The Black Forest, The Heart of Germany’s Fairy-Tale Folklore

January 9, 2017

Germany is home to some of Europe’s most scenic countryside and some of its most amazing driving routes. Of these, the Black Forest, located in the Rhineland near the French border, is among the most stunning.

Home of the eponymous gateau and the Cuckoo Clock there are few places in the country which feel at once so stereotypically German and also otherworldly, as if the Black Forest was plucked straight from a classic children’s fairy-tale. It should come as no surprise that the Brothers Grimm lived in the area, and were inspired by the forest, villages and towns nearby.

While there’s no mistaking that the Black Forest is German through-and-through, it also has a range of cultural influences from its multicultural history. Having been a border region disputed by France, Germany and Switzerland, as well as having famous Roman history, perhaps best evidenced by the spa town Baden-Baden, where Roman legions would soothe their aching muscles between marches. The ruins of the 2000 year old Roman baths are still there to this day, for any history buffs out there. Baden’s Badisches Landesmuseum is home to lots of ancient Greek and Roman antiques, which provides an incredible insight into some of humanity’s most important civilisations.

Scattered around the region are dozens of small towns where everything moves at a much slower pace, making them perfect for a touring or driving holiday. There are also bigger towns and cities such as Freiburg, the university town, which is home to a number of wonderful museums, a cathedral and more, as well as a hip, young local populace.

Relative to its fame, the Black Forest is fairly small and is easily explore in just a couple of days, but why rush to see it all when you can take your time in one of the last areas of Europe which, despite everything, has managed to retain its real, rustic fairy-tale charm?

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