Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn's Glockenspiel bell tower rings in 50 years

Bavarian Inn Glockenspiel in Frankenmuth, Mich.

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. – Fifty years ago, on Nov. 12, 1967, the Bavarian Inn Restaurant’s Glockenspiel rang out its first tunes to the delight of Frankenmuth residents and visitors.

Now the iconic tribute to Bavarian architecture celebrates its golden anniversary. 

The Glockenspiel, imported by the late Tiny Zehnder in 1967, is known by many as the most recognizable feature of the Bavarian Inn. Installed in a 50-foot tower, it features a moving stage with figurines that depict the legend of the Pied Piper of Hameln four times every day.

In addition to reaching this important milestone, the 35-bell Glockenspiel was treated to a complete renovation earlier this year. Its internal mechanisms were redone, and the figurines on the moving stage were refurbished and repainted.

Bavarian Inn founder Dorothy Zehnder and some of her grandchildren led the restoration effort, with help from the Verdin Company, Artistic Decorating and Nuechterlein Electric.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary, the Bavarian Inn has produced a new retrospective video about the Glockenspiel and its history, which may be viewed at this link.

In addition, the nearby Bavarian Inn Lodge is offering guests a special anniversary lodging package, including a commemorative Glockenspiel growler which can be filled with 64 ounces of root beer or any other Lodge draft beer favorite.

About Bavarian Inn

Celebrating 125 years of service in 2013, the Bavarian Inn Restaurant has become a Michigan landmark. Generations of diners, lodgers and tourists from around the globe have discovered true Bavarian hospitality thanks to Dorothy and her late husband William “Tiny” Zehnder. Guests experience the old-world European charm of the Bavarian Inn – whether it’s the famous chicken dinners, fresh baked goods or Michigan’s greatest selection of German beer. Bavarian Inn also prides itself on being one of the top consumers of Pure Michigan agricultural products. Nestled within a backdrop of authentic German architecture, a variety of shops and other fun activities, a trip to Frankenmuth would not be complete without a visit to the Bavarian Inn. Learn more at

Bavarian Inn online press room:

Bavarian Inn Lodge

Nestled along the Cass River in one of Michigan’s top tourist destinations – Frankenmuth – is one of the state’s largest Indoor Water Park hotels! The Lodge has 360 European-themed guest rooms, including whirlpool and family suites, an adult-only pool and whirlpool, two gift shops, two lounges and two restaurants — all under one roof. The expansive 35,000 square feet Family Fun Center houses two dramatic waterslides, three pools and two whirlpools, over 160 video and redemption games, a two-story children’s play village and Willy’s Kingdom indoor mini-golf course. Guests can also enjoy live, year-round, nightly entertainment and test their own musical skills during weekend family karaoke shows. In 30 years of business, the Bavarian Inn Lodge has been an important destination for travelers, evidenced by the 1.25 million room-nights that have been booked there since its opening, along with its top rating on TripAdvisor®. Learn more at