When the sun shines on its colourful roof and the yellow upper storey is visible from afar, it almost looks like a second lighthouse – the Mangturm on the harbour promenade.  And indeed, the square stone building was erected in the 12th century as part of the medieval city fortifications.

Mangturm served as a lighthouse

“For the protection and defence of the seaport – a powerful landmark of the former free imperial city of Lindau”, it says on the wall of the building. Imposing 20 metres high and equipped with embrasures, the tower was once surrounded by water – a perfect observation post at the end of the town wall, to which the two neighbouring towers of the fishermen’s quarter, the Peters- and the Diebsturm, also belonged.

Only when Lindau’s new lighthouse was completed in 1856 did the Mangturm lose its function as a signalling and observation post. It was raised by one storey and roofed with the distinctive glazed tiles that make it a popular photo motif today. Many pictures are also likely to show a long, blond braid being let down from one of the embrasures – a reference to Rapunzel and thus the fairy-tale hours that often take place in the historic building. Of course, anyone who wants to listen to the stories or simply enjoy the wonderful view must first climb the 89 steps to the tower room.

Where the name Mangturm comes from

The name of the medieval Mangturm refers to a former building in its vicinity: the Tuch- und Mangenhaus. This was the name given to the warehouses of the clothiers’ guild in the Middle Ages. The name Mangenhaus thus derives from Mange or Mangel – the dyers’ smoothing machine.

The Mangturm can only be visited from the inside during the fairytale hours.