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Black Forest (Schwarzwald)

Listed under Parks & Gardens in Freiburg, Germany.

  • Photo of Black Forest (Schwarzwald)
  • Photo of Black Forest (Schwarzwald)
  • Photo of Black Forest (Schwarzwald)
Photo of Black Forest (Schwarzwald)
Photo by flickr user Fr Antunes
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The Black Forest, or Silva Negra as it was called by the Romans, is neither black nor truly a forest anymore, but a picturesque area of rolling hills, orchards and medieval villages that before the War was one of the most popular destinations for North European tourists. It sits in a corner of the river Rhine, where it crosses three countries - Germany, as well as France to the West and Switzerland to the south.

Today, the best ways to enjoy the area is either on foot - walking or hiking - or by bicycle, staying in one of the beautiful gingerbread hostelries and downing Weissbier in fuggy bierstubes. Driving though is relaxing too - and so if you have to rush, make time to stop for lunch. Highlights of the forest include Baden Baden, the spa resort town to the north, and Hollental - Hell's Valley - an imposing 6 mile long gorge which could only be travelled with armed guard in medieval times.

Midway is the "Hirschsprung", Stag's Leap, where a stag is said to have jumped across the rocks above - you can see a bronze statue of the beast silhoeutted against the sky. Travelling south, a few miles on, you come to an Inn on the left (you need to exit on the right and drive under the road to get to it) - the place where Marie Antoinette stayed en route to her marriage to Louis XIV. They serve the ubiquitous Black Forest Gateau, as well as great ham and pork dishes - another specialty of the forest. For tourists - the coach tours stop off here for lunch - there's a great cuckoo clock shop attached.

Written by  James Dunford Wood.

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Black Forest (Schwarzwald)

Home of fairy tales, cuckoo clocks, dark brooding forests, rocky peaked highlands and rich gateaux, the Black Forest is a wooded mountain range enclosed by the Rhine valley. Once impenetrable these woods could easily be imagined to house grandmother eating wolves, tiny people and witches living in Gingerbread houses. Logging has severely reduced the forests size and tourism is now the regions main source of income. The well established walking trails are one of most popular ways of venturing into the forest.

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