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Schönbuch Nature Park
Dickenberg (front) and Goldersbachtal (center)
Dickenberg (front) and Goldersbachtal (center)
Schönbuch (Germany)
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Coordinates: 48 ° 35 '24 "  N , 9 ° 3' 36"  E
Location: Baden-Wuerttemberg , Germany
Next city: Tübingen , Herrenberg , Waldenbuch
Surface: 156 km²
Founding: March 21, 1972
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Birkensee on the Bromberg

The Schönbuch is an almost completely forested area southwest of Stuttgart in the Keuperbergland of the south-west German layered plain . In 1972 its core area was declared the first nature park in Baden-Württemberg . This 156 km² nature park is now mostly simply referred to as Schönbuch , whereas the name Schönbuch region is now mostly used to differentiate the originally so-called, more comprehensive area . The highest point of the Schönbuch is at 583  m above sea level. NN high Bromberg .

The Schönbuch Nature Park is now an important local recreation area for the Stuttgart region . It is accessed by relatively few public roads. Many plants and animals that have become rare elsewhere in this region can be found here. From the Association of German foresters the Schönbuch in 2014 was the title wooded area of the Year awarded.


Geographical location

The boundaries of the Schönbuch region are only vaguely defined, while the area of ​​the nature park is precisely defined and can be found on the adjacent map. In the south, west and east, the boundaries of the nature park and the region roughly coincide, although the region partially includes the towns and municipalities on its edge. The southern boundary is drawn by the Ammer and Neckar valleys . The western border is, according to the usual opinion, at the transition to the level of the Gäu , the eastern border where the Filder plateau begins. In the north, the Siebenmühlental and the so-called Schönbuch clearing with the surrounding forests are included in the region. The villages of Altdorf , Hildrizhausen , Holzgerlingen , Weil im Schönbuch , Schönaich , Steinenbronn , Dettenhausen and Waldenbuch are located in the Schönbuch clearing .

Protected areas

Map of the Schönbuch Nature Park

The Schönbuch Nature Park is the largest contiguous forest area in the Stuttgart region . Its limits were set by the Nature Park Ordinance in 1974. It extends about 25 kilometers from east to west and 10 kilometers from north to south. The Schönbuch Nature Park is largely located in the districts of Böblingen and Tübingen , and smaller parts in the districts of Esslingen and Reutlingen . Only the place Bebenhausen lies within the nature park boundaries. Other neighboring locations in addition to the Schönbuch clearing are (clockwise) Aichtal , Schlaitdorf , Walddorfhäslach , Pliezhausen , Kirchentellinsfurt , Tübingen , Ammerbuch , Herrenberg , Nufringen and Gärtringen .

Large parts of the Schönbuch are also designated both as an FFH area (No. 7420-341 with 11,249 hectares) and as a bird sanctuary (SPA area) (No. 7420-441 with 15,362 hectares).

The conservation area Schönbuch also extends to 12,424 hectares over the surface of four counties and has therefore also four reserve numbers (1.15.016, 1.16.037, 4.15.009 and 4.16.004). Economic use is permitted with restrictions in the landscape protection area.

Numerous natural monuments and the nature reserves Eisenbachhain , Grafenberg , Hirschauer Berg , Neuweiler Viehweide , Schaichtal , Schönbuch-Westhang / Ammerbuch , Spitzberg-Ödenburg and Sulzeiche enjoy the strictest protection in Schönbuch . In addition, there are protected areas in the nature park with the already forests or the more strictly protected protected forests according to the state forest law. In 2001, the Schönbuch nature park and adjacent areas were registered as part of the Europe-wide Natura 2000 network because rare plants, forest communities and endangered animal species can be found here.

Streams, valleys and hills

Goldersbachtal towards the southeast, just before the Teufelsbrücke
Aerial view from Betzenberg , right Waldenbuch

The largest valleys of the Schönbuch are the Goldersbachtal in the west and the Schaichtal in the east. Like most of the larger valleys of the Schönbuch, these run in a west-east direction.

From the west, the source rivers Lindach and Fischbach form the Great Goldersbach at the Neue Brücke . Over the next six kilometers, the Große Goldersbach is buried up to 150 m deep between two of the highest peaks of the Schönbuch, the extensive Bromberg ( 583  m ) in the north and the rock garden ( 566  m ) in the south. Finally, at the Teufelsbrücke , the Große Goldersbach merges with the Kleine Goldersbach coming from the north and turns south here. After two more kilometers, the Arenbach flows into the valley named after it from the west . A little later, just before it flows into the Ammer , the Kirnbach flows into the Goldersbach when coming from the northeast . The Kirnbachtal, which can already be assigned to the eastern part of the Schönbuch, is one of the other well-known valleys of the Schönbuch, mainly due to its geological peculiarities and the Kirnberg geological trail that begins there .

Schönbuchturm on the Stellberg

Near the donkey passage on the northern slope of Bromberg springing Sheikh . From the nearby Schaichhof , it forms a valley that for the next few kilometers corresponds to the northern boundary of the nature park. From Dettenhausen to the east, the Schaich runs again in the middle of the nature park and represents one of the most scenic valleys there. The wooded ridge of the Betzenberg separates the valleys of Aich and Schaich before these two streams flowing eastwards meet in the wide valley basin of Neuenhaus on the eastern edge des Schönbuch to cover the last stretch in the lower Aichtal to the mouth of the Neckar together.

The Würm, which arises from two source streams in the northwest of the Schönbuch, drains the region to the north. The wide Würmtal, which is only slightly cut into the terrain, is no longer within the nature park, but the valley section near Mauren is still very scenic, until the Würm finally leaves the Schönbuch region at Ehningen .

