Northwest Tyrol: Reutte & Ehrwald
The mountains and valleys around Reutte and Ehrwald are cut off the Inn River Valley, which isolated them geographically and culturally for a very long time. Nevertheless, this region persevered a distinct Tyrolian touch to it. It follows the Lechtaler Alps, which are part of one of the most beautiful pieces of landscape in Tyrol.
Not surprisingly, tourism is a big deal in the Lech Valley, with skiing resorts being the main industry. Hiking is popular during the summer season, but fairly little goes on beyond that. At least for sightseeing in the classic sense of the world, both Reutte and Ehrwald have rather little to offer.
Reutte is a market town rather than a village and has a few interesting spots. It was a prosperous place benefiting from the salt trade that Hall maintained throughout the Inn Valley. After the salt trade ceased away towards the end of the 19th century, Reutte fell asleep and was awakened only by the arriving crowds of skiing tourists. Today, there are two main roads worth noting: Untermarkt and Obermarkt ("Upper Market" and "Lower Market"). In the Untermarkt, you will find the Zeillerhaus building, Reutte′s pride.
Hardcore Tyrol beyond Skiing
This is where a family of Baroque painters lived, most notably Paul Zeiller (1658 to 1738) and his son Johann Jakob Zeiller (1708 to 1783). The artwork on the fašade of the building tells the house. Speaking of celebrities: A local eccentric known only to the insider was Peter Singer (1810 to 1882), inventor of the bizarre musical instrument "Pansynoptikum", something like an organ with two keyboards. The nearby Grünes Haus ("Green House") contains the obligatory town museum with some interesting pieces.
Ehrwald, on contrast, is simply an example of a nice Tyrolian village - with the touristy side-effects of skiing and hiking infrastructure. There are several cable cars and ski lifts in the surroundings of Ehrwald and combination tickets make the Alps accessible at reasonable fares. Hikers will get excited about the Heiterwanger See Lake and the bigger Plansee Lake, just between Reutte and Ehrwald. Particularly impressive are the vistas you can enjoy on Germany′s highest mountain, the Zugspitze at 2962 metres.
Speaking of Germany: If you travel in the area during the summer, think about going to Garmisch-Partenkirchen or other parts of nearby Bavaria. The Tyrolian "hiking-capital" Seefeld is fairly close as well as several pretty towns of the Inn Valley. For more sightseeing, try the castle Schloss Fernsteinsee north of the village Nassreith. Sport activities include hut-to-hut hiking, paragliding and rock climbing - the vast number of hotels and other institutions serving the numerous tourists make it easy to find an array of options to kill your time in an adventurous manner.
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