This floating castle appears to be from an enchanted fable, but in actuality it is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle.
The Schwedenturm, or Swedes’ Tower, is a distinctive landmark of Mainau, an island on the Southern shore of the Oberlinger See near the city of Konstanz, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. The tower stands on the island’s southwestern slope towering above the vineyards overlooking the island.
The name “Swedes’ Tower” refers to Sweden’s two-year occupation of the island. It was built at the time when the Teutonic Order possessed the island in 1558 (the date was validated by the coat of arms of the Teutonic Order above the entrance door). The island itself was acquired by Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden in 1853 as his summer residence. Originally used as a watch tower, it is no longer accessible to the public.
Mainau Island’s 45 hectare of greens are a model for exemplary environmental practices. The island is commonly referred to as “Blumeninsel,” or “Flower Island,” as it is home to a lush garden of trees, shrubs, and blossoms. To the East is the Rhododendron slope, or “Rhododendronhang,” where no less than 230 different varieties of this plant can be found.
Today, the island belongs to the Lennart Bernadotte-Foundation, an entity created by Prince Lennart Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg, originally a Prince of Sweden and Duke of Smaland. It is also home to the second-largest butterfly house in Germany.
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