Lake Chiemsee

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Chiemsee is a freshwater lake in Bavaria, Germany, near Rosenheim. It is often called “the Bavarian Sea”. The rivers Tiroler Achen and Prien flow into the lake from the south, and the river Alz flows out towards the north. The Alz flows into the Inn which then merges with the Danube. The Chiemsee is divided into the bigger, north section, in the northeast, called Weitsee, and the Inselsee, in the southwest. The region around the Chiemsee is Chiemgau and is a famous recreation area.

There are three main islands on the lake: Herreninsel, the largest, Frauenchiemsee, also called Herreninsel (“gentlemen’s island”) and Fraueninsel (“ladies’ island”); and uninhabited Krautinsel. It is known as “Cabbage Island” because in the Middle Ages it was cultivated with cabbages and other vegetables.

Herreninsel has a palace built by King Ludwig II in 1878 called Herrenchiemsee, which was never completed but was meant to be a replica of the Palace of Versailles. Many of its rooms are open to tourists; tours of the palace and its extensive grounds are conducted throughout the summer.

Frauenchiemsee, the smaller of the two main islands, houses a Benedictine nunnery, built in 782, as well as a small village. The nuns make a liquor called Klosterlikör (“cloister liquor”) and marzipan (almond paste).

There are also three very small islands: the Schalch, to the west of Frauenchiemsee; and two unnamed islands, 54 and 80 meters south of the Krautinsel, with an area of 30 square metres (320 sq ft) each.

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