Inspiration to most of the fairy tales of the Grimm Brothers, Black Forest has been the perfect setting for the stories of Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood and many more. It is rightly called Schwarzwald or Black Forest. This endless vista of valleys, rivers and forests stretches from the spa town of Baden-Baden to the Swiss border, and from the Rhine to Lake Constance. One of the most beautiful parts of Black Forest is the triangle of Freiburg, Triberg and St.Blasien.
The Black Forest was the pioneer in skiing in Central Europe, with the first ski club initiated at the Feldberg Mountain. The first wooden skis and ski lift were made in this region. Today, apart from The Alps, the Feldberg region is one of the largest ski resorts in Europe.
Begin the journey through Black Forest from the beautiful spa town of Baden-Baden. The climate and the numerous hot springs have attracted visitors since the Roman times. For centuries, people have flocked from every corner of the world to experience the healing touch of the therapeutic waters. The town’s luxury spa is the Friedrichsbad, which is a Bath 170-year-old with Roman-style setting. Not just this, this picturesque town is a haven for sports enthusiasts, particularly hikers and skiers.
Freiburg im Breisgau
Known as ‘The Gateway to the southern Black Forest’, Freiburg im Breisgau is surrounded by mountains and has countless streams and rivulets flowing through the streets of the old town. This city has to be explored on foot, going through the old town and new. The Town Hall, University, Martinstor, St.Martin’s Church, Swabian Gate and the Rathausplatz are a few things one must not miss on this trip.
Freiburg im Breisgau Minster
Standing tall and regal is the Freiburg im Breisgau Minster, built through the 13th and 16th centuries. It is one of the greatest masterpieces of Gothic architecture in Germany. The interiors have some priceless works of art, and its stained glass sets this Cathedral apart from any other.
Karlsruhe, another feather in the cap of the Black Forest, is a town one must visit. The State Art Gallery, the neoclassical ‘Schloss’ or the Palace in the town center, Friedrichplatz Museum, the beautiful Stadtgarten, and the Vierordt and Tulla Baths are a few highlights of this place.
The Baths of Badenweiler
Badenweiler, another picturesque and beautiful spa town, sits on the south western side of the Black Forest and is located above the Upper Rhine plain. The subtropical flora and fauna here is stunning. The old buildings and ruins like the Schlossberg attract a lot of explorers. But the town’s main attraction are the baths, which included the Kurhaus built on terraces, the remains of Roman Baths and Margrave’s thermal Baths.
The land of the cuckoo clocks, the Black Forest is a land of outlandish traditional attire, wooden farmhouses and dark evergreen forest. The Black Forest region not being big, gives one the opportunity to explore it by car in just a few days. It is a perfect balance of good scenery and many time-honoured traditions. Dozens of attractive rustic small towns and villages make touring a delight, but the best way to explore is to base yourself in one of the largest towns and then tour down to the smaller ones by the day.