The Schwarzwald – Black Forest – is one of the most famously beautiful regions in Germany. Located East of the Rhine and North of the Alps in Germany’s Southwest, this bucolic region of rolling hills, quaint towns and, yes, romantically dark-treed woods ranks among the most picturesque areas on planet Earth.
Ed and I spent three days (and two nights) driving all around the Black Forest. These first few pictures were taken by Breitgau, a town with one of the higher elevations of Black Forest villages.
These views captured us as we were just driving along one of the higher elevated roads.
The Brigachquelle is one of the two springs that feed the streams that will become the Danube river.
The town of Triberg
Cuckoo clocks are the Black Forest’s most famous export item. Triberg is riddled with clock stores.
For just over $20 000 you can purchase this extravagant cuckoo clock…
… with 24 Carat Beaten Gold and Swaroski Panda Bears, among other luxury specifications.
Triberg’s city hall has a famous conference room of carved wood, created in the 1920s.
Triberg is also where you will find Germany’s highest waterfall.
Triberg’s Pilgrimage Church, built on the site of spring that in 1644 purportedly had miraculous healing powers.
This house is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as Earth’s largest cuckoo clock.
Inside you can see the clockworks arrayed over two stories.
Inside view of the cuckoo clock’s ginormous cuckoo bird.
We were there at 1pm, so that means we witnessed just one “cuckoo”.
More street-side clockwork playfulness.
Hornberg – the mountain and the town, which we viewed from the tower remains of what had once been two adjacent castles/forts each occupied by an opposing army shooting at each other for about 10 years during the 30 year war in the 17th century.
Schiltach, a town with quite possibly the most beautiful collection of Fachwerk (half-timber) houses in the world.
The town of Haslach
Every child in the whole wide world
Has heard of the Hornberg shooting
How the powder ran out at the finest hour
So that they could not shoot any more!
This inscription refers to an evidently true event that happened in Hornberg in 1564. The regional lord was scheduled to visit, and the local townsfolk arranged to shoot cannons in his honor upon his arrival. While they waited for him they drank lots of beer, and kept shooting cannons at the arrival of other travelers they mistook from afar for the lord. By the time the lord did arrive the townsfolk were drop dead drunk and there was no more powder to shoot any cannons. The people of Hornberg have built an amphitheater specifically to enact the Hornberg Shooting Story for tourists. This year, with covid and all, the theater remained empty.
The Hornberg theater:
Back in Haslach, the Saint Arbogast church.
More views on the road…
Freudenstadt is the largest town inside the Black Forest.
Freudenstadt’s protestant city church is laid out in an unusual L-shape
The church’s interior, heavily damaged during the Second World War, was mostly remodeled in the 1980s.
The Elbbachsee viewing platform just outside Freudenstadt.
We hiked downhill to the Elbbach lake
Some more views from the road on our way to Baden-Baden.
Baden-Baden is at the Northwest border of the Black Forest. As such it is more a gateway into the region than a Black Forest city itself.
The grander architecture of a larger city attests to the fact that we are leaving the Black Forest by entering Baden-Baden. We stopped just a couple hours there on our way to Heidelberg.
But before Baden-Baden, before leaving the Schwarzwald…
We made sure to consume the best Schwarzwaldtorte (Black Forest cake) we ever had.