County Lindau (Lake Constance)

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Coat of arms Map of Germany
Wappen des Landkreises Lindau (Bodensee) Deutschlandkarte, Position des Landkreises Lindau (Bodensee) hervorgehoben

Coordinates 47° 36′ N, 9° 52′ E

Basic data
State: Bavaria
Government District: Swabia
Administrative Headquarters: Lindau (Lake Constance)
Area: 323.44 km2
Residents: 81.981[31 Dec, 2019][1]
Population Density: 253 Inhabitants per km2
License plate: LI
Circular Key: 09 7 76
County breakdown: 19 municipalities
Address of
County government:
Stiftsplatz 4
88131 Lindau (Lake Constance)
District Administrator: Elmar Stegmann[2](CSU)
Location of the administrative district Lindau (Lake Constance) in Bavaria

Lindau district (sketch)

Western Allgäu near Simmerberg

The administrative district Lindau (Bodensee) is a district in the southwest of the Bavarian Swabia. The district has a natural border in the southwest on the shore of Lake Constance, on which the district town Lindau is located.



The district borders in the southwest on the shores of the Obersee, the eastern and deepest part of Lake Constance. On an island in the lake is the old town of the district town Lindau. To the west follow Bad Schachen (a district of Lindau), Bodolz, Wasserburg and Nonnenhorn. In addition to tourism, the lakeside towns are also characterised by fishing and winegrowing, which is practised above all in Nonnenhorn and on the Hoyerberg near Lindau. To the northeast a hill country with end moraines and drumlins follows. The district is also part of the Westallgäu. The mountain ridge of the Pfaender runs in a north-northeasterly direction, the heights are mostly above 700-800m abovesea level. To the east follow further mountain ridges running parallel to the Pfänder ridge. The district borders on the Austrian state of Vorarlberg and, through Lake Constance, on the Swiss cantons of St. Gallen and Thurgau. The highest elevation in the district is the Kalzhofener Höhe, a less prominent point on a ridge at 1118 m above sea level in the municipality of Stiefenhofen.

In the county, 62.7 percent of the total land area is used as agricultural land.[3]

Neighboring counties

The administrative district borders clockwise in the northwest beginning on the Bodenseekreis and on the administrative district Ravensburg (both in Baden-Wuerttemberg), on the administrative district Oberallgäu (in Bavaria), as well as on the district Bregenz (in Vorarlberg, Austria)


Geologically, they are mainly characterized by Tertiary Nagelfluh rocks.


Due to the considerable differences in altitude, there are significant climatic differences in the district: While at Lake Constance the fruit trees are already blossoming and temperatures above 25 °C are reached, in the western Allgäu you can still find metres of snow. On the Pfänder ridge, there is uphill rainfall, which is why annual precipitation is highest there (well over 1,000 mm/a), while it is drier in the west and east (around 800 mm/a). The western Allgäu is characterised by an above-average sunshine duration (up to 2,000 hours per year).


Until 1800

The district, like the rest of the Lake Constance area and Allgäu, was settled by the Celts in prehistoric times. Celtic refuge castles from this time still exist, but are hardly preserved. In 15 BC the Romans conquered the area and annexed it to the province of Rhaetia. There was a Roman shipyard in Lindau, but archaeological finds are rare in the district. From the 3rd century onwards, there were increased incursions by Alemanni, who settled the area after the end of the Roman Empire. Christianization took place especially through St. Gallus and St. Magnus. The first documented mentions of early medieval settlements concern Haddinwilare the present Laiblachsberg (between 769 and 773), Wasserburg (784), Lindenberg im Allgäu (857), Opfenbach (872), Weiler im Allgäu (894). The area was mainly under the rule of the monastery of St. Gall, parts belonged to the monastery of Mehrerau near Bregenz. Lindau, first mentioned in documents in 882, developed most strongly and became a free imperial city in the 13th century, becoming prosperous especially through trade. In the late Middle Ages the rural areas passed into the rule of the House of Montfort, the Fuggers and the Habsburgs, who ruled more than half of the district in the 18th century.

