Black Forest

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Black Forest
Topography of the Black Forest

Topography of the Black Forest

Highest peak Feldberg ( 1493  m above sea  level )
location Baden-Württemberg
part of Southwest German step country
Classification according to Institute for Regional Studies
Coordinates 48 ° 0 ′  N , 8 ° 0 ′  E Coordinates: 48 ° 0 ′  N , 8 ° 0 ′  E
Type Low mountain range
rock Gneiss , red sandstone , granite
surface 6,009.2 km²

The Black Forest is Germany's highest and largest contiguous low mountain range and is located in the southwest of Baden-Württemberg . It is the most important tourist region in the state and the most popular holiday destination among the German low mountain ranges.

The Black Forest in the natural division of Germany


Mostly densely forested , the Black Forest stretches from the Upper Rhine in the south to the Kraichgau in the north. In the west it is bounded by the Upper Rhine Plain (which naturally also includes the chain of foothills ), in the east it merges into Gäu , Baar and the hill country west of the Klettgau . The Black Forest is the highest part of the southwest German layered landscape and is made up of rocks from the basement and the red sandstone . The natural spatial demarcation from the surrounding landscapes is based on the occurrence of shell limestone , which is missing within the Black Forest. Due to the soil fertility, which is dependent on the rock, this line is at the same time a vegetation boundary and the boundary between the old settlements and the Black Forest, which was not permanently inhabited until the High Middle Ages. The Black Forest stretches from north to south for about 150 km, its width reaches up to 50 km in the south and up to 30 km in the north. In terms of tectonics , the mountains form a pult , which is imposing lifted out of the Upper Rhine Graben in the west, while viewed from the east it gives the impression of a wooded plateau.

Natural spaces

The natural areas of the Black Forest are structured according to different characteristics:

Geomorphologically , on the one hand, the eastern roofing with mostly rounded mountain forms and wide high plateaus (so-called Danubian - Danube-flush - relief , particularly conspicuous in the north and east on red sandstone) and on the other hand, the intensely divided demolition towards the Upper Rhine Rift (so-called Black Valley Forest with Rhenan - Rhine-flush relief ) differentiated. This is where the highest elevations are and the greatest direct height differences (up to 1000 m) occur. The valleys are mostly narrow, often gorge-like, less often basin-shaped. The peaks are rounded, but there are also plateau remnants and ridge-like shapes.

Geologically, the most obvious breakdown is also in an east-west direction. The eastern Black Forest is covered over large areas by the lowest section of the south-west German layer level country , the red sandstone , with seemingly endless coniferous forests and islands of clearing that are enclosed by them. The basement , exposed in the west , mainly made up of metamorphic rocks and granites , was easier to settle despite its steepness and appears today with its diverse meadow valleys open and friendlier.

The Feldberg , the highest mountain in the Black Forest

The most common divisions divide the Black Forest in a north-south direction. Initially, until about the 1930s, the Black Forest was divided into the north and south of the Black Forest, with the border being drawn on the Kinzig valley line . Later, the Black Forest was divided into the wooded Northern Black Forest , the Middle Black Forest , which is lower on average and predominantly agricultural in the valleys, and the significantly higher Southern Black Forest with pronounced high-altitude agriculture and relief shaped by Ice Age glaciers. The term Hochschwarzwald stood for the highest areas of the southern Black Forest and southern Central Black Forest.

The boundaries drawn, however, were very different. In 1931 Robert Gradmann named the catchment area of ​​the Kinzig as the Middle Black Forest and to the west the section up to the lower Elz and the Gutach tributary of the Kinzig . A pragmatic structure that is not based on natural and cultural areas uses the most important transverse valleys. According to her, the Central Black Forest is bounded by the Kinzig in the north and the Dreisam - Gutach (Wutach) line in the south, corresponding to the Bonndorfer Grabenzone and the course of today's B 31 .

