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You'll appreciate that cars are banned from the narrow labyrinth of alleyways within Ravensburg's historic core. Two of the most evocative streets are Untere Breite Strasse and Charlottenstrasse, both of which lie near the town's central square. Lining the Marienplatz are the late-Gothic Rathaus; the 14th-century Kornhaus, once one of the largest corn exchanges in the region and now the town's library; and the Waaghaus, originally built in the 1400s as a warehouse for municipal supplies and now a bank. Look also for the old city watchtower and the Renaissance-era Lederhaus, the town's post office.

Also on the Marienplatz is the Karmelitenklosterkirche. Originally a monastery in the 14th century, it later housed a mercantile association devoted to the promotion of the linen trade. The complex's church can be visited every day from 8am to 6pm. Nearby, at the corner of Kirchstrasse and the Herrenstrasse, is the Liebfrauenkirche, the parish church of Ravensburg. Deceptively simple on the outside, the 14th-century structure has been radically but authentically reconstructed on the inside. Look for remnants of original stained glass and a heavy somberness reminiscent of the Middle Ages.

Ravensburg's only noteworthy museum is its Heimatmuseum, devoted to local folklore and handicrafts. It lies within the Volkhaus, Torplatz 7 (for information contact the tourist office), and is open Tuesday to Friday 2 to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 2 to 3pm. Admission is free.

Scaling the Ramparts

Part of Ravensburg's allure is its well-preserved network of medieval fortifications, studded with defensive towers. The most visible is the 52m (170-ft.) Mehlsack Tower, adopted as the municipal symbol of Ravensburg itself. You can climb to its heights by means of 240 heavily worn, circular steps, but only on Saturday and Sunday from April to October, 10am to 3pm. The central, 51m (167-ft.) Blaserturm at Marienplatz is open Monday to Friday 2 to 5pm, and Saturday 10am to 3pm. Entrance to either tower is 1.50€ for adults, 1 € for children 12 to 18, and free for children 11 and under.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.