The legacy of famous Zeppelin airships lives on in the small town of Friedrichshafen in Southern Germany.
A museum dedicated to the giant dirigibles that were looked upon in awe in both war and peacetime in the early 20th century.
The giant lighter than air machines offered a unique transatlantic passenger service from Germany to the USA in reasonable luxury long before the days of the Boeing 707.
One part of the museum is taken up by a recreation of a cut-through section of the most famous of the airships with the Zeppelin name, the ‘Hindenburg’. The chance to sample what it was like to step aboard such a craft is a real treat today. The fact that the Hindenburg had made 36 successful Atlantic crossings is rather forgotten and the memory of that famous image does however dominate with iconic picture of the burning airship plunging to the ground.
The bunk bed sleeping cabins are on show as is the dining room and observation lounge. What fantastic views would have been seen from such a great vantage point even better than possible today from the large passenger jets like the 787 Dreamliner with its slightly larger then average windows. I for one would have loved to have traveled in one perhaps filled with helium though!
Founded by Ferdinand Graf Von Zeppelin the company started with its first airship the LZ1 in 1898 although his interest in balloons went back to his time as an official observer with the Union Army during the American Civil War in the 1860’s.
The Zeppelin Lives On
Today that legacy continues, as there is still a factory at the local airport where modern versions are made and from where its possible to take passenger flights from March 15th to November 16th. Costing around €200 for a 30 minute flight it is not cheap but never the less a thrilling experience worth paying for.
The museum offers a real insight into all aspects of airship construction, history and technical development including those done by other countries such as Britain and Italy. Its possible to see how the giant machines were made with examples of interior framework needed on such craft.
The town of Friedrichshafen is located on the shore of Lake Constance the third largest lake in Europe it is also bordered by Austria and Switzerland with the Alps very much visible from the town.
With the airport is just a few miles from the town centre it is used by a number of regional and national airlines however in the winter with its proximity to the Alps it does make it ideal for use in the skiing season which it does.
The large art deco building near to the town’s ferry port makes the museum a good location to explore the lake from too. Using the many ferries that run from dock immediately outside the museum to towns all dotted around the lake.
Also why not take advantage of the excellent café restaurant terrace on its first floor and view the comings and goings as you tuck into Zeppelin Torte complete with a chocolate Zeppelin on the top! The town makes no secret of its links with artworks and even children’s play equipment all made in shapes of a Zeppelin too.
Adult Ticket: €8 Children €3