The altitudes in Schönbuch range from 300  m in the Neckar Valley to 583  m on the Bromberg. The landscape rises gently from the north-east of the Filder Plain and in parts falls very steeply to the south to the Ammer and Neckar valleys. In the far west of the Schönbuch, the Stellberg ( 580  m ) is the second highest point of the Schönbuch, on which the Schönbuchturm has been located since 2018 . The massive Betzenberg ( 499  m ) with the Waldenbuch telecommunications tower rises in the east .


The Schönbuch Nature Park is only accessed by relatively few roads. The main connections through the Schönbuch are the B 464 , which leads from Holzgerlingen in the northwest to Walddorfhäslach in the east through the nature park, and the state road 1208, the former route of the B 27 , which runs the Schönbuch from Dettenhausen to Lustnau in a north-south direction cuts through and divides into a west and east half. These two connections intersect at the so-called Kälberstelle , a very central point in Schönbuch both in terms of location and traffic.

Railcar of the Schönbuchbahn

On the western edge, the state road 1184, which connects Hildrizhausen and Herrenberg, leads a short distance through the nature park. Even further to the west, the Schönbuch tunnel of the A 81 runs under the westernmost branch.

There is no railway line leading through the Schönbuch Nature Park. The Gärtringen, Nufringen and Herrenberg stations in the vicinity of the nature reserve are connected to the Stuttgart S-Bahn network via the Gäubahn line that runs past to the west . From the north, the Schönbuchbahn from Böblingen leads to Dettenhausen and thus directly to the edge of the nature park. The Schönaicher First – Schönaich railway branched off from 1922 to 1959. In the south, the Ammertal Railway, which was reactivated in 1999, runs from Herrenberg to Tübingen along the southern edge of the Schönbuch.


The location in Central Europe and the distance of southern Germany to the sea are decisive for the Schönbuch and cause a certain continentality of the climate . The annual average temperature is around 8.7 ° C. The average annual precipitation is between 740 and 770 millimeters. The climate in the Schönbuch region can thus be characterized as warm, dry and submontane .

The micro- and mesoclimate in the Schönbuch region is, however, quite different. For example, the southern slopes on Schönbuchtrauf above the Ammertal are particularly climatically favored. This also includes the nature reserve around the Grafenberg , which is characterized by dry and edaphic conditions and a location for very rare warmth-loving plants. The Hungarian flat pea grows in this place as a specialty , which found a refuge here during the Ice Age because of the warmth .


Geological sequence of layers in Schönbuch


The Schönbuch, located between the Eastern Black Forest and the Swabian Alb , is part of the Keuper Hills , which in turn is part of the south-west German layer level country.

Almost all of the rocks in Schönbuch were deposited by water around 200 million years ago during the Keuper period , the most recent or most recent epoch of the Triassic . The Lower Keuper was essentially created by silting up the sea at that time. The Middle Keuper was then formed from rocks washed up by broad rivers. The Obere Keuper, in turn, was created on the beach of a Wadden Sea , which partially flooded the layers of the Middle Keuper .

During the Keuper period, which lasted a total of 10 million years, these three units were created, which are around 250 meters thick. The middle layer is subdivided into layers of gypsum , sandstone and marl of different hardness (see illustration). The Keuper period ended with the flooding of the entire area by the Jurassic Sea, with the layers of the Jura still being deposited over the Keuper layers , of which all layers were later removed in Schönbuch, except for the Black Jurassic (Lias α) that existed in places . At the end of the Jurassic period about 140 million years ago, the terrain rose from the receding sea and the deposition ceased.

In the following years, the Keuper layers were erosion eroded by wind and water part. The changing composition of the Keuper formations of soft clay and marl as well as hard sandstone gave the Schönbuch its lively character with gentle peaks, craggy transitions from the plateaus to the steep slopes in the south and the deeply cut valleys of the streams.

House sandstone

Stubensandstein outcrop in the Kirnbachtal

Even if today all layers from the Gypsum Keuper to the Black Jura form the subsoil of the Schönbuch or at least emerge somewhere, the Stubensandstein covers the largest part of its area with 35 percent. The resistant, up to 60 meters thick rock banks form the striking and steep eaves in the west and south-west. For the western part of the Schönbuch in particular, the Stubensandstein defines the landscape.

The sandy soils that form from this stone are dry, free of lime and low in minerals and therefore unsuitable for agriculture. This is why these areas have hardly been cleared and today they represent a large part of the forest floor of Schönbuch.

The parlor sandstone has been used as a building block since Roman times and was also dismantled in Schönbuch. Such quarries can be found in Lustnau , Kayh , Dettenhausen or on Betzenberg , for example . A wide variety of buildings were erected from the parlor sandstone of Schönbuch, such as the Bebenhausen monastery , the Neckar bridge in Tübingen , the Esslingen Frauenkirche, the Reutlingen Marienkirche and the Ulm Minster . The parlor sandstone from Schönbuch even had supraregional importance, so at the world exhibitions in London and Paris in the middle of the 19th century, the "stone from Betzenberg" was awarded as "best suited" and was probably the most popular in Europe at the time. Sandstones from the Schönbuch were also used on Cologne Cathedral , Munich City Hall and Neuschwanstein Castle .

The parlor sandstones from the area are differently sensitive to weathering depending on the layer. Most of the sandstone from Schlaitdorf used in Cologne Cathedral has to be replaced.