In 1959, Rudolf Metz summarized the previous classifications and proposed a modified tripartite division that combines natural and cultural approaches and was widely used. Its Middle Black Forest is bounded in the north by the watershed between Acher and Rench and further on between Murg and Kinzig or Forbach and Kinzig, in the south by the Bonndorfer Grabenzone, which constricts the Black Forest in the east like the Freudenstädter Graben further north at the transition to Northern Black Forest.

Work of the Institute for Regional Studies

Incline of the Northern Black Forest to the Upper Rhine Lowland ( Northern Black Forest )

The handbook of the natural spatial structure of Germany , which has been compiled by the Federal Institute for Regional Studies since the early 1950s, names the Black Forest as one of six major regions of the 3rd order within the major natural region of the 2nd order of the south-west German plains and at the same time one of nine main unit groups. It is divided into a total of six so-called main units (4th order landscapes). This structure was refined and modified up to 1967 in several follow-up publications ( individual sheets 1: 200,000 ) , each relating to individual map sections . For the sub-units introduced in this context, see the natural spatial structure of the Black Forest . A tripartite division of the mountains is also emerging. The northern border of the Middle Black Forest runs south of the Renchtal and Kniebis to near Freudenstadt. The southern border changed depending on the processing status.

The State Institute for Environmental Protection Baden-Württemberg (today State Institute for Environment, Measurements and Nature Conservation Baden-Württemberg LUBW) published a revised natural spatial structure of Baden-Württemberg in 1998. It is limited to the level of the main natural units and has been used since then in the nature conservation administration of the state:

No. Natural space Area
in km²
Pop. EW / km² Settlement
Open land
150 Black Forest edge plates 0930 268,000 289 7.69 29.33 62.92 Pforzheim Calw ,
151 Grindenschwarzwald and Enzhöhen 0699 060,000 086 1.92 06.39 91.51
152 Northern Black Forest valley 0562 107,000 190 4.12 19.48 76.41 Baden-Baden ,
Gaggenau / Gernsbach
153 Middle Black Forest 1422 188,000 133 3.35 30.25 66.39 Haslach / Hausach / Wolfach ,
Waldkirch , Schramberg
154 Southeastern Black Forest 0558 062,000 112 3.03 32.44 64.49 Villingen-Schwenningen
155 Upper Black Forest 1990 213,000 107 2.44 26.93 70.31 Schopfheim ,

The Black Forest edge plates (150) form geomorphologically sloping plateaus on the north and north-east edge of the low mountain range towards the Kraichgau in the north and the Heckengäu landscapes in the east. They are mainly used by the flow system of Nagold into individual Riedel zertalt; a narrow north- westerly foothill extends over the Enz near Neuenbürg and further to the west it also borders the central reaches of the Alb to immediately above Ettlingen . To the southwest, the Grindenschwarzwald and Enzhöhen (151) adjoin the upper reaches of the Enz and Murg , which represent the core of the northern Black Forest. The west of the Northern Black Forest is formed by the Northern Black Forest (152) with the middle reaches of the Murg around Gernsbach , that of the Oos to Baden-Baden , that of the Bühlot above Bühls and the upper reaches of the Rench around Oppenau , the valleys of which exit the low mountain range all face northwest .

Grassland management in side valleys of the Kinzig, Central Black Forest

The Central Black Forest (153) is essentially limited to the catchment area of the Kinzig above Offenburg along with the Schutter and the low mountainous region north of the Elz .

The south-eastern Black Forest (154) consists mainly of the catchment areas of the upper reaches of the Danube source rivers Brigach and Breg as well as that of the left side valleys of the Wutach north of Neustadt - and thus of the north-east of the southern Black Forest. To the south and west, the Black Forest (155) joins with the highest Black Forest peaks around Feldberg and Belchen . Its eastern part, the southern plateau black forest, is shaped by the Danubian direction, but drains over the Wutach and the Alb to the Rhine. The southern Black Forest ridge in the west is broken up into numerous ridges by valleys deeply cut by the Rhine. Immediately to the right of the meadow above Lörrach , the morphologically, geologically and climatically small red sandstone table of the Weitenauer Bergland in the extreme southwest of the Black Forest stands out from the other parts of the southern Black Forest, which in this division is also included in the Black Forest.