District Courts

By Napoleon Bonaparte a reorganization took place. In 1802 Lindau lost its imperial baronial status (status as a free imperial city), in 1806 Bavaria received the county area. The two district courts Lindau and Weiler were established, which initially belonged to the Illerkreis, from 1808 to the Oberdonaukreis (from 1838 Swabia and Neuburg, later only Swabia). The town of Lindau had left the district court in 1809 and became a town independent of the district.

District Office

The district court of Lindau was formed in 1862 by the merger of the district courts of older order Lindau and Weiler.[4]

On February 1, 1922, the three communities of Aeschach, Hoyren and Reutin left the district and were incorporated into the immediate town of Lindau.

District Officers
  1. Julius von Auer[5]
  2. Carl Müller
  3. Count Hirschberg[5]
  4. Grief[5]

County before 1945

On 1 January 1939, as elsewhere in the German Reich, the designation Landkreis was introduced.[6] Thus the district office became the administrative district Lindau (Bodensee).

On April 1, 1940, the town of Lindau was incorporated into the county, but this was reversed on September 25, 1948.

County 1946 to 1956

After the Second World War, the area of the district was assigned to the French occupation zone and administered together with Württemberg-Hohenzollern, while the rest of Bavaria belonged to the American occupation zone. The district thus had a special territorial position and belonged neither to Württemberg nor to Bavaria. The first and only head of administration from 1946 to 1956 was the district president Anton Zwisler (1888-1977), a native of Bregenz.

The special state construct had been negotiated by the French military government with the American military government in order to gain free access to the French occupation zone in Austria (Vorarlberg) as a land bridge[7]after the French military government had ceded the Bavarian districts of Sonthofen and Kempten (Allgäu) to the American occupation zone.

The district of Lindau was represented by three delegates in the Advisory State Assembly of the state of Württemberg-Hohenzollern and, together with the town of Lindau (Lake Constance), which was spun off from the district on September 25, 1948, also in the state parliament of the newly established state of Württemberg-Hohenzollern until December 19, 1950.

There were a number of pet names for the land of Lindau, such as “Second Principality of Liechtenstein”, “Paradise”, “Germany’s Grease Spot” or “Monte Carlo on Lake Constance”. The latter name went back to the casino opened in Lindau in 1950. The other names alluded to Lindau’s financial self-sufficiency: The Lindau district was allowed to keep all taxes and customs duties for itself. While people in other parts of Germany were suffering from hunger in many places, Lindau had a surplus of fruit, meat and milk for export and a lively construction activity.

County as of 1956

The reincorporation of the district into Bavaria took place on September 1, 1955, but a transitional period was negotiated and the construct formally ended on March 27, 1956, in a ceremony at Lindau’s Old Town Hall attended by district president Anton Zwisler and Bavarian premier Wilhelm Hoegner.

For historical reasons, some of the sports clubs in the Lindau district still play in leagues in Baden-Württemberg.

On 1 July 1970, the municipality of Stiefenhofen of the district of Sonthofen was incorporated into the district of Lindau (Lake Constance).

In the context of the territorial reform in Bavaria, the previously independent town of Lindau (Lake Constance) was incorporated into the district on 1 July 1972. The city of Lindau received the status of a large district city for the loss of the freedom of the district.

Population development

Lindau (Bodensee) County gained nearly 10,000 residents or grew by approximately 14% from 1988 to 2008. Between 1988 and 2018, the county grew by 11,395 residents, or 16.2%, from 70,274 to 81,669.

The following figures refer to the territorial status on 25 May 1987.

Population development
Year 1840 1900 1939 1950 1961 1970 1987 1991 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015
Inhabitants 27.543 36.275 47.141 59.304 64.442 68.803 69.522 74.458 75.796 77.106 79.467 79.769 80.429


See architectural monuments in the district of Lindau (Lake Constance)

Protected areas

There are ten nature reserves, five landscape conservation areas, eleven FFH areas and at least 18 geotopes designated by the Bavarian State Office for the Environment in the district (as of August 2016).