Kirnberg geological trail

At 466 meters high Kirnberg in 1977 to mark the five hundredth anniversary of the University of Tübingen the Geological trail Kirnberg created. On June 2, 2017, the revised geological nature trail was presented to the public and handed over. It begins at the entrance to the Kirnbach valley around two kilometers south of Bebenhausen . The middle and upper layers of the Keuper were exposed here on the steep slopes of the Kirnbach . The sequence of layers can be "hiked through" for around 4½ kilometers, starting with the Untere Bunter Mergeln in the Kirnbachtal until the path on the Kirnberg ends at the Rhätsandstein layer.


Stone Age and Antiquity

Traces of prehistory and early history are not uncommon in Schönbuch in contrast to other forest areas. The earliest evidence is a blade made from Jurassic chert found at the Devil's Bridge , dating from around 10,000 BC. However remains difficult. The stay of nomads in the Mesolithic (8000 to 5500 BC) is, however, considered to be certain, especially at the Schönbuchtrauf near Herrenberg resting places have been found.

In the Neolithic Age , a rural culture with permanent living quarters emerged in the fertile areas on the edge of today's Schönbuch, with the central areas of Schönbuch remaining undeveloped. The seemingly impenetrable primeval forest was apparently cleared more and more during the Hallstatt period (880 to 450 BC) to cover the need for wood and further destroyed by forest pasture . Around 300 Celtic burial mounds also date from this time , such as the burial mound in Lehbühl near Schlaitdorf . In the eastern part of the Schönbuch there are three Celtic square entrenchments , which can be assigned to the La Tène period that followed.

Around 80 AD the Schönbuch was incorporated into the Roman Empire , and many finds from this period suggest a lively economy. There were quarries, potteries, and farms. After the retreat of the Romans, the Alemannic immigrants initially avoided the Schönbuch so that the forest could recapture the cleared areas. It was not until the 6th century that clearing and settlement started again from the north. Only the central area between Herrenberg and Bebenhausen was probably never touched and later formed the core of the lordly Schönbuch forest.

Middle Ages and Modern Times

Hermitage chapel with altar on Bromberg

In the early Middle Ages it was an imperial forest . Since the middle of the 12th century, the Count Palatine of Tübingen ruled over significant parts of the area. It was not until the Counts of Württemberg that they acquired sole authority over the entire Schönbuch in the 14th century. The hermitage on Bromberg , also known as the former chapel , dates from the late Middle Ages (13th to 15th centuries) . In 1974 the walls of a chapel and a small residential building , built up from the pending Rhaetian sandstone, were uncovered. The storm " Lothar " damaged the remains of the hermitage very badly. According to an investigation carried out by the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen on behalf of the Baden-Württemberg State Monuments Office , the remains of the residential building were restored in 2004 as stone-like.

Up until the 19th century, the Schönbuch was primarily used as a wood reservoir, but also as a pasture ( Hutewald ) and as a hunting area. The hunt was only reserved for the rulers from the House of Württemberg , while the logging and use as pasture was done by so-called Schönbuch comrades . This involved around 70 municipalities and cities in the Schönbuch area, which in return paid money, grain and chickens. Such an administration was unusual, because in Württemberg counts and ducal officials usually managed the forest as part of the “ forests ” into which the whole country was divided.

The wood of the Schönbuch was mainly used as construction or firewood and also served craftsmen such as tanners , wagons , cooper and plowmakers as raw material. In addition, there were some glassworks around and in Schönbuch that had an insatiable need for wood and simply moved on when the supplies in the vicinity were exhausted. In order to put a stop to the rampant use of wood, the Württemberg rulers issued several ordinances, probably also to preserve the Schönbuch as a hunting area. For example, in 1586, Duke Christoph stipulated that the cellars and ground floors of the houses had to be built of stone and that wood could only be used for the upper floors.

But the Schönbuch also suffered from the fact that it was the most wild forest in the country and the favorite territory of the Württemberg counts and dukes. The damage caused by game browsing was similar to that caused by its use as pasture, because the animals ate the young shoots, the tree bark and also the beech nuts and acorns the seeds necessary for regeneration. All of this led to the fact that at times the Schönbuch was hardly recognizable as a forest. For example, after the Thirty Years War, only a quarter of the entire Schönbuch was covered with forest, today it is almost 90 percent. Even Johann Wolfgang von Goethe no forest saw more than he went on a trip to Switzerland in 1797 through this area, but only "individual oak trees on the drift ".

Royal hunting lodge on the rock garden

Hunting was forbidden to the rural population all year round so that the game could reproduce undisturbed and the nobility were not disturbed during the hunt. In 1812 King Friedrich organized the Dianenfest in Bebenhausen . This hunting festival was one of the most magnificent festivals Bebenhausen ever saw. 823 wild animals were brought down on the day of the festival. It was not until 1849 that the German ruling houses had to give up their hunting privilege. In 1866, Prince Wilhelm (later King Wilhelm II ) leased the hunt in Schönbuch and kept it until his death in 1921. He hunted there together with Kaiser Wilhelm II , for example , and a hunting lodge owned by the Württemberg kings shows that the rulers here liked to spend time away from Stuttgart .

Towards the end of the 19th century, the forest slowly recovered, mainly due to more sustainable use. In 1820, under King Wilhelm I of Württemberg, a planned reforestation had started from an economic point of view. In addition, a central forestry authority promoted the replacement of the old grazing and timber rights, but this was by no means accepted without resistance by the former Schönbuch comrades, some of whom offered militant resistance. For this reason, over 10,000 penal orders were issued in 1822 alone. Often the delinquents had to serve their sentences in the writing tower of the Bebenhausen monastery, today's information center of the nature park.

