Bayrischzell: Pit-stop on the way from the Deutsche Alpen Straße to the peak of the Wendelstein Mountain

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The Wendelstein its cable car and fantastic countryside on the German Alpine Strasse near Bayrischzell

The Wendelstein its cable car and fantastic countryside on the German Alpine Strasse near Bayrischzell

This week I would like to introduce you to a little village on the German Alpine Road called Bayrischzell. It is very close to the Wendelstein Mountain and is often used as a base for people visiting the mountain or as a stopping off point for travellers along the German Alpine Straße. I have to admit I have a special affinity towards the Wendelstein because I can see it from my Bavarian bed – cloud permitting. So you will see it feature regularly in my blog. Bayrischzell is on the opposite side of the mountain to my bed which gives me a chance to see my bed-friend from a less familiar vantage point.

On the day I took the photographs below I approached the German Alps from the direction of the Austrian Tirol (more on that in a future blog). In addition to having lots of splendid peaks the area is full of pretty (and on a hot day very refreshing) streams many of which are good for paddling like the one below.

Countryside stream in the Austrian Tyrol not far from German Bayrischzell

Countryside stream in the Austrian Tyrol not far from German Bayrischzell

Like the mountains these streams have been in existence for millions of years. I am often fascinated by the shapes and patterns created as a result of erosion by the flowing water. The stream in the photograph below has cut into the rock face creating some really interesting structures.

Impressive rock erosion next to a Stream in the Tyrolean countryside near Bayrischzell

Impressive rock erosion next to a Stream in the Tyrolean countryside near Bayrischzell

The route I took over the Austrian border towards Germany passed through a valley which pointed all the way back to my beloved Wendelstein. In the picture below you can see the mountains gradually parting to reveal its magnificent 1,838 meter high peak.

Southerly view of the Wendelstein taken from the Tyrol just over the Austrian border

Southerly view of the Wendelstein taken from the Tyrol just over the Austrian border

Further along the valley in the direction of the Wendelstein I came to a junction which was the German Alpine Straße. On the opposite side of this junction was Bayrischzell. One of the first things that strikes you when you visit the village is its beautiful fire station. Just take a look at the photograph below.

A Fire station with a difference in Bayrischzell on the German Alpine Strasse in Bavaria

A Fire station with a difference in Bayrischzell on the German Alpine Strasse in Bavaria

I have never come across a fire-station with such beautiful frescos on the walls. The following two photos show close-up views of a couple of areas from the frescos. The first is the emblem of the local fire brigade (Feuerwehr).

Feuerwehr Bayrischzell: The emblem on the Firestation wall.....serious jobs need serious art

Feuerwehr Bayrischzell: The emblem on the fire station wall…..serious jobs need serious art

The second photograph from the fresco is of a countryside scene including a milk maid and cows (with cow-bells of course – if you would like more pictures of cows with cow bells you can find them here)

Wall fresco above the entrance to the Fire Brigade (Feuerwehr) in Bayrischzell off the Alpine Strasse

Wall fresco above the entrance to the Fire Brigade (Feuerwehr) in Bayrischzell off the Alpine Strasse

To the right of the fire station a road leads into the village and past the old catholic church. Of course the Wendelstein is never far from view as shown in the next photograph.

Road leading into Bayrischzell with the Wendelstain mountain in the background

Road leading into Bayrischzell with the Wendelstain mountain in the background

The church has a long history. Although it was built in its present form in 1733 the altar and tower are from its period as a monastery dating back to 1075 (around the same time that the village of Duggleby was first recorded in the Domesday book – more on that here). Both the outside and inside features of the church date back to the early baroque period. Inside the church are also several beautiful frescos and Rococo stucco works from the 18th century.

St Margareth's Church at Bayrischzell built in 1733 with tower and altar from 1075

St Margareth’s Church at Bayrischzell built in 1733 with tower and altar from 1075

As I was admiring the church something caught the corner of my eye. At first I thought it was a bird but I quickly realised it was a person gliding across the sky having presumably jumped off the Wendelstein.

