Getting to know Füssen

Füssen is located in Bavaria in Germany. A town in the Ostallgäu district set about five kilometers from the borders of Austria, it is sitting along the banks of Lech river. But while it is situated along waters, Füssen is actually the town with the highest elevation in Bavaria.

In the past

Füssen was a settlement along the Via Claudia Augusta, a road leading to northern Italy and the Roman province Raetia, during the Roman times. Before the town was named Füssen, it was called Foetibus or Foetes, derived from the Latin term Fauces which means gorge. This is probably in reference to the gorge of Lech. A portion of the Legio III Italica also called Füssen their home when they were stationed in the town to guard an important trading route through the Alps.

Landmarks and attractions

There are a number of castles located near Füssen, including the Hohenschwangau and the Neuschwanstein. Within town, there is the High Castle, or Hohes Schloss, the former summer residence of Augsburg"s prince bishops. Aside from that distinction, High Castle is also one of the largest and best-preserved late-Gothic castles in Bavaria so it is very popular with the tourists. Today, the castle is housing a branch for the Bavarian State Collections of Paintings, focusing on Renaissance and late Gothic works of art. Below the High Castle, the former Benedictine monastery of Saint Mang has a Baroque complex dating back to 9th century. Although built for functionality, the man-made lake Forggensee is a very beautiful sight. Acting as catchment for melting snow during spring, Forggensee is drained off every year in October in preparation for next coming spring.

Saint Magnus of Füssen

Saint Mang, or Saint Magnus of Füssen, is the patron saint of the town of Füssen. His feast day is every 6th of September and is celebrated starting off with a mass and then residents head to the old part of town walking with torchlights. During the week of the Feast of Saint Mang, specialty Magnus Wines are sold although a limited number of bottles (about only 500) are produced. Saint Mang was originally buried in a small chapel he built until his remains were transferred to a church crypt built in 850. Saint Mang"s bones were reported to be missing in 1100 but his burial place in the church crypt is available for public viewing until today. The only relics of Saint Mang remaining are his staff, chalice, and breast cross, which can be found in a glass cross above the church"s main altar.

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