Lying along the southeastern shore of the Bodensee (Lake Constance) with the majestic Pfänder as its backdrop, Bregenz is where Vorarlbergers themselves come to make merry, especially in summer. Along the lakeside beach and public pool, cabanas and cotton candy lure starched collars to let loose, while nearby an enormous floating stage is the open-air site for performances of grand opera and orchestral works (Verdi, Rimski-Korsakov,
Strauss, and Gershwin are just some of the composers who have been featured). Bregenz is the capital of Vorarlberg, and has been the seat of the provincial government since 1819. The upper town has maintained a charming old-world character. The lower city is the vibrant part of town with pedestrian streets, shops, the train station, restaurants, and offices.