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Oberstdorf village view
Oberstdorf village view
Coat of arms of Oberstdorf
Coat of arms
Oberstdorf is located in Germany
Location of Oberstdorf within Oberallgäu district
Oberstdorf in OA.svg
Coordinates: 47°25′N 10°17′E / 47.417°N 10.283°E / 47.417; 10.283Coordinates: 47°25′N 10°17′E / 47.417°N 10.283°E / 47.417; 10.283
Country Germany
State Bavaria
Admin. region Swabia
District Oberallgäu
 • Mayor Laurent Mies
Elevation 815 m (2,674 ft)
Population (2017-12-31)[1]
 • Total 9,695
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 87561
Website Official website

Oberstdorf is a municipality and skiing and hiking town in southwest Germany, located in the Allgäu region of the Bavarian Alps. Oberstdorf is one of the highest market towns in Germany. The southernmost point in Germany is located in the municipality.

At the center of Oberstdorf is a church whose tall spire serves as a landmark for navigating around town. The summits of the Nebelhorn and Fellhorn provide dramatic panoramic views of the alps. The Nebelhorn can be reached with a big cable car. Visitors can ride a unique diagonal elevator to the top of the Heini-Klopfer-Skiflugschanze.


View of Oberstdorf
The Nebelhorn, Oberstdorf's local mountain

Administrative divisions[edit]

Oberstdorf consists of the village of Oberstdorf (813 metres above sea level, survey point by the Roman Catholic church) and five other villages:

  • Kornau , 915 m. In the vicinity is the Söllereckbahn and the Chapel of St. Fabian and St. Sebastian which is rich in art treasures.
  • In Reichenbach (population: 226) is the 450-year-old Chapel of St. James and the Moorwasser swimming pool.
  • The little hamlet of Rubi has 175 inhabitants.
  • Typical of Schöllang are the farm houses around the Baroque onion tower of the parish church. In the vicinity is the 1531 castle church.
  • The village of Tiefenbach takes its name from trees called Bergkiefer. The village lies on a terrace above the Breitach stream. Tiefenbach has a centuries-old spa tradition thanks to its sulphur spring. As early as the late 15th century counts and other high-ranking people convalesced here to cure their illnesses.


View of Oberstdorf from the Gaißalphorn

There is a large number of valleys in the area around Oberstdorf, many of which are not only scenic, but are often starting points for walks in the mountains. The following list shows the main valleys together with their side valleys:

Oytal and Dietersbachtal are separated by the Höfats and Rauheck. Gerstruben, Germany's highest village, lies at the entrance to the Dietersbachtal.

The Rappenalptal is the longest and runs from Germany's southernmost village, Einödsbach, past the Haldenwanger Eck, Germany's southernmost point. At the end of the valley the Schrofen Pass leads to Austria.


The Allgäu Alps in the area around Oberstdorf attain heights of over 2,600 metres and belong to the Northern Limestone Alps. The best known summits in Oberstdorf are:[2]


There are numerous lakes at various heights around Oberstdorf:

Main sights[edit]


Findings show that the Oberstdorf area was already inhabited from the Stone Age to the Roman Empire. When the Romans had abandoned the area east of the Upper Rhine and north of the Upper Rhine in the 3rd century, various Germanic groups migrated into the area, which were later called Alemanni.[3]

Oberstdorf was first mentioned in 1141. King Maximilian, the later emperor, granted Oberstdorf in 1495 the right to hold a market and the High Court.[4] In 1518 Count Hugo of Montfort built a spa in Tiefenbach at the sulphur spring, which is regarded as a precursor of today's spa facility.[5]


In December, before every New Year, Oberstdorf hosts the first part of the ski jumping Four Hills Tournament on the Schattenberg large hill. There is also a ski flying hill, Heini-Klopfer-Skiflugschanze, about seven kilometres to the south. ABC's Wide World of Sports famously featured the Oberstdorf ski flying hill when Vinko Bogataj fell during his jump in 1970, thus becoming known as "The Agony of Defeat".

Germany's modern figure skating center was built on the outside of the town. It has three covered rinks and some of them are accessible to the public, for recreational skating. It is a popular destination with European skaters for training camps.[6]

Oberstdorf hosts the annual Nebelhorn Trophy figure skating competition and has hosted the German Figure Skating Championships twelve times. It has also hosted the 1982, 2000, and 2007 World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

Mountain bikers start their Transalp tour in Oberstdorf on the Schrofen Pass to Riva del Garda.[7]

Notable people[edit]

  • The famous alpinist Andreas Heckmair, who participated in the first ascent of the North Face of the Eiger in 1938 lived in Oberstdorf until his death in 2005.
  • Gertrud von Le Fort (1876-1971) author, lived in Oberstdorf from 1925 till her death on 1 Nov 1971
  • The ski mountaineer and extreme sports athlete Toni Steurer was born in Oberstdorf.
  • The 2010 German Vancouver Olympic Team Members Christina Geiger and Gina Stechert (both Alpine Skiing), David Speiser (Snowboard Cross), Johannes Rydzek (Nordic Combined), Nicole Fessel and Katrin Zeller (both Cross-Country Skiing), Daniel Herberg (Curling) and Michael Neumayer (Ski jumping) live in Oberstdorf
  • The prominent German luthier Florian Jäger lives and works in Oberstdorf.
  • Oberstdorf was home to Chonrad Stoeckhlin (1549–1587), the "Shaman of Oberstdorf", a German herdsman who was accused and executed for the crime of witchcraft after experiencing a series of visions. His is one of the most detailed accounts of witchcraft in the German Alps during the "Burning Times" of the Early Modern Era.

Sister cities[edit]


  1. ^ "Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes". Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung (in German). September 2018.
  2. ^ Kompass walking, cycling and ski touring map: Sheet 03 Oberstdorf, Kleinwalsertal (1:25,000). ISBN 978-3-8549-1231-6 (as at: 2009).
  3. ^ Landnahme der Alemannen (oberstdorf-lexikon.de)
  4. ^ Oberstdorf erhält das Marktrecht (1495) (oberstdorf-lexikon.de)
  5. ^ Unser altes Bad: Tiefenbach (oberstdorf-lexikon.de)
  6. ^ Flade, Tatjana (July 22, 2011). "Carolina Kostner Attends Camp In Oberstdorf, Germany". IFS Magazine. Archived from the original on September 10, 2011. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
  7. ^ Transalp on the Heckmair Route

External links[edit]