The Belchen in the Black Forest with bald dome, from Munster from

At 1493  m above sea level NHN , the Feldberg in the southern Black Forest is the highest mountain peak. The Herzogenhorn ( 1415.6  m ) and the Belchen ( 1414.2  m ) are also located there. In general, the mountains of the southern or high Black Forest are higher than those of the northern Black Forest. The highest Black Forest mountain north of the Freiburg – Höllental – Neustadt line is the Kandel ( 1241.3  m ). Like the highest elevation of the northern Black Forest, the Hornisgrinde ( 1164.4  m ), or the southern Black Forest panorama mountains Schauinsland ( 1283.9  m ) and Blauen ( 1165.4  m ), it is close to the western edge of the mountain range.


The Schiltach River in Schiltach
The Schluchsee , north of St. Blasien .

Rivers that arise in the Black Forest (lengthwise, including course outside the Black Forest):

Significant lakes of natural, glacial origin in the Black Forest include the Titisee , the Mummelsee and the Feldsee . There are a number of other small cirque lakes in the northern Black Forest in particular . Numerous reservoirs such as the Schluchsee - which used to be a natural lake, even smaller - with the other lakes of the Schluchseewerk , the Schwarzenbachtalsperre , the Kleine Kinzig dam or the Nagoldtalsperre are used to generate electricity, flood protection or the drinking water supply.



Since the collapse of the Upper Rhine Rift in the Eocene , the Black Forest on the eastern shoulder and the Vosges on the western shoulder of the trench have been raised. In the center sits the ( Miocene ) Kaiserstuhl volcano . The Mesozoic overburden was largely removed on the heights except for the remains of the Buntsandstein and the Rotliegend , while it is preserved in the interior of the trench. In the Pliocene , a pronounced but uneven bulge set in, which most affected the southern Black Forest with the Feldberg. So today in the northern part around the Hornisgrinde the surface of the basement is much lower. The tectonic basin of the Kinzig valley was formed in the central Black Forest.

The geological foundation of the Black Forest is the crystalline base of the Variscan basement. It is covered in the east and northeast by red sandstone panels, the so-called overburden. A foothill zone with rocks from the Triassic and Jura stretches out towards the Upper Rhine Graben on the western edge .


In the basement prevail gneiss -Gesteine before (ortho and para gneisses, in the south as well migmatites and Diatexite , z. B. the Schauinsland and Kandel). A number of granite bodies penetrated this gneiss in the carbon. The larger ones include the Triberg granite and the Forbach granite , the youngest being the Bärhaldegranit. In the south lies the zone of Badenweiler-Lenzkirch, in which paleozoic rocks have been preserved (volcanic and sedimentary rocks), which are interpreted as the scaly remains of a microcontinent collision. Even further to the south-east (around Todtmoos) there are a number of exotic inclusions in the gneiss ( gabbro von Ehrsberg , serpentinite and pyroxenite near Todtmoos, Norit near Horbach ), which are possibly remnants of an accretion wedge from a continent collision. The geological transitional storeys include the Rotliegend basins, for example the Schramberger or Baden-Baden basins , with partly thick quartz porphyry and tuff ceilings ( exposed for example on the Battert rock massif near Baden-Baden).


The red sandstone overburden with distinctive steps rises above the crystalline base (basement) and the transition storey in the northern Black Forest and in the adjacent parts of the Central Black Forest . The most resistant surface layer on the stepped surface of the Grindenhöhen , which is strongly dissolved by the Murg tributaries and the closed Enzhöhen, is the silicified main conglomerate ( Middle Buntsandstein ). To the east and north are the slabs of the Upper Buntsandstein ( slab sandstone and red clay). South of the Kinzig, the red sandstone zone narrows to a border in the east of the mountain range.