See also:

  • List of nature reserves in the district of Lindau (Lake Constance)
  • List of protected landscape areas in the district of Lindau (Lake Constance)
  • List of FFH areas in the district of Lindau (Lake Constance)
  • List of geotopes in the district of Lindau (Lake Constance)


County Council

The County Council consists of 60 members, divided between the following parties and electoral associations according to the results of local elections held on 15 March 2020, shown on the right (with comparative figures from the 2014 election):[8]

County council election 2020
Voter turnout: 55.2 % (2014: 50.7 %)
32,6 %
21,8 %
9,7 %
4,2 %
3,5 %
3,2 %
1,5 %
4,6 %
13,7 %
5,3 %
Green Party
Gains and losses
compared to 2014
−6,8 %p
+7,8 %p
−4,0 %p
+2,0 %p
−1,9 %p
+3,2 %p
+1,5 %p
+4,6 %p
−5,2 %p
−1,1 %p
Green Party
Allocation of seats in the district council
Party/List Election 2020 Election 2014
Seats Seats
CSU 20 24
GREEN 13 09
SPD 06 08
FDP 02 01
ÖDP 02 03
AfD 02 00
The Left 01 00
Young Union (JU) 03 00
Free voters (FW) 08 11
Free Citizenship (FB) 03 04
Total 60 60

District Councils

  • 1965-1972: Fritz Fugmann (CSU)
  • 1972-1996: Klaus Henninger (CSU)
  • 1996-2002: Manfred Bernhardt (CSU)
  • 2002-2008: Eduard Leifert (SPD)
  • since 1 May 2008: Elmar Stegmann (CSU)

Elmar Stegmann was re-elected to office in the 2020 municipal election with 92.5% of the valid votes.[9]

Coat of arms

The county of Lindau has the coat of arms described below and shown above:

“Under chief of shield with the Bavarian lozenges in silver above a blue wavy bar, side by side, a green lime tree and a three-branched red flag with golden fringes and three red rings.”[10][11]
Wappen Landkreis Lindau (Bodensee)-alt.png

Until 1972, however, the coat of arms shown opposite was valid:

Split by red and silver; in front an upright silver hand, behind a three-branched red flag with golden borders; below two wavy bars split by silver and blue


In the Zukunftsatlas 2016, the district of Lindau (Lake Constance) ranked 25th out of 402 districts, municipal associations and independent cities in Germany, making it one of the regions with “very high future opportunities”.[12]

Traditionally, fruit-growing and viticulture dominate in the western part, while the agriculture of the western Allgäu is mainly characterized by cattle breeding and dairy farming. Tourism has steadily gained in importance over the last 100 years. In the west, especially at Lake Constance, summer visitors predominate, in the east ski tourism in winter and hiking and spa tourism in summer. Industrial centres are Lindau (among others Fruit juice production by Lindauer Bodensee-Fruchtsäfte GmbH and mechanical engineering) and Lindenberg (formerly textile industry, especially (straw) hats; today characterized by Liebherr-Aerospace, the largest aviation supplier in Germany).

In October 2018, the unemployment rate in the county was 2.2%.


Lake Constance Shipping

In 1824 the first Lindau steamboat, Max Joseph, was put into service, thus Lindau was connected to the shipping network. In 1835 the Lindauer Dampfboot AG was founded, which was later taken over by the Royal Bavarian State Railways. Through the Lake Constance ships, the district is directly connected with Austria, Switzerland and Baden-Württemberg.

Road traffic

The district is connected by motorways with Munich and northern Germany as well as the western Lake Constance area and Austria.


