The Black Forest (Germany)

by Josh Spaulding

The Black Forest, located in Baden-Wuerttemberg Germany, close to the French border, is home of the original Cuckoo clock. The famous Cuckoo clocks are all hand made and carved into many different beautiful designs.

If you plan to visit this beautiful area be sure to visit the ‘Mummelsee’ (Mummel Lake) where you can find a swarm of small shops selling cuckoo clocks, Black Forest meats, souvenirs and many more interesting items.

The Mummelsee is approximately 1,055 meters above sea level. While visiting the Mummelsee you can jump on a small boat for a small fee and enjoy the beautiful Black Forest scenery but remember being 1,055 meters above sea level can become pretty chilly. Mid summer would probably be the peek time for this attraction but any time will be enjoyable.

Points of Interest

The cities of Freiburg and Baden-Baden are popular tourist destinations on the western edge of the Black Forest; towns in the forest include Bad Herrenalb, Baiersbronn, Freudenstadt, Gengenbach, Schramberg, Staufen, Titisee-Neustadt, and Wolfach. Other popular destinations include such mountains as the Feldberg, the Belchen, the Kandel, and the Schauinsland; the Titisee and Schluchsee lakes; the All Saints Waterfalls; the Triberg Waterfalls, the highest waterfalls in Germany; and the gorge of the Wutach River.

The Vogtsbauernhöfe is an open-air museum that shows the life of 16th or 17th century farmers in the region, featuring a number of reconstructed Black Forest farms. The German Clock Museum in Furtwangen shows the history of the clock industry and of watchmakers.

Black Forest Geography

Geologically, the Black Forest consists of a cover of sandstone on top of a core of gneiss. During the last ice age, the Würm glaciation, the Black Forest was covered by glaciers; several cirques such as the Mummelsee are remains of this period.

Rivers in the Black Forest include Danube, Enz, Kinzig, Murg, Neckar, and Rench. The Black Forest is part of the continental divide between the Atlantic Ocean watershed (drained by the Rhine) and the Black Sea watershed (drained by the Danube).

Administratively, the Black Forest belongs to the following counties; in the north: Enz, Pforzheim, Rastatt, and Calw; in the middle: Freudenstadt, Ortenaukreis, and Rottweil; in the south: Emmendingen, Schwarzwald-Baar, Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald, Lörrach, and Waldshut. Dialects spoken are Alemannic and Swabian.

The forest mostly consists of pines and firs, some of which are grown in commercial monoculture; the main industry is tourism. Due to logging and land use changes the forest proper is only a fraction of the size it used to be. Moreover, it has suffered serious damage from acid rain. The storm Lothar knocked down trees over hundreds of acres of mountaintops in 1999. This left some of the high peaks and scenic hills bare, with only primary growth shrubs and young fir trees.

Many people say that they call it the black forest mountains because when on the mountain, in the wooded areas, is seems dark from the shadows of all the trees.

Black Forest Coutryside Black Forest House

Once you enter the Black Forest you will notice many houses much like the houses above. These houses have the typical design you will see throughout your visit to the area.