When we hear about the Black Forest, we all think of the geography lessons where we learned that the Danube originates from there. But it is more than that and few know that the Black Forest is one of the most beautiful places in Germany – one of the booming tourist destinations, which gathers every year more and more tourists attracted by the superb landscapes.
Located in western Germany, in the Land of Baden-Württemberg, the Black Forest is a region that includes a spectacular mountain range, rivers, lakes, mountain and spa resorts, waterfalls and much more.
Apart from nature, the Black Forest is also recognized in the world for its three symbols:
1. Schwarzwalder Kirchtorte – a delicious cocoa sponge cake, syruped with Kirschwasser – alcoholic drink with 40% alc., black cherries collected right from the region and natural whipped cream.
2. Bollenhut hats – worn around 1750 by Protestant women as part of folk costume. The large red tassels and white brim of the hats are said to have inspired the top layer of the Black Forest cake.
3. Cuckoo clocks (Kuckucksuhr). The first carved wooden clocks were produced in the 17th century and sold to customers all over Europe . Thus, the villagers who lived in the Black Forest region could supplement their income during the winter.
The world’s largest cuckoo clock (according to the Guinness Book) – Weltgrößte Kuckucksuhr – is located at the foot of the Black Forest mountains (in Schonach im Schwarzwald), its mechanism weighing 6 tons. The interior of the clock building can be visited and houses the working mechanism – all the parts that go into making a cuckoo clock, only they are oversized (60 times larger than regular ones).
The Black Forest is also famous for the legends that circulate in the area and that have inspired children’s stories with the famous witch or even sci-fi and horror films.
Whether it’s the witches who live deep in the forests, most of which have positive significance in this region – they are said to look after the vineyards and farms of the villagers (a tradition of the area is that if you visit someone for the first time, to you take a witch to take care of the house) or that it is water monsters or nymphs that lure people and drag them into the depths of the lakes, all these are another reason that make the Black Forest a mystical and fairytale place.
The Danube is the second largest river in Europe (after the Volga) and crosses 10 countries and 4 capitals. It is the only European river that flows from west to east over a length of 2860 km and flows into the Black Sea. In the Black Forest there are 3 different places, each marked as the “source of the Danube” (Donauquelle). The geographic and hydrological source of the river is located where the Breg River begins to form.
On maps, the Danube appears at the confluence of the Breg and Brigach rivers, in the town of Donaueschingen.
And from a touristic and historical point of view, the spring of the Danube is located in a round basin in Donaueschingen where the water of a karst spring is discharged through an underground channel into the river Brigach. It has been recognized as the source of the Danube since the time of the Ottoman Empire and is marked by a small water fountain surrounded by the signs of the zodiac and a statue representing two women: Mutter Baar (Mother Baar – the local name of the upper Danube) showing them to his daughter, Danube, the path she must follow.
Once you arrived in the Black Forest, you must not miss the small town of Triberg, where the highest waterfall in Germany is located (163 meters). During Christmas, the waterfall is illuminated by 500,000 light bulbs.
In the city center there are shops with souvenirs, cuckoo clocks (House of 1000 clocks) and wooden sculptures, restaurants and terraces.
About 20 minutes by car is the Sommerrodelbahn Gutach/Schwarzwaldbahn (also called the Black Forest bob) – a kind of toboggan with a length of 1.15 kilometers. A lift system pulls you up a distance of 300 meters, and then the fast and fun descent begins at a speed of about 40km/h.
Price: €3/adult/route, €14/adult/6routes, €2.5/child/route, €11/child/6routes. Other details can be found on the official website .
Another tourist attraction is the Titisee resort , which houses the lake of the same name. Surrounded by wooded mountains, Titisee is an idyllic place to relax in an enchanting setting.
Whether you choose to take a steamboat ride, sample the area’s specialties at one of the lakeside terraces, or just soak up the sun, you can’t go wrong visiting this wonderful place.
Freiburg im Breisgau is a small and picturesque town at the foot of the Black Forest mountains. According to weather statistics, Freiburg is the sunniest and warmest city in Germany, holding the German temperature record of 40.2°C from 2003 to 2015.
Due to its scenic beauty, relatively warm and sunny climate and easy access to the Black Forest, Freiburg is the center of regional tourism.
Augustinerplatz is one of the central squares of the old town. The former site of the Augustinian monastery, which became a museum in 1921, is now a popular social space for the city’s younger residents. It has a number of restaurants and bars, including the “Beerling“, home to a brewery. On warm summer nights, hundreds of students gather here, Freiburg being an old university center.
In the center of the old town is the Münsterplatz or Cathedral Square – Freiburg‘s largest square. Here is the Freiburger Münster – a cathedral built between 1200 and 1530 in the Gothic style and remarkable for its high tower (116 meters).
The Historisches Kaufhaus is a late Gothic building built between 1520 and 1530. The building was once the center of the region’s financial life, its facade decorated with coats of arms and statues of four Habsburg emperors.
Feldberg – the highest peak in the Black Forest Mountains (1493 meters). Once at the top, you can enjoy beautiful views of the Black Forest, and from the viewing platform on the 11th floor of the Feldberg Tower, in favorable weather conditions, you can admire the magnificent alpine panorama from Mont Blanc to the Zugspitze.
You can find the prices for the cable car ride on the official website.
Black Forest Railways . One of the most beautiful and interesting railway lines in Germany. It connects Offenburg and Singen (Hohentwiel) on a route of 149 km.
With a height difference of about 670 meters, it is the railway in Europe that passes through the most tunnels (39 tunnels). Tourists can follow a panoramic tour with impressive views of the railways, which brings to life the interesting history of the railway network in the Black Forest.
Other tourist attractions in the Black Forest: Schwarzwaldmuseum (Triberg) – Black Forest Museum – where you can take a journey through time into the economic and cultural life of the region; Park of birds of prey and owls (Triberg) – the largest in Germany; Lakes Mummelsee and Schluchsee; the resort of Baden-Baden .
If you liked our article, read about the last destinations we visited by clicking here .
(Black Forest – August 2018)