Planned airport

Memorial sign on the Mahneiche against the airport construction

In the mid-1960s, the state government planned to build a new major airport for Stuttgart. The Schönbuch and Mönsheim were the shortlisted locations. The reason for this planning were prognoses and reports at the time that predicted a collapse for the old Echterdingen airport in 1980. In April 1969, a "Schönbuch Airport Working Group" was formed to counter the project and included representatives from rural districts, municipalities, authorities and other organizations. After an open letter from the coalition of the airport opponents, the plans were off the table in March 1972.

An area of ​​approx. 1100 hectares was to be used for the airport. The two planned runways should have run from west to east, between the Pliezhausen districts Gniebel and Rübgarten in the south and on the municipality of Walddorfhäslach in the north. The southern runway would have run just under four kilometers from the Tübingen districts of Bebenhausen and Pfrondorf . It is controversial which reasons ultimately led to the negative decision. Economic reasons also spoke against the airport in Schönbuch. It was clear from the beginning that gigantic earth movements would have been required to build a 4000 meter long runway. However, geological reports showed that enormous amounts of reinforced concrete would have been necessary to provide the crumbling Keuper rock of Schönbuch with the necessary stability and resilience for the foreseeable future.

It was decided to expand the existing airport in Echterdingen. The 350 year old Mahneiche in Kirnbachtal was dedicated to the memory of these events. Another stately oak, the Oskar Klumpp oak in Goldersbachtal, is dedicated to the memory of the then Tübingen District Administrator Oskar Klumpp , who used all political and rhetoric means to prevent the airport from being built in Schönbuch.

Establishment of the nature park

The Schönbuch had been designated as a landscape protection area since 1967 . After the plans for the airport had been discarded, Peter Weidenbach worked out the planning as a local recreation area until 1970, also as a contribution to the European Year of Nature Conservation 1970. On March 21, 1972, the then Prime Minister Hans Filbinger “ennobled” Schönbuch with the title Nature Park . After the Siebengebirge nature park , Schönbuch is now the second smallest nature park in Germany with 156 km², but it was the first in Baden-Württemberg . In October 1974, representatives of the state, the neighboring districts, cities and municipalities finally signed a joint administrative agreement.

More foiled development projects

Memorial stone of the citizens' initiative against a retention basin in the Schaichtal

Even its status as a nature park did not protect the Schönbuch from planning further developments. In 1984 the Aich water association planned to damm the Schaich with a 17 meter high dam . A citizens' initiative was able to prevent this.

In the Goldersbach valley behind Bebenhausen, too, a dam has been considered by the Tübingen city ​​administration since 1982 . The lower parts of Lustnau had previously been flooded in several heavy downpours . In 1983, however, the Tübingen municipal council spoke out in favor of nature conservation and against this project, also against the partially justified Lustnau interests. When Lustnau was damaged again in 1987 after a "flood of the century", the plans revived. At this time, wooden mock-ups were set up to demonstrate the extent of the 20-meter high dam and the planned retention basin. Finally, in 1993, this project was not implemented.

Origin of name

The first documentary mentions can be found in the earliest documents of the Bebenhausen monastery . In 1187 Friedrich I, Duke of Swabia, granted the monastery the right to use the forest without restriction. The forest is designated as follows: “nemore cui nomen est Schaienbuch” (German: “the forest whose name is Shaienbuch”). In other mentions from this time, the forest is referred to as “ Schainbvoch ” or “ Schainbuch ”.

The origin of the name is controversial, although the second word component of the compound still seems comparatively clear. Where -buoch as a collective form of Old High German buohha what actually means something like "book". The defining word schain- causes greater difficulties, there a reference to the Old High German skago for “headland” or “projecting mountain range” was assumed. A connection to the Schaich , the stream in the east of the Schönbuch, was also established several times. A much more conclusive interpretation is possible by means of the well-attested Old High German verb ir-skeinan for "break". The name thus points to a beech forest that supplied the authorized “Brech-Holz” to use, which is perfectly compatible with the known earlier use of the forest in Schönbuch. This interpretation is also supported by the fact that the formation of determinative compounds with a verbal stem was common in the West Germanic languages at the time in question .

At the end of the 16th century, the first defining word was then re-motivated with the connection to “beautiful”, whereby “beautiful beech stock” was understood to mean an economically usable forest at the time, and not the aesthetic meaning of “beautiful” that expresses pleasure is associated here today.

Forestry and forestry

Tree species composition

After the forest in Schönbuch had deteriorated considerably at the beginning of modern times, the Schönbuch Nature Park today has the highest proportion of forest in the nature parks in Baden-Württemberg, at 86 percent. With the introduction of regulated forestry at the beginning of the 19th century, the area was replanted with great effort, mainly with robust spruce and pine trees . Planted deciduous trees still had little chance of survival in the open spaces at that time due to their susceptibility to game bites , frost and mice and were therefore rarely planted.

With today's second generation of forests, deciduous trees are systematically planted in spruce stands, which are particularly susceptible to storms and red rot . Today, 56 percent of the forest still consists mainly of conifer species, which are divided into 34 percent spruce, 21 percent pine, and one percent silver fir and larch . The most common deciduous tree species are beeches with 24 and oaks with 16 percent of the total. The long-term goal is to bring the proportion of deciduous tree species to around two thirds and to establish the role of the beech as the character tree of the beautiful book.

In the Schönbuch nature park, 63 percent of the state forest predominates , which in particular forms the central area. 34 percent community forest and 3 percent private forest are mainly in the peripheral areas.

