The first – or last – stop on the Romantic Road is FÜSSEN, in a beautiful setting on the River Lech at the southwest end of the broad Forggensee hard by the Austrian border. The town is dominated by its Late-Gothic Schloss and by the impressive buildings of the former Benedictine abbey of St Mang, and is much the liveliest place in the district, with a compact Altstadt that fizzes with activity at any time of year. No mere tourist spot, Füssen is also a garrison town, home to a couple of battalions of the German army’s mountain troops. With a direct rail connection from Munich, moreover, it’s the most practical base from which to explore the sights of the eastern Allgäu, including the royal castles at Hohenschwangau. It likewise makes an ideal base for hikers and cyclists, with an extensive network of walking and bike trails fanning out into the surrounding district, including some that cross the border into Austria.

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