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Friedrichshafen is a town on the northern side of Lake Constancemarker (Bodensee) in southern Germanymarker, near the borders with Switzerlandmarker and Austriamarker.It is the district capital (Kreisstadt) of the Bodensee district (Landeskreis) in the federal state (Bundesland) of Baden-Württembergmarker. Friedrichshafen has a population of c. 58,000.


Church of St. Nicholas.
Friedrichshafen is best known for having been home to the Zeppelin airship company and the Dornier Flugzeugwerke as well as ZF Friedrichshafen AG, manufacturer of transmission systems. Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who was born in Konstanzmarker (Constance), originally had his airships built in a floating airship hangar on the lake which could be aligned with the wind to support the difficult starting procedure.

Visitors can learn more about the history of Zeppelin airships in the large Zeppelin Museummarker sited near the lakeshore. In recent years a number of small Zeppelin airships have been constructed using modern technology (Zeppelin NT) and these can be booked for sightseeing tours.


Airship construction in the first third of the 20th century attracted considerable industry and contributed significantly to Friedrichshafen's relative prosperity, yet also exposed the town to air strikes (such as Operation Bellicose) by the Allied Forces in the latter part of World War II which almost completely destroyed its historical centre. During the war, a subcamp of the Dachau concentration campmarker was located in the town. It provided slave labour for local industry.

Apart from industry and tourism, various regular commercial exhibitions, such as Aero (aviation technology), InterBoot (water sports) and EuroBike are important economical factors. Furthermore, the Graf-Zeppelin-Haus cultural centre has become a popular location for congresses, conferences, and other events.


Map of Friedrichshafen.

The town enjoys regular-interval train services to Lindaumarker and Ulmmarker, as well as to Baselmarker in Switzerland.

A car ferry service links Friedrichshafen to Romanshornmarker in Switzerland, and various other towns around the lake can also be reached by ferry. Since 2005 a fast ship connection has been in service between Friedrichshafen and Konstanz.

The presence of an expanding local airportmarker which offers, amongst other services, a daily international connection to London Stanstedmarker and Dublinmarker operated by Ryanair. It also acts as the hub for the airline carrier InterSky, which is a factor that has contributed to recent growth in the town.

The nearest big cities are Konstanzmarker, St. Gallenmarker, Ravensburgmarker, Ulmmarker, Munichmarker, Zurich, and Dornbirnmarker.

Amateur Radio

Friedrichshafen is the location for Europe's largest Ham radio convention.


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