Special trees

The thick oak - for a long time the oldest tree in Schönbuch

The history of the Schönbuch is based on the large number of old, large oaks that are 350 years old and more. Most of these are so-called Huteichen (" Hutebaum "), which formed during the period of use as a forest pasture (so-called " Hutewald "). Farmers drove their cattle into the forest, instead of undertaking extensive clearing and conversion into pastureland. Today's hat oaks were used for the acorn fattening of grazing cattle and red deer , which were popular for courtly hunting. Through the grazing of new seedlings and the human support of the older trees, partly monumental, free-standing trees could develop that would not have developed naturally. Many of these oaks are natural monuments today. The so-called thick oak in Lindach not far from the Kohlweiher was considered the largest and oldest oak in Schönbuch until 2013. She had a circumference of 6.85 meters at chest height, her age was estimated to be around 500 years. After the tree was already badly damaged in winter 2007/2008, it fell in strong wind and rain in January 2013. The fallen tree is to be preserved as a natural monument, it was around 100 years older than all the other oaks in Schönbuch. Possibly the Sulzeiche is now the oldest tree.

Twenty-four beeches in the Herrenberger Stadtwald

In the western nature park, the Herrenberger Stadtwald, there are some specimens of special beech trees in which several trunks grow from a single rootstock. The twenty-four beeches , the thirteen beeches and the twelve beeches are known . The latter fell victim to the storm " Lothar " and the other specimens were also damaged by storms, so that today, for example, only 17 trunks can be counted among the twenty-four beeches . The cause of the multiple roots is also to be found in pasture management. The forest was often overgrazed due to the heavy cattle drive, so that the shepherds cut the young beeches at head height in order to be able to use the tree tops as additional fodder for their grazing cattle.

Sequoias in Schönbuch

In addition to the native tree species, all kinds of exotic species can be found in Schönbuch. There are closed stands of Douglas firs , as well as white pine , Korean and Japanese larches , sugar maples , locusts and red oaks . The sequoia tree ( Sequoiadendron giganteum ) was also imported from North America . After this tree species had only been discovered by the Europeans in 1850, King Wilhelm I commissioned the Royal Forestry Directorate to plant trees in and around Stuttgart in the early 1860s. In 1865, the seeds ordered for this purpose were sown in Wilhelma's cold house . From this seed 6,000–8,000 plants emerged, far more than originally planned. In the following years, some young plants were distributed to interested foresters in Württemberg and later planted outdoors, some of them in Schönbuch. In the above-average cold winter of 1879/80, however, most of these trees froze to death, the few remaining are distributed in several places in Schönbuch. Some of them can be found on the Betzenberg , for example , including the highest tree in the nature park, which is 50 meters today.

Storm disasters

Memory of the hurricane Wiebke on Bromberg

Even the hurricanes “ Vivian ” and “ Wiebke ” in spring 1990 caused considerable damage in Schönbuch, which was exacerbated by a subsequent bark beetle plague in the dry and hot years that followed. Nevertheless, on Boxing Day 1999 , “ Lothar ” surpassed all previous expectations. While in “Wiebke” it was mainly the shallow-rooted spruce trees that were knocked over, “Lothar” hit all the stands. A large part was overturned in a kind of domino effect . In the case of “Wiebke”, most of the trees and their root plates fell over, whereas “Lothar” simply broke off a good twenty percent, which was also disadvantageous for the recovery of the storm wood .

Throwing area of ​​the hurricane "Lothar" in the Arenbach valley

“Lothar” raged throughout Schönbuch, but the western part was worst affected. Younger stocks, which were previously believed to be storm-proof, were also damaged. According to calculations by the Herrenberg Forestry Office, the storm knocked over around a third of the entire coniferous wood in the area, and eight percent in the deciduous forest. In the whole of Schönbuch, the amount of damage was roughly one million solid meters of wood.

The last hurricane " Kyrill " in January 2007 caused far less damage than the previous storms. The resulting amounts of storm wood could easily be collected as part of normal logging. The reason for the far less dramatic consequences was, on the one hand, that “Kyrill” in the Schönbuch area did not unfold its full force, but on the other hand, the ground was less moist than usual.

Today the damage is also understood as an opportunity to change the composition of the forest in the direction of a near-natural forest and to increase the proportion of deciduous tree species. The ecological winners after “Lothar” include many sun-hungry plants and with the pioneering tree species sand birch the tree of the year 2000. Nevertheless, it will be decades before the Schönbuch will have reached a level comparable to the time before “Lothar”.

More flora and mushrooms

Globeflowers and broad-leaved orchid on the wet meadows in the Kayhertal

The earlier intensive use of the Schönbuch as forest pasture and the extraction of leaf litter have led to a lack of nutrients in many areas, which today is proving to be valuable from a nature conservation perspective. As a result, the area offers a refuge for many plants that no longer exist outside of today's nature park. The spatially narrow Goldersbachtal alone is home to almost 400 species of plants and over 90 species of moss.

Wet meadows

In the Great Goldersbachtal above the Teufelsbrücke and in the valleys of the Fischbach and the Lindach, the two source streams of the Goldersbach, there are many wet meadows that are extensively farmed. The mass populations of globeflowers , which can be found there especially in spring, are particularly striking . In addition, these wet meadows are valuable locations for orchids .

The meadows are only partially used for agriculture today. To preserve biodiversity and prevent natural succession , they need to be mowed at least once a year. The forest administration therefore has these meadows mowed in early summer to prevent the valley from becoming overgrown.

Birch Lake

Knüppeldamm at Birkensee

The Birkensee, located on the ridge of the Bromberg , is designated as a natural monument of the Birkensee wetlands due to its rare plant communities . Today the area represents a so-called transition moor, a moor in the transition stage from a low to a raised moor .

