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  • Stephen R A'Barrow

Spas, Cuckoo Clocks, Gâteaus, Ravioli and Michelin Stars

In the south west corner of Germany lies one of Germany’s most famous attractions, the Black Forest, whose name dates back to Roman times when the Romans termed it’s dense conifer covered slopes ‘Silva Nigra,’ as the density of its trees blocked out most of the light inside the forest.

This beautiful region is however also host to a number of Germany’s most historic towns including two of Germany’s oldest and best preserved university towns Tuebingen and Freiburg, which are both well worth a visit. Baden Baden (so good they named it twice!), also lies at the western foothills of the Black Forest and has been a spa resort known for its healing waters since Roman times, and perhaps remains the premier and most picturesque of Germany’s many spa towns.

Orson Wells did the Black Forest a disservice in the film 'The Third Man' when he claimed that all that Switzerland had produced as a result of seven hundred years of peace was the Cuckoo clock, when infact the Cuckoo clock owes its origins not to Switzerland but to the clock makers of the Black Forest. The popular lakeside tourist resort of Titisee has one of the largest Cuckoo clocks on display for visitors to the region.

Other Black Forest attractions include the imposing 15th century Hohenzollern Castle of the last royal ruling house of Germany, and the Ortenburg castle near Offenburg.

For those who want to take in more of the regions scenery, the winding mountain road through the heart of the Black forest from Tuebingen to Freudenstadt opens up some stunning vistas. And for those chasing culinary delights, besides the famous Black Forest Gateau, the region is also famous for its pancakes Flammkuchen, as well as the local variety of noodles Spaetzle and ravioli Schwaebische maultaschen.

The small town with the largest number of Michelin stars in the region is Bairsbronn with three top Michelin restaurants that have no less than seven stars between them.

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