The Black Forest
by Tony Kendall


Traditional house in the Gutach Valley. (click picture for large photo) Click picture for large photo
I lived in Stuttgart for many years and one reason is that it is on the edge of the Black Forest (in German, "Schwarzwald"). On the weekends I am able to experience its charms and beauty.

For many Americans, the "Black Forest" is an unknown or mysterious place. For some, the term may only be associated with "Black Forest" cheese cake which I have yet not found in Germany. Well then, just what is the Black Forest and why is it black? (click pictures for large version of photo)


The Black Forest is a fairly large region located in southern Germany. It is "black" because the forest growth can be so thick that the forest sometimes seems dark and black. One could easily imagine a "Hansel and Gretl getting lost here. However, the Black Forest is far from black and is a region that offers something for everyone such as the elegant city of Baden-Baden with it's mineral baths and horse racing, the charming village of Triburg with its many clock shops and almost every type of cuckoo clock imaginable, and of course the nature with many wooded areas and beautiful lakes such as Lake Titisee. Click picture for large photo
Lake Titisee is one of my favorite lakes in Germany.



Madison County move over! Covered bridge at Bad Sacklingen. Click picture for large photo
What is the best way to visit the Black Forest region? It really depends on your likes and lifestyle. If you like the high life you might decide to stay at a classy five star hotel in Baden-Baden or Karlsruhe and sample the night life of casinos and theater. If this isn't your couple of tea then there are many smaller hotels and inns that offer a charming atmosphere. If you will be in the region for a week or so then you should look for a "Ferien Wohnung" (vacation apartment) which would offer you the conveniences of home. You can even stay at a farmhouse!


There are no high mountain ranges in the Black Forest but there are plenty of places to hike or go bicycle riding. One area to ride and hike is the picturesque wine region of Ortenau and the quaint village of Sasbachwalden.

After all that hiking and bicycling your hunger will be satisfied by the excellent Black Forest cuisine. There is no Black Forest cheese cake that I know of but do try the "Schwarzwald Kirsche" (a rich and delicious cherry cream cake) and the "Schwarzwald Schinken" (smoked ham). There are many other dishes that will please most people.

If you are trying to find a peaceful place for your summer vacation then the Black Forest may be your dream come true!

Click picture for large photo
Town of Sasbachwalden in the wine growing region.

All photographs: ęCopyright by Ziethen-Panorama Verlag