Ice Age and Shaping

It is considered proven that the Black Forest was heavily glaciated with the Feldberg Glacier during the high phases of at least the Riss and Würme Ice Age (up to around 12,000 years ago) . The glacial treasure trove characterizes almost the entire Black Forest and the main ridge of the Northern Black Forest. Otherwise, it is only conspicuous in a large number of mostly northeast-facing Karen . Particularly in this exposition, snow accumulations on the slopes of the summit plateaus turned away from the sun and wind led to the formation of short Kar glaciers , which steepened these funnel-shaped hollows. There are still some cirque lakes, such as Mummelsee , Wildsee , Schurmsee, Glaswaldsee, Nonnenmattweiher and Feldsee , partly due to the anthropogenic elevation of the Karschwelle . The Titisee was formed as a Zungenbeckensee behind a glacier moraine.


Climatically, the mountains stand out from the peripheral landscapes due to their lower temperatures and higher rainfall. Regular rainfall throughout the year characterize the low mountain range of the Black Forest. However, the temperatures do not decrease evenly with increasing altitude and the precipitation does not increase evenly. Rather, the precipitation increases disproportionately even at lower altitudes and especially on the precipitation-rich west side.

Amounts of rain and snow

Winter at the Schauinsland , in the background the Vosges

The areas with the highest rainfall are the high altitude regions around the Hornisgrinde in the north and Belchen and Feldberg in the southern Black Forest, where annual rainfall of 1800 to 2100 mm occurs. Exposed to rainy Atlantic westerly winds, the northern Black Forest has roughly the same amount of precipitation as the southern Black Forest, despite its lower altitude. There the Vosges in front act as rain catchers. On the east exposed side of the Middle Black Forest, it is again much drier. The annual rainfall here is sometimes only around 750 l / m².

Temperatures and sunshine duration

Thermally, the higher areas of the Black Forest are characterized by relatively low annual fluctuations and subdued extreme values. The reasons for this are frequent light winds and heavier clouds in summer. In the winter months, the more frequent high-pressure weather conditions on the peaks lead to sunshine, while the valleys in cold-air lakes disappear under a thick blanket of fog ( inversion weather condition ).


The Black Forest on the Tabula Peutingeriana : A mountain range with fantastically shaped trees as a mark for uninhabited and inaccessible areas
Black Forest farmhouse, 1898

In ancient times the Black Forest was known as Abnoba mons , after the Celtic deity Abnoba . The name Marciana Silva ("Marcynian Forest"; from Germanic marka , "border") is also found in Roman late antiquity . Probably the Black Forest described the border area of the east of the Roman Limes settled Marcomanni ( "marginal people"). These in turn belonged to the Germanic people of the Suebi , from which the later Swabians were derived.

With the exception of the peripheral areas (for example Badenweiler: thermal baths, near Badenweiler and Sulzburg possibly already mining), the colonization of the Black Forest was not yet carried out by the Romans, who, however, created the Kinzigtalstrasse , but only by the Alemanni . These first settled and colonized the valley areas, for example by crossing the former settlement boundary, the so-called "red sandstone boundary" from the Baar . Soon afterwards, higher and higher areas and adjacent forests were colonized, so that the first settlements were found in the area of ​​the red sandstone as early as the end of the 10th century. This includes, for example, Rötenbach , which was first mentioned in 819. The Black Forest is mentioned for the first time as saltu Svarzwald in a document book of the St. Gallen monastery in 868.

Some of the uprisings (including the Bundschuh movement ) that preceded the German Peasants' War originated in the Black Forest in the 16th century. A further uprising of the farmers took place in the following two centuries due to the saltpeter riots in the Hotzenwald .

Remains of military defenses from the 17th and 18th centuries can be found especially at pass crossings in the Black Forest. Examples are the baroque hills of Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden or individual facilities such as the Alexanderschanze , the Röschenschanze and the Schwedenschanze .