The Buchloe-Lindau railway line, which for a long time formed the transport backbone of the district, was planned from 1844 by the Bavarian State Railway as part of the Ludwig-Süd-Nord-Bahn. In its course, the largest railway embankment in the world at that time was built near Röthenbach. The opening took place in 1853, thus the district was connected to the Bavarian rail network, Bavaria received the connection to the sea route to Switzerland. With the railway line Lindau-Bludenz (1872) the district was also connected to Austria by rail. In 1874 the railway trajectory line Lindau-Romanshorn was established. In the 1890s, a branch line to Wangen – Kißlegg was established in Hergatz together with the Württembergische Staatsbahn. Weiler im Allgäu was also connected to the main line at Röthenbach by a branch line in 1897. This connection was financed by the community of Weiler itself (closed in 1960). It was not until 1899 that the gap was closed by the Friedrichshafen-Lindau railway line. In 1901, the local railway Röthenbach-Lindenberg-Scheidegg called Scheidegger Moosrutsche went into operation (closed in 1966).

Transport association

Since 2017, the Lindau district has belonged to the Bodensee-Oberschwaben Verkehrsverbund (bodo). The area of this transport association also extends to the neighbouring districts of Ravensburg and Bodenseekreis in Baden-Württemberg.


The administrative district Lindau is divided into 19 municipalities, thereof 2 cities, 3 markets, 5 unified municipalities and
3 administrative communities (with a total of 9 member communities).

(population at 31 December 2019[13])


  1. Lindau (Lake Constance), large district town (25,512)
  2. Lindenberg in the Allgäu (11,525)


  1. Heimenkirch (3581)
  2. Scheidegg (4302)
  3. Weiler-Simmerberg (6325)

Administrative communities

  1. Argental with headquarters in Röthenbach (Allgäu)
    (municipalities of Gestratz, Grünenbach, Maierhöfen and Röthenbach (Allgäu))
  2. Sigmarszell
    (municipalities of Hergensweiler, Sigmarszell and Weißensberg)
  3. Stiefenhofen
    (communities of Oberreute and Stiefenhofen)

Other municipalities

  1. Bodolz (3046)
  2. Gestratz (1283)
  3. Grünenbach (1510)
  4. Hergatz (2422)
  5. Hergensweiler (1893)
  6. Maierhöfen (1611)
  7. Nonnenhorn (1764)
  8. Oberreute (1672)
  9. Opfenbach (2306)
  10. Röthenbach (Allgäu) (1885)
  11. Sigmarszell (2974)
  12. Stiefenhofen (1886)
  13. Wasserburg (Lake Constance) (3846)
  14. Weißensberg (2638)

Municipalities of the district before the territorial reform 1971/78

In the northeast the administrative district bordered on the administrative district Kempten (Allgäu), in the east on the administrative district Sonthofen, in the south on the Austrian federal state Vorarlberg and the independent city Lindau (Bodensee), in the west on the administrative district Tettnang of Baden-Wuerttemberg and in the north on the administrative district Wangen, likewise lying in Baden-Wuerttemberg, as well as the municipality Achberg, which belonged to the administrative district Sigmaringen until 1969, afterwards to the administrative district Wangen.

The 28 municipalities of the Lindau (Bodensee) district before the 1971/78 municipal reform.[14][15] The municipalities that still exist today are written in bold.

Situation in Bavaria

Municipalities of the district Lindau (Bodensee)
former community current community
Bodolz Bodolz
Bösenreutin Sigmarszell
Ebratshofen Grünenbach
Ellhofen Weiler-Simmerberg
Gestratz Gestratz
Grünenbach Grünenbach
Harbatshofen Stiefenhofen
Hege Wasserburg on Lake Constance
Heimenkirch (market) Heimenkirch
Hergensweiler Hergensweiler
Lindenberg im Allgäu (city) Lindenberg in Allgäu
Maierhöfen Maierhöfen
Maria-Thann Hergatz
Niederstaufen Sigmarszell
Nonnenhorn Nonnenhorn
Oberreitnau Lindau (Lake Constance)
Oberreute Oberreute
Opfenbach Opfenbach
Röthenbach (Allgäu) Röthenbach (Allgäu)
Scheffau Scheidegg
Scheidegg (market) Scheidegg
Sigmarszell Sigmarszell
Simmerberg (market) Weiler-Simmerberg
Unterreitnau Lindau (Lake Constance)
Wasserburg (Lake Constance) Wasserburg (Lake Constance)
Weiler im Allgäu (market) Weiler-Simmerberg
Weißensberg Weißensberg
Wohmbrechts Hergatz

The municipality of Mitten was renamed Wasserburg (Bodensee) on 23 March 1926. The municipalities of Oberreitnau and Unterreitnau were merged on 1 July 1971 to form the municipality of Reitnau, which in turn was incorporated into the town of Lindau on 1 January 1976.