A novel way of getting from the Wendelstein mountain to St Margareth's Church Bayrischzell

A novel way of getting from the Wendelstein mountain to St Margareth’s Church Bayrischzell

There are a number of ways of getting up and down the Wendelstein but I have to admit the travel guides had not mentioned paragliding as one of them. For those interested in more conventional forms of transport there is the Wendelstein Rack Railway, the oldest rack railway in Bavaria and one of only four in operation in Germany. The train leaves from the station in the village of Brannenburg and takes 20 minutes to reach the peak (and 30 minutes to come down). From Bayrischzell there is also a cable car which was built in 1970.

Paragliding (or hanggliding) one of many ways to get down from the Wendelstein to Bayrischzell

Paragliding (or hanggliding) one of many ways to get down from the Wendelstein to Bayrischzell

There is of course another way of getting up the wendelstein; you can walk all the way. This is something the Bavarian King Max II did in three hours and as a result in 1858 a tree was planted in Bayrischzell to commemorate his royal achievement.

After going up the mountain why not relax upon your return with a visit to the village cinema? There is a really pretty cinema which, when I visited, was decorated with beautiful hanging flower baskets.

Colourful flowers inviting guests to the local Cinema at Bayrischzell

Colourful flowers inviting guests to the local Cinema at Bayrischzell

If the cinema is not your thing then there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to visit like the one below.

Peterhof Weinstube one of the many colourful cafes in Bayrischzell on the Deutsche Alpen Strasse

Peterhof Weinstube one of the many colourful cafes in Bayrischzell on the Deutsche Alpen Strasse

For special occasions every Bavarian village needs to have its own bandstand. However few have a mountain backdrop as impressive as the one below.

A fantastic mountain backdrop for the bandstand at Bayrischzell

A fantastic mountain backdrop for the bandstand at Bayrischzell

Hopefully I have managed to wet your appetite for paying a visit to this beautiful part of the world. Below I have included a Google map so you can easily see where Bayrischzell is in relation to other towns and transportation routes.

Servus

Chris Duggleby

PS. For those interested in finding out more about the Oktoberfest (including lots of photos and a useful Bavarian-English dictionary) the ‘official’ site can be found here.

St Margareth's Church at Bayrischzell with its frescos, early Baroque features and fine 18th century Rococo art

St Margareth’s Church at Bayrischzell with its frescos, early Baroque features and fine 18th century Rococo art

Now prepare for an uplifting experience! 

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4 thoughts on “Bayrischzell: Pit-stop on the way from the Deutsche Alpen Straße to the peak of the Wendelstein Mountain

  1. Thanks Chris for another great posting. The pics of Bayrischzell bring back fond memories of my time in Bavaria. I hope to return next year to visit my son in Garmisch.
    Bob

    • Thanks Bob,
      your encouragement is very much appreciated. Let’s see if I can squeeze a couple more alpine photo sessions in before the cold sets in and I have to escape to the southern hemisphere (with the swallows!). So far I have managed to resist turning the heating on!
      Kind regards (from Surrey in the UK),
      Chris.

      • Chris,
        If I were there, I would never leave. Wintertime in Bavaria was my favorite time. I’ll never forget my first Christmas in Bertesgarten…..carolling in the snow with a hot cup of gluwein. And of course the fabulous skiing on the Zugspitz and neighboring ski resorts like Innsbruck, Kitzbuhel and St. Anton, Austria. Experincing winter in Bavaria to me was like living in a fairytale.

        No heat even thought of yet here in South Carolina. We still have at least another month of temps in the mid 80s. We seldom need heat until late November or early December.

        Bob

        • Of course Bob, you are right. This is one of those places that is great all year round. The only trouble is that I have to do my day job in the UK and shuttling back and forth in the snow and ice is a bit dangerous, especially late at night and very early in the morning. This is when I travel back and forth to the airport. But the upside is that I know there will be still be plenty of fantastic shots I can take in the Alps when I retire from the RiskBusters to start my next career. Thanks for keeping in touch.
          Chris.

Please share your comments on the site with me (or use this box to simply contact me). Add 'confidential' at the top if you do not want your comments to be published. Thanks - Chris

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