Our return from a trip to Austria took us into Germany around the north side of Lake Constance (Bodensee). We stopped at the small town of Friedrichshafen which is famous as the home of the Zeppelin. The industrialist Count Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin (1838 - 1917) invented the concept here and the Zeppelin company is still based in the town.
Count Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin
The Zeppelin Museum is the main attraction, and it was packed since the rain had forced all the tourists indoors. It covers the history of airships from the earliest days to the present. There is a reconstruction of a 108 foot long section of the legendary LZ129, the "Hindenburg", which is complete with passenger lounges and crew rooms.
One room is devoted to the use of Zeppelins in the Great War. Here there are examples of the uniforms worn by the crews, the engines that powered them, and numerous other pieces of memorabilia. I noticed a small Zeppelin-shaped token that had been fashioned out of the frame of a Zeppelin that had crashed in Essex, and which was sold to raise money for the British war effort. Photographs, videos and CD-Roms helped to explain the story.
The museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays 10 am to 5 pm (8 pm on Thursdays), and is closed on Mondays. Tel: (+ 49) 7451-3801-0
[The town also has a memorial to Graf von Zeppelin and another museum in his house. Lack of time meant that we were unable to visit these. However the town can be visited in a day trip from the Vosges if one is in that area.]
Copyright © Charles Fair, July, 1997.
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