License plate

During the French occupation, the abbreviation X was initially used in the district for two years from 1947. In 1948, the abbreviation FBy was also introduced, which stood for “French Bavaria”. The former abbreviation was replaced by the code letters By in 1950. Until 1956, the abbreviations “FBy” and “By” were issued for the county.

On July 1, 1956, the district and the independent city of Lindau (Lake Constance) were assigned the distinguishing sign LI when the license plates were introduced that are still valid today. It is still used in the district today.

See also

  • List of municipalities in the district of Lindau (Lake Constance)
  • List of places in the district Lindau (Bodensee)


  • Anton Gruber: Der Landkreis Lindau. Verlag des Heimatpflegers von Schwaben, Kempten (Allgäu) 1956, OCLC 36643898.
  • Heinrich Löffler: Landkreis Lindau. Vol. 6. 1973; ISBN 3-7696-9889-4.
  • Günther U. Müller, Emil Kroher: Our County. Lindau, Lake Constance. Landratsamt, Aichach 1969, OCLC 73901488.
  • Hugo Schnell: The County of Lindau. Landscape, history, art. 1982, ISBN 3-7954-0569-6.
  • At home in the district of Lindau. 1994, ISBN 3-7977-0281-7.
  • Gerhard Willi (ed.): Volks- und landeskundliche Beschreibungen aus den Landkreisen Lindau und Oberallgäu mit Kempten – die Physikatsberichte der Stadt- bzw. Landgerichte Lindau, Weiler, Kempten, Immenstadt und Sonthofen (1858-1861). Augsburg 2016, ISBN 978-3-95786-036-1.

Web links

Commons: County of Lindau– Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual references

  1. Spreadsheet “Data 2”, Statistical Report A1200C 202041 Population figures of municipalities, counties and administrative districts 1st quarter 2020 (population figures based on Census 2011) (help on this).
  2. District Administrator Elmar Stegmann.Landratsamt Lindau (Bodensee), retrieved 20 June 2020.
  3. Source: Statistics for the EUREGIO-Lake Constance. In: Aufgelistet! The ten counties of the Lake Constance region, ... In: Südkurier of 25 February 2011 and in: Ders. of 2 July 2011
  4. Wilhelm Volkert (ed.): Handbuch der bayerischen Ämter, Gemeinden und Gerichte 1799-1980. C. H. Beck, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-406-09669-7, p. 512.
  5. a b c territorial.en
  6. Wilhelm Volkert (ed.): Handbuch der bayerischen Ämter, Gemeinden und Gerichte 1799-1980. C. H. Beck, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-406-09669-7, p. 97.
  7. Süddeutsche Zeitung 25 March 2016 (“What power Zwisler had”)
  8. Lindau County, Result of the 2020 County Council Election, retrieved 27 April 2020
  9. Result of the 2020 district election in the Lindau district
  10. The coat of arms of the Lindau (Lake Constance) district
  12. Future Atlas 2016.(No longer available online.) Archived from the original onOctober 2, 2017; retrievedMarch 24, 2018. Info: The archive link was automaticallyinsertedand has not yet been checked. Please check original and archive link according to instructions, then remove this notice.@1@2Template:Webachiv/IABot/
  13. Spreadsheet “Data 2”, Statistical Report A1200C 202041 Population figures of municipalities, counties and administrative districts 1st quarter 2020 (population figures based on Census 2011) (help on this).
  14. Michael Rademacher:German administrative history from the unification of the German Reich in 1871 to reunification in 1990. Lindau (Lake Constance) dissertation material, Osnabrück 2006).
  15. BayernViewer of the Bavarian Surveying Administration (retrieved on 6 July 2010)