Constance. I (Ger. Konstanz, or Kostnitz; anc. Constantia), a city of Baden, on the S. shore of Lake Constance, or rather on the narrow channel which connects the lake with its N. W. arm, the Untersee, 73 m. E. N. E. of Basel;' pop. in 1871, 10,052. It is walled and defended by towers and a ditch. The most interesting building is the minster, begun in 1052, rebuilt in the 16th century, and within a few years ornamented with a spire and tower of open work. The nave is supported by 16 pillars, each of a single block 18 ft. high, and there is a splendid altar, and many relics and works of art. In the merchants' hall, once a Carthusian monastery, is the room in which the council of Constance was held. The city abounds in memorials of John Huss and Jerome ef Prague, who were executed here. The manufactures embrace cotton cloth, yarn, silk, musical instruments, clocks, and watches. Fishing, navigation, and agriculture employ numbers of the inhabitants. The trade is considerable, and steam communication is kept up with other towns on the lake.
A bridge connects the city with the opposite suburb of Peterhausen. Constance was formerly a free imperial town, but was annexed to the possessions of the house of Austria in 1549, and by the latter ceded to Baden in 1805. II. Lake of (Ger. Bodensee; Lat. Locus Brigantinus), a large lake in the S. W. of Germany, on the Swiss border, forming a centre in which Switzerland, Austria, Bavaria, Wurtemberg, and Baden meet. It is about 1,300 ft. above the sea, and lies between lat. 47° 28' and 47° 50' N., and lon. 8° 52' and 9° 42' E.; is 40 m. long from N. W. to S. E., about 9 m. wide, 200 sq. m. in area, and 964 ft. in maximum depth. It is divided into the upper and lower lakes, the former being the larger, and the latter being subdivided into the lower lake, or Untersee, and Lake Zell, or Zellersee. The Rhine enters the lake at its S. E. end, and leaves it near Stein at the N. W. extremity, while upward of 50 other streams empty into it. Its waters are dark green, very clear, and seldom wholly frozen over, the only known instances being in the years 1695, 1830, and 1841. They are subject to sudden risings, which have never been satisfactorily explained.
The shores are flat or gently undulating, fertile, highly cultivated, and dotted over with picturesque towns, villages, and ruined castles, but are not remarkable for natural scenery. Commerce is carried on by steamers and sailing vessels on the lake, and railways touch at several points on the shores. There are submarine telegraphic cables between Rorschach and Lindau, and between Romanshorn and Friedrichshafen, the latter being at a depth of about 900 ft.