Füssen's main attraction is the Hohes Schloss, Magnusplatz, one of the finest late-Gothic castles in Bavaria. It was once the summer residence of the prince-bishops of Augsburg. Inside, you can visit the Rittersaal (Knight's Hall), known for its stunning coffered ceiling. There's also a collection of Swabian artwork from the 1400s to the 1700s.
Immediately below the castle lies the 8th-century St. Mangkirche and its abbey (tel. 08362/6190), which was founded by the Benedictines and grew up on the site where St. Magnus died in 750. In the 18th century it was reconstructed in the baroque style, and in 1803 it was secularized. Within the abbey complex, signs point the way to the Chapel of St. Anne, where you can view the macabre Totentanz or "dance of death," painted by an unknown local artist in the early 15th century. It has a certain uncanny fascination. Nearby is the Heimatmuseum (tel. 08362/903146), which displays artifacts relating to the history and culture of the region, including a collection of musical instruments. It keeps the same hours as the chapel.
One of the world’s most exuberantly decorated buildings was created by Dominikus Zimmermann (1685–1766), an architect and stuccoist who worked on this Rococo masterpiece with his brother, Johann Baptist, a frescoist, from 1746 to 1754. A decade or so before work began, it was noticed that a rough-hewn statue of Christ (being scourged at the pillar) was crying. Pilgrims began flocking to the site in a remote mountain meadow, and the Zimmermans were commissioned to create a proper shrine. Behind a rather sober facade, the light-flooded interior with its enormous cupola shimmers with a superabundance of woodcarvings, gilded stucco, columns, statues, and bright frescoes. The overall effect is to make the supernatural seem present, as indeed seems to be the case for those who claim to have been cured of various ailments while praying in front of the statue. The great Dominikus was so enchanted with his creation that he built a small home in the vicinity and spent the last decade of his life here.
A bus heading for the church leaves Füssen Monday to Friday six times per day (once per day on the weekend); check the timetable at the station for bus information or ask at the Füssen tourist office. If you’re driving, follow B17 23km (14 miles) north from Fussen to Steingaden, and signs from there indicate the way 3km (2 miles) south to Wies. The church is open daily from 8am to 8pm in summer and 8am to 5pm in summer (tel. 08862/501; www.wieskirche.de).
A popular walk from Füssen along a well-marked trail leads to the Lechfall, a waterfall less than a kilometer ( 1/2 mile) south of town. A pedestrian footbridge spans the falls, located where the Lech River squeezes through a rocky gorge and over a high ledge
The principal shopping spot in town is the Reichenstrasse, which was known in Roman times as the Via Claudia. This cobblestone street is flanked with houses from the Middle Ages, most of which have towering gables.
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