The Birkensee probably arose at the beginning of the 19th century on the bottom of an abandoned Rhaetian sandstone quarry . The layer of rock below the lake is said to have become impermeable to water through natural cementing, so-called stone formation. Another source from 1667 describes the lake as a swampy pasture. Recent research suggests that the Birkensee is the last sand pit that arose from the mining of sticky sand as silver sand on the Bromberg.

Today the Birkensee threatens to silt up more and more . Many of the rare swamp and bog plants that were previously found here have now disappeared. Nevertheless, the Birkensee still one of the pflanzenkundlich interessantesten areas of the beautiful book, one finds among other things, moor grass , the red foxglove , broom , bracken , sundew , narrow- and broad-leaved cotton grass , heather and Fringed Pink , club moss , blueberries , various peat mosses and of course also the birch trees that give it its name . In order to protect the vegetation from damage caused by visitors, a barbed dam and other paths made of bark mulch were built in 1988 .


Orchard meadow near Rohrau

The typical form of fruit production in the past were orchards , which are found in many places on the edge of the nature park, especially around the western Schönbuch slope. The extensively used meadows have shaped the landscape on the edge of Schönbuch for more than 100 years and they are of particular importance from an ecological point of view. Around 3,000 animal species were found in orchards, including 50 breeding bird species , some of which, as species on the “ Red List ”, are urgently dependent on the habitat.


Due to its climatic conditions and the composition of the tree population, the Schönbuch is a particularly suitable forest for mushrooms . Particularly noticeable are the unpleasant smelling stinkhorn , the dog's tail , the toadstool or the octopus mushroom , which was introduced and has meanwhile become a regular place. The number of different types of macro mushrooms is estimated at around 800 in Schönbuch, a large part of which are edible mushrooms . The bolete mushroom, which has become rarer, should be mentioned here, but mushrooms can be found in the Schönbuch even in the depths of winter, such as the velvet foot and oyster mushrooms .

Fauna and hunting

The unsettled nature park Schönbuch is not only a refuge for plants, but also for animals. There are, for example, the fire salamanders , the yellow-bellied toads , the black woodpeckers and the stag beetles, animals that have already fallen victim to the changed human land use outside of the nature park.


Like other forests, the Schönbuch is populated by a large number of insects , which are divided into useful, such as ants , and harmful ones , such as the bark beetle . The beetles make up the largest proportion of the insects in Schönbuch, there are thousands of different species. The stag beetle, the largest and also one of the rarest, has found a retreat here. It is threatened by the excessive clearing of old oak trees in many places.

In Schönbuch there are also many dragonflies that need clean running waters, as well as many species of day and night moths . With regard to insects, the aforementioned orchards on the edge of Schönbuch are also relevant. 53 species of butterflies, 19 species of locusts and 119 species of wild bees were counted in this area, 32 of the latter being representatives of the “ Red List ”. The insects also benefit from the open spaces created by the storms of 1990 and 1999.


The avifauna of the Schönbuch also has some unusual features that are rarely found in the forests of this region. For cavity nesters who are forest preserves the natural park a valuable refuge. For example, the middle woodpecker lives in the tree hollows of thick oaks that are more than hundred years old. The crow-sized black woodpecker works his nesting holes in old beech trees , which are then used by stock pigeons . The Goldersbach valley , one of the few unobstructed stream valleys in the greater Stuttgart area, also offers a habitat for species that have become rare, such as the kingfisher . Other native to the Schönbuch rare species of birds, for example, gray-headed woodpecker , woodcock , red-backed shrike , collared flycatcher , pygmy owls and red kites . The gray heron can be found in small numbers on the wet meadows of the Schönbuch area, but this is no longer rare after the population has recovered in Germany.

In addition, the Schönbuch is an important resting or wintering area for many northern bird species. The closed forest area with the neighboring valley plains of Ammer and Neckar is particularly tempting for many people who travel away. Large flocks of mountain finches come regularly . Even resting black storks and cranes have been observed. The Kirchentellinsfurt Baggersee , located on the southeastern edge of the Schönbuch, is also attractive as the largest open water area in the Schönbuch region for migrating and wintering birds. The many cormorants are already a familiar sight, and unusual winter guests such as whooper swans and goosander can be found among the many water birds there .


Before humans settled the Schönbuch region, the forest was populated by other mammal species. Since many of the large predators later represented a danger to grazing cattle and also a competition for the hunters of the red deer, these were exterminated. It all started with bears around 1600, followed by wolves , lynxes and finally wildcats around 1916 .

But even today the Schönbuch is still populated by quite a large number of mammals. Scientists from Tübingen have counted 44 species of mammals, 40 percent of which are already classified as endangered. The best-known species to be found in the nature park are red deer , wild boar , roe deer , badger , red fox , brown hare , tree and stone marten , polecat , squirrel , hedgehog , ermine , weasel , mole , dormouse , muskrat , various shrews and other different types of mouse . The Schönbuch is best known for its red deer. Visitors can observe the red deer and wild boar both in specially set up show enclosures and at special observation points in the wild.

Different types of bats can also be seen in the Schönbuch. Researchers at the University of Tübingen have identified over ten different bat species in recent years. This ranges from living in the coniferous forest brown long-eared bat on the Noctule to the mouse-eared bat , the largest native species.

Deer pack on the pasture at Dickenberg

Rotwild has always been at home in Schönbuch. Today the red deer live in a 40 km² fenced game reserve , which was set up for them in 1959. Increasing hunting pressure and the beginning of tourism frightened the animals so much that they could hardly be found on grazing areas and instead peeled the bark of the trees in the thicket. In order for the trees to recover from the damage they caused, the population was reduced from the original 16 to four to five per square kilometer in 1989; around 150 red deer currently live in this area.

