. This is a common theme repeated in chapels throughout Europe, with various saints of the Catholic church.

The area has a rich history of instrument-making, from lutes to violins, especially during the Baroque period. We watched several videos on the artisan work that goes into these beautiful instruments. We also saw a rope exhibit, as this area found profit in manufacture of sisal and rope in the early days of industry.

After our museum tour we found a restaurant and enjoyed traditional German seasonal cuisine, then strolled the streets a bit more, window shopping at Trachten-Wold. We then went to a local grocery store to get some German goodies, including hot cocoa mix, Christstollen, tea, and chocolate cookies with an orange center.

Then, back home through Austria into Switzerland.

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