Der Bergbauer mit seiner Herde auf dem Weg zur Alpe
Hard graft behind the idyll

Mountain farmers like Allgäu’s Armin Kling are crucial to the preservation of our Alpine cultural landscape. They work hard to maintain the popular ensemble of green meadows, clear waters and mountain backdrops

Mountain farmer Armin Kling

Whoever thinks of the Allgäu Alps conjures up the image of lush green meadows, crystal clear water and breathtaking mountain scenery. The impressive cultural landscape serves as a symbol of this popular region for locals and visitors alike. But a lot of work goes into preserving this idyll: For more than a thousand years, the farmers have been working the green fields and woods of the Allgäu Alps by raising crops and animals. In this way they have preserved their homeland and their identity – as is the case with Armin Kling.

Preserving cultural landscapes

Armin Kling is deeply rooted in his homeland. Together with his parents he runs a farm with holiday accommodations in Obermaiselstein in the Upper Allgäu – the twelfth generation of his family to live here. While his mother primarily attends to the guests, Kling looks after the cows and therefore the meadows as well: “Mowing is impossible in many places. If we didn’t graze our animals, our Alpine pastures would soon get overgrown.

If we neglected nature, things would change for all of us. We live from it and with it,” explains the farmer. That’s why he takes his young cattle up to the Alp each summer. Like Armin Kling, many people look after the cultural landscape of the Allgäu Alps – a tradition that has survived to the present day.

Many areas cannot be accessed by machinery. In order to manage them, the cultural landscape has to be laboriously worked by hand or with special equipment. “We are happy to put in this effort because we know that it’s worthwhile – to keep our landscape the way it is,” says Armin Kling with conviction. This is a message that resonates strongly with the inhabitants of the Allgäu Alps.

"We are happy to put in this effort because we know that it’s worthwhile"

Natural idyll as far as the eye can see

And the hard work pays off: Surrounded by green meadows full of dandelions, peacefully grazing cows and a fascinating Alpine panorama, guests at the family business experience this impressive cultural landscape. “From our farm, visitors get an outstanding, uninterrupted view of our local landmark – the ‘Hirschsprung’, an impressive rocky pass. This view cannot be seen from everywhere in Obermaiselstein,” explains Armin Kling with enthusiasm.

Die Sturmannshöhle ist die einzige begehbare Höhle im Allgäu

From the holiday accommodation on the farm, visitors can get out into nature and up into the impressive mountains of the Allgäu Alps. One of the walking tours leads to Sturmannshöhle – the only accessible cave in the Allgäu. From the Dragon’s Gate, more than 180 steps lead down into the depths of the cave. Along the way, visitors discover rock formations dating back 120 million years and the “Höhlenkessel” – an underground stream with crystal clear water that has a slight greenish tinge.

Every celebration is a piece of living history

Preserving the cultural landscape is not just associated with hard work for the inhabitants of the Allgäu Alps: They celebrate their homeland and its associated traditions, such as the “Viehscheid” (cattle drive) or the legendary “Stuiklopfer” (stone crushers). In this dance, the dancers strike a rock with iron bars.

This harks back to an old tradition: the old mining industry. In this way, all the local inhabitants do their bit to preserve the customs of yesteryear, and with them the cultural landscape of the Obermaiselstein region. Guests can take a lasting image with them from every visit.

More about Armin's vacation farm at urlaubshof-kling.de (only in German)

Armin Kling am Brunnen der Almhütte

... from Armin

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