Today the wild boar again plays an important and at the same time critical role in Schönbuch. Compared to red deer, wild boars are not as faithful to their location and the fencing around the red deer gate is not a major obstacle for them. When they migrate outside the forest, they often cause considerable damage to agriculture. Even the deer benefits from the damaged areas of the great storms of 1990 and 1999 and has significantly increased.

Since it is the declared will of the state forest administration to preserve the red deer in Schönbuch in particular for reasons of regional culture, five game rest areas have been set up within the game reserve, in which visitors are not allowed to leave the paths. In return, special visitor pulpits were set up on Dickenberg and Kirnrain to observe the red deer. Another measure was the change in the hunting strategy. To reduce the hunting pressure, a large part of the necessary shooting takes place on a few days in late autumn and early winter by means of driven hunts .

Deer in Schönbuch

freetime and sports

Old signs above, new below

Today the Schönbuch is hardly of any economic importance; today , in addition to nature conservation , the areas of use for recreation and recreational sports predominate , which are given equal status in the Federal Nature Conservation Act . The total number of visitors is estimated at 4 million a year, and up to 100,000 on nice days.


There are 560 kilometers of marked hiking trails in the nature park, only a small part of which is asphalted. In the spring of 1998 a new, uniform signage system was installed in the area of ​​the entire nature park, this so-called "visitor guidance system" has meanwhile been awarded by the Federal Environment Ministry .

There are also over 100 parking spaces, 38 playgrounds, 84 fire places and 75 shelters available to visitors. On extended hikes through the Schönbuch, however, one is essentially dependent on self-sufficiency, as the refreshment stops are not particularly numerous and limited to the edge areas of the nature park, which underlines the originality of a hike. You can stop off at the “ Hohenentringen Castle ”, the “Weiler Hütte”, the “Naturfreundehaus Herrenberg” and various restaurants in Bebenhausen .

In the meantime, one looks in vain for waste bins in the nature park. The rubbish left behind by visitors had become an ecological and financial problem, so that some time ago the nature park administration had the rubbish bins dismantled. Visitors are encouraged to take their rubbish home with them. In 2003, warning signs were put up at critical points such as barbecue areas.


In addition to hiking and walking, the Schönbuch is also suitable for many forms of endurance sports . The area of ​​the nature park in particular is popular with runners , Nordic walkers and cyclists . Also riding is possible in Schönbuch, this special way are reported.

The large contiguous wooded area, only intersected by a few roads, is also ideal for fun runs , which can be seen from the increasing number of events. The most famous runs here are the Schönbuch run over 25 kilometers starting in Hildrizhausen and the Nikolauslauf starting in Tübingen over the half marathon distance .

The fitness trails that came from the first wave of fitness in the early 1970s and are now somewhat out of fashion are in many places in an unsatisfactory condition and are now also out of date from a sports medicine point of view. In 2005, those responsible for the nature park worked with the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen to develop a concept for making the "outdated" facilities sustainable. It remains to be seen whether this pilot can serve as a model for similar facilities elsewhere.

Nature trails and museums

Writing tower of the Bebenhausen monastery

In addition to the Kirnberg geological nature trail already mentioned, there are the following nature trails in or on the edge of Schönbuch:

  • Schlossberg nature trail in the Herrenberg forest: geology, trees, bushes, bird life
  • Betzenberg forest nature trail : geology, arboretum , bird life, stone quarry
  • Archaeological-historical educational trail Einsiedel : history from the Hallstatt culture to the past of Einsiedel Castle, as well as forest and hunting history
  • Echterdingen historical educational trail : archeology , geology, local history, forest history

The Schönbuch Museum in Dettenhausen offers another option for more information about the Schönbuch . This is divided into the following sections:

  • Stone : geology and the former stone quarries of Schönbuch
  • Forest : The changing history of the forest up to the present day
  • Hunting : courtly hunting, poaching, modern hunting

In 1997 the nature park information center was set up in the writing tower of the former Bebenhausen monastery . There the tasks of the nature park, the forest and its functions are presented in detail and clearly.

Nature park administration and support association

As the oldest nature park in the state, in contrast to the other nature parks in Baden-Württemberg, Schönbuch has no sponsoring association and therefore no income from membership fees. The nature park is based on an administrative agreement that was made in 1974 and renewed in 2006. The nature park committee is formed by representatives of the surrounding communities, the districts and the state of Baden-Württemberg as the nature park sponsor. As an advisory body, the nature park committee is supported by a board of trustees in which representatives of nature conservation, regional associations, the Swabian Alb Association , the tourism association and agriculture and forestry also have voting rights. The nature park committee and this board of trustees together form the nature park committee, in which all decisions that are important for the nature park are made. The Tübingen Forestry Department in Bebenhausen is entrusted with the management of the nature reserve.

The work of the nature park committee is supported by the Friends of the Nature Park Schönbuch e. V. supports. Today the association has 260 members, including many private individuals, corporations , companies, hiking, tourism and local associations. The sponsoring association not only carries out public relations work , but also undertakes natural and local history research and carries out active landscape conservation measures. For example, the association initiated the standardized signage installed in 1998 and also set up the information center in the writing tower of the Bebenhausen monastery.

