The little town of Diessen at the southwest corner of the lake has one of the most magnificent religious buildings of the whole region: the Augustine abbey church of St. Mary. No lesser figure than the great Munich architect Johann Michael Fischer designed this airy, early rococo structure. François Cuvilliés the Elder, whose work can be seen all over Munich, did the sumptuous gilt-and-marble high altar. Visit in late afternoon, when the light falls sharply on its crisp gray, white, and gold facade, etching the pencil-like tower and spire against the darkening sky over the lake. Don't leave without at least peeping into neighboring St. Stephen's courtyard, its cloisters smothered in wild roses.
Carl-Orff-Museum. Diessen may be home to one of the region's most impressive churches, but it's also attracted artists and craftspeople since the early 20th century. Among the most famous who made their home here was the composer Carl Orff, author of numerous works inspired by medieval material, including the famous Carmina Burana. His life and work—notably the pedagogical Schulwerk instruments—are exhibited in the Carl-Orff-Museum Hofmark 3, 86911. 08807/91981. www.orff.de. Weekends 2–5.
- Address: Diessen
- Location: Ammersee