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The Black Forrest   Print

Today as Millions of tourists visit each year Germany special places getting more and more their favourites. Among them the Black Forest ranks as one of the oldest holidays areas.

The Black Forest is beside the Bavarian Forest the largest low mountain range of Germany. It is particularly famous for its expanded forests, valleys, little cities and nature-left rivers. Almost each village is an air health resort. But not only the environment gives the Black Forest its fascination – it´s one product that made this area so famous: the Black Forest Cuckoo Clock.

This little summary about some major attractions should give you an overview of places to visit. A more deeper view you will get by visiting the links at the end of this overview.

You can start your "Journey around the Clock" at many places, for example in St. Märgen or St. Peter with their Baroque monasteries. Even Waldkirch, though situated in the Breisgau, is a clock-making town with a long tradition. Today more and more travel agencies are organizing tours along the Cuckoo Clock Route. Almost 300 kilometers takes you through beautiful sceneries of the Black Forest. Like pearls on a string you find such lovely places as Triberg, Furtwangen, St. Märgen, Eisenbach or Titisee-Neustadt. And to the expert names like Waldau, Schönwald or Villingen-Schwenningen also ring familiar.

13.000 miles of paths across the Black Forest available for hiking correspond almost to the half earth scope. The "Titisee" – one major attraction within the Black Forest area - is one of the most beautiful lakes of the Black Forest and frequently visited. Additionally here the traditional handicraft - particularly the carving - are maintained until today. North of the black forest is Heidelberg, the romantic city at the river Neckar. The highest mountain of the black forest is the "Feldberg". It is frequently visited by holiday-makers and guests, not because of its height of 1493 meters, but for its great tree-free position in the midst of low-green forests.

The town of Furtwangen has now been the center of the Black Forest Clock area for a long time. Today its clock museum has gained a world-wide reputation. The by far largest collection of old German clocks has its origin in the clock-makers´ school that was established here in the 19th century. The first headmaster was Robert Gerwig. This man set himself a lasting monument with the Black Forest Railway initiated by him. In 1852 Gerwig urged people to keep and collect the old hand-carved wooden clocks. By this he brought together the first pieces of the Furtwangen collection which consists of more than 4.000 clocks today.

Schönwald – an other beautiful holiday retreat, where the inventor of the first cuckoo clock Franz Kellerer lived, is only a few miles away. The oldest clock factory in the world is located there, and it was here too that the cuckoo clock was invented in 1733. Not far away, in Schonach, the world's two largest cuckoo clocks are on display and, in Furtwangen, the world's largest collection of historical clocks can be seen at the German Clock Museum. Mr Kellerer succeeded in imitating the cry of the cuckoo with the help of two different sounding whistles – the main technique still in use in every cuckoo clock. The name of Triberg is directly connected to the waterfall nearby. Right at the entrance to the falls you will wittness every morning a lot of squirrels waiting for a second breakfast. This picturesque town owns an other attraction: the only cuckoo clock-maker, who actually produces the complete clock consisting of clockwork, house and carving lives there – and if you are lucky you can see him working.
Another attraction is the Black Forest Museum in Triberg. You should not miss the largest collection of grind-organs in Europe as well as the impressive collection of antique Black Forest Clocks. The museum is located above the entrance to the waterfalls.

If you still are following the route up past Hornberg you will reach Schramberg - the five valley town - and home of another famous Germany company, Junghans. The reputation of this firm is based on the world famous product they still produces: the radio controlled wrist-watch. By the way - you should not miss the large collection of industrial clocks in the town museum. The well chosen examples of former methods of production and working conditions give the visitor some interesting information on the social and economical history of this area.
Along the German Clock Route "Deutschen Uhrenstraße" more and more little nice towns like Lauterbach, Tennenbronn and Schramberg are situated and provide visitors with an insight into the history of German clocks. Especially Königsfeld which is 800 meters above sea-level, is favoured by guests as it provides about 200 kilometers of almost plain walking paths in an wounderful alpine surrounding.

Next stop – only a few kilometers away from Königsfeld - is Villingen-Schwenningen. The city also plays an important part in the Black Forest Cuckoo Clock history. Particularly the district of Schwenningen was formerly regarded as the biggest clock-making town of the world. You really should not miss the two museums with their different collections of clocks. If you are interested in the history of the alarm-clock you should certainly have a look at the early examples of industrial clocks located in the former Bürk-Factory. One Highlight of your journey along the Route of the Clock will be for sure in the village Eisenbach. Johann Baptist Beha built there his famous table cuckoo clocks. His world time clock from 1865 which is proudly cared for by his descendants can be viewed in the hotel "Bad". Beside that Tourists will have during their journey along the route many possibilities to have a look at close details of the world of cuckoo clocks.
Finally you will arrive back in the area around Titsee-Neustadt which is said to be the actual cradle of the Black Forest Clock. Here is the home of the famous "Jockele" or "Sorg" clocks - the favourite pieces of every collector. If you want to know more about other vendors like Herr, Dold and Hönes please have a look under the button “Vendors” on the website.

You want to know more about the Black Forest Area? Than please fell free to check out the links listed below:

  Links (all with English Text available)

Deutsche Uhrenstrasse
Black Forest Tourist Information
Black Forest Highlights