Mittenwald: Strings And Scenes On The Alpine Road

by Mark F. Weber on March 21, 2011

Mittenwald is a music center and majestic stop along Germany’s Alpine Road.  It is the home for some of the best violins and other stringed instruments in the world.  Only 16 kilometers from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Mittenwald is a scenic jewel in the Bavarian Alps.

The German Alpine road rambles 450 kilometers, or 280 miles, from Lake Constance in the west to Berchtesgaden, just east of Garmisch along the Austrian border.  The Alpine Road sweeps through rolling meadows and by country church steeples in the shadows the Alps. Road bicyclists test their cardio on a parallel path.  All vehicles pause in Mittenwald with its decorative architecture and majestic mountain background.

Violins, violas, and cellos grew out of a lute business under Matthias Klotz in the late 17th century.  At a time when specialists only shaped pieces of violins, like fingerboards or scrolls, the Klotz family created a violin school in Mittenwald to train students on creating complete and unique instruments. World War II ended the Klotz violin business, but the craft continues.  A museum overviews its history.

The Church of Saint Peter and Paul is a worthy Mittenwald stop.  Dreamy frescoes decorate the ceilings of this pink Roman Catholic Church with a colorful Bavarian steeple.

It is the alpine backdrop the illuminates Mittenwald.  The rocky cliffs and snow-capped peaks beneath blue skies is a breath-taking canvass for a village with architectural treasures.  There are many ways to reach this destintion.  If you are staying in Garmisch or Innsbruck, Austria, the drive is short.  If you are steering down the German Alpine Road, chose one of Mittenwald’s hotels for a memorable evening.  Trains leave Munich on the hour, making Mittenwald an unforgettable daytrip in between breakfast and dinner on Munich’s Marienplatz.

You can imagine Matthias Klotz strumming a lute and seeking inspiration as the sun peaked over the Alps and other strings wound through his imagination.  Come to Mittenwald, along the Alpine Road, for your inspiration.


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I am an international business professor in Pittsford, NY who managed a business unit for a German company. My passion is family and friends, plus roaming the countryside on my road bicycle.

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