The Allgäu (pronounced [ˈalɡɔʏ̯]) is a region in Swabia in southern Germany. It covers the south of Bavarian Swabia, southeastern Baden-Württemberg and parts of Austria. The region stretches from the prealpine lands up to the Alps. The main rivers flowing through the Allgäu are the Lech and Iller. Allgäu is not an administrative unit.
It is sub-divided into the following regions:
- Oberallgäu (in Bavarian Swabia, in the state of Bavaria)
- Unterallgäu (in Bavarian Swabia, in the state of Bavaria)
- Ostallgäu (in Bavarian Swabia, in the state of Bavaria)
- Westallgäu (mainly in Upper Swabia in the state of Baden-Württemberg, but also a very small part in Bavaria)
- The western Austrian part is the Kleinwalsertal in Vorarlberg, accessible from Germany only ("practical exclave").
- The eastern Austrian part belongs to the Reutte district (Tyrol).
The Allgovian area is notable for its beautiful landscapes and is popular for vacations and therapeutic stays. It is well known in Germany for its farm produce, especially dairy products including Hirtenkäse ("herdsman's cheese") and Bergkäse, which is also produced across the borders in Austria and Switzerland. Besides tourism and dairy products, another important economic sector is the building of industrial equipment and machines. Fendt tractors, developed and produced in Marktoberdorf are one of the most famous products of the region.
"Allgovia" is occasionally used as a synonym for the region. The alpine regions of the Allgäu rise over 2,000 metres in altitude and are popular for winter skiing. The world-renowned castle of Neuschwanstein is in the eastern part of the Allgäu.
The Allgäu is dominated in the south by the Allgäu Alps, which are not part of the Allgäu themselves. The Allgäu is formed by mainly glaciers and glacial debris. Many hills and lakes are remains of former glaciers.
- Ludwig Ganghofer (1855–1920), a writer of Bavarian homeland novels, was born in Kaufbeuren.
- Max Ritter von Mulzer (1893-1916) German pilot WWI ace
- Ernst Walter Mayr (1904–2005), one of the leading evolutionary biologists of the 20th century, was born in Kempten.
- Helmut Maucher (born 1927), a former CEO of Nestlé, was born in Eisenharz.
- Hans Magnus Enzensberger (born 1929), a poet, writer and publisher, was born in Kaufbeuren.
- Klaus Nomi (1944–1983), a countertenor and one of the first prominent victims of HIV, was born in Immenstadt.
- Mario Götze (born 1992), a football player and scorer of the goal that made Germany the 2014 FIFA World Champion, was born in Memmingen.
- Its scenic countryside can been seen in Asmus, C. and Bufe, S. "Dampflokomotiven im Allgau" (1977, Hermann Merker).
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- Official tourist information (German)
- Non-commercial Allgäu Information (German)
- Alpine Club Oy/Allgäu (German)
- Recipes from Allgäu (German)
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