Literature and map

  • Johannes Baier: The beautiful bay eaves at Kayh . In: Fossilien 33 (3), 36–41; Wiebelsheim 2016.
  • Johannes Baier: The new geological nature trail in Kirnbachtal (Keuper, Schönbuch). In: Aufschluss 71 (2), 81-89; Heidelberg 2020.
  • Dieter Buck: The big book from Schönbuch: nature, culture, history, places . Silberburg-Verlag , Tübingen 2000, ISBN 3-87407-334-3 .
  • Dieter Buck: Schönbuch excursion destination: hiking, cycling, discovering . Silberburg-Verlag , Tübingen 2001, ISBN 3-87407-375-0 .
  • Werner Schaal: The Schönbuch, pictures of a forest landscape . Silberburg-Verlag , Tübingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-87407-737-8 .
  • GA u. Werner Ulmer: Nature Park Schönbuch . Günter Albert Ulmer Verlag, Tuningen 1992, ISBN 3-924191-05-0 .
  • Ingrid Gamer-Wallert , Sönke Lorenz (ed.): The beautiful book: man and forest in past and present . Attempto, Tübingen 1998, ISBN 3-89308-292-1 .
  • Land surveying office Baden-Württemberg: Tübingen district, leisure map; Official map of the Schönbuch Nature Park . 2nd edition, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-89021-710-9 .

See also

Web links

Commons : Schönbuch  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Report on the forest area of ​​the year 2014 ( memento from April 16, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) at the Association of German Foresters.
  2. a b c d Dieter Buck: The great book from Schönbuch , pages 10-21, see literature.
  3. a b c Website of the Schönbuch Nature Park, facts ( memento of September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  4. ^ Website of the Schönbuch Nature Park, Protected Areas ( Memento from September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  5. See also the protected area map on: State Agency for the Environment Baden-Württemberg (LUBW) ( information ).
  6. a b c d e f g h i Dieter Buck: The great book from the beautiful book , pages 24–37, see literature.
  7. a b c Dieter Buck: The great book from the beautiful book ; Pages 126-154; Worth seeing, strange and special features ; see literature.
  8. a b c d Werner Schaal: The beautiful book ; Page 32, 76, 90, 97; see literature.
  9. a b c d e f Mathias Allgäuer: Natural parks - nature parks break new ground in regional development (PDF; 38 kB) ; 2006.
  10. ^ Matthias Stoll: Landscape around Tübingen. Also: Sylvia Metz: Hirschauer Berg nature reserve. In: Blätter des Schwäbischer Albverein, 2/2008, pages 10 and 14 ( online ; PDF; 5.1 MB).
  11. a b Dieter Buck: The great book from Schönbuch , page 38-45, see literature.
  12. Tobias Columnberger: Geoecology of the Keuperbergland (PDF; 2.2 MB) ; Page 9f.
  13. ^ Homepage of the Cologne Cathedral, rocks ( Memento from April 7, 2014 in the Internet Archive ).
  14. Johannes Baier: The Geological Educational Path on the Kirnberg (Schönbuch) - The Keuper's Past . Fossils 31 (5), 36-40; Wiebelsheim 2014.
  15. Johannes Baier: The new geological nature trail in Kirnbachtal (Keuper, Schönbuch) . Digest 71 (2), 81-89; Heidelberg 2020.
  16. Christoph Morrissey: The prehistoric and early historical settlement of the beautiful book. In: Wallert, Lorenz (ed.): The beautiful book: man and forest in history and present. Pages 34–46, see literature.
  17. a b c d e Ulrich Hägele: Schönbuch Museum ; Tübingen 1992.
  18. a b c d e Förderverein Schönbuch e. V., Forest Directorate Tübingen: 30 years of Schönbuch Nature Park ; 2002.
  19. a b Michael Petersen: Instead of a large airport, a first nature park - protest: 40 years ago, the plans for Stuttgart II in the middle of Schönbuch were discarded. In: Stuttgarter Zeitung. March 13, 2012, page 25.
  20. ^ Paul Derks : The name of the beautiful book ; In: Journal for Württemberg State History; Volume 62, 2003; Page 31–71.
  21. ^ Website of the Schönbuch Nature Park, composition of tree species ( memento of September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  22. GA and W. Ulmer 1992, page 71, see literature.
  23. Thick oak in Schönbuch falls over. Gäubote from January 10, 2013.
  24. ^ Lutz Krüger: The oldest sequoia trees in Württemberg. In: Annual books of the Society for Natural History in Württemberg. 16: 77-85, Stuttgart 2005.
  25. a b c d e Tourism Baden-Württemberg, Schönbuch Nature Park, the green island between Stuttgart and Tübingen ; 1st edition; procom publishing house.
  26. Website of the Schönbuch Nature Park, storm damage: “Wiebke” and “Lothar” ( memento from September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), “Kyrill” ( memento from September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  27. ^ Hans Günzl: Silver sand in the moor; The mysterious origin of a Schönbuch lake. (PDF; 1.3 MB) (No longer available online.) In: Schöne Schwaben. September 2008, pp. 44-47 , archived from the original on August 10, 2013 ; Retrieved October 16, 2011 .
  28. ^ Website of the Schönbuch Nature Park, Birkensee ( memento from March 25, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  29. a b c d Alfred Schumacher: The Schönbuch Nature Park , see also web links.
  30. Natura 2000, FFH area report 2005 for the Schönbuch ( memorial from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  31. ^ Ordinance of the Tübingen Regional Council; Nature reserve "Schönbuch-Westhang / Ammerbuch"; November 2000 ( Memento from May 12, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 115 kB).
  32. ^ Website of the Schönbuch Nature Park: Game and Hunting ( Memento of September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), Red deer ( Memento of September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  33. a b Website of the Schönbuch Nature Park, projects: 1997 ( Memento of September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) and 2003 ( Memento of September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  34. Dieter Buck: The great book from the beautiful book , page 45-47, see literature.
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on June 10, 2007 in this version .