Originally the Black Forest was a mixed forest of deciduous trees and firs - see history of the forest in Central Europe . Spruce stands also grew at higher altitudes. In the middle of the 19th century the Black Forest was almost completely deforested due to intensive use and was then reforested mainly with spruce monocultures.

In 1990 the hurricanes Vivian and Wiebke caused major forest damage . On December 26, 1999, hurricane Lothar raged in the Black Forest and caused even greater damage to the forest, especially in the spruce monocultures. As in 1990, large quantities of storm wood had to be stored in temporary wet storage for years . The effects of the storm are demonstrated by the Lothar path , a forest educational and adventure trail at the nature conservation center Ruhestein on a high forest area of ​​around 10 hectares that was destroyed by the hurricane.

Some smaller and larger storm areas are now left to their own devices and a natural mixed forest is developing there again.



Hornisgrindeplateau with raised bog (2004), in the background a transmitter mast and wind turbines
Kuxschein from the “Deutsche Nickel-Gesellschaft” trade union from June 28, 1900 with an idealized representation of mining in the Wehratal .

The basis of mining in the Black Forest were often vein-shaped ore deposits. The formation of these vein-shaped deposits ( Schauinsland mine : zinc , lead , approx. 700–1000 g silver / tonne of lead; barite , fluorite , little lead and zinc in the Kinzigtal; BiCoNi ores near Wittichen , uranium was opened up in the Krunkelbachtal near Menzenschwand , but officially never regularly mined) were often associated with the intrusion of carbonic granites into the Para and Orthogneiss. New studies suggest that these duct fillings are in large part much younger ( Triassic to Tertiary ). There were minable fluorite deposits in the northern Black Forest near Pforzheim , in the central Black Forest barite near Freudenstadt , fluorite in addition to lead and silver near Wildschapbach, barite and fluorite in Rankach Valley and near Ohlsbach, in the southern Black Forest near Todtnau , Wieden and Urberg.

Small liquid magmatic deposits of nickel magnetic gravel in Norit were mined or explored in the Hotzenwald near Horbach and Todtmoos . Stratified deposits include iron ores in the Dogger of the foothills zone and a uranium deposit near Müllenbach / Baden-Baden. Hard coal deposits exist near Berghaupten and Diersburg , but were only ever of local importance.

Timeline: Stone Age mining on hematite (as a red pigment) is proven near Sulzburg . Already in the 5th and 6th centuries BC Iron ore was mined by the Celts in the northern Black Forest (for example in Neuenbürg ). In particular in the Central Black Forest and in the southern Black Forest (for example in the Münstertal ) ore mining probably took place as early as Roman times ( extraction of silver and lead ores, references for Sulzburg and possibly Badenweiler ). Until the early High Middle Ages , the Black Forest was practically uninhabited. In the course of the internal colonization in the later High Middle Ages, the plateau was also cultivated starting from the monasteries founded there ( St. Peter , St. Märgen ). In the later High Middle Ages (from around 1100) mining also experienced an upswing, especially around Todtnau, in the Münster and Suggental, and later also on the Schauinsland . It is believed that around 800–1000 miners lived and worked in the Münstertal until the end of the Middle Ages. After the plague that struck the valley in 1516, the German Peasants 'War (1524–26) and the Thirty Years' War , mining in the region declined to a few mines.

The Kinzig valley and its side valleys were also a more important mining area . The small mining settlement of Wittichen near Schenkenzell in the upper Kinzig valley had numerous pits in which a variety of barite , cobalt and silver was mined. A geological path still leads as a circular path past old pits and spoil heaps.

A renewed upswing began at the beginning of the 18th century after the loss of Alsace to France. It lasted until the 19th century. Many mines from this period can now be visited as a show mine , such as the Teufelsgrund pit ( Münstertal ), the Finstergrund pit near Wieden, the Todtmoos hope tunnel, the mine in the Schauinsland , the formerly particularly silver-rich Wenzel mine in Oberwolfach and Gr. God's blessing in Haslach- Schnellingen.

Non-ferrous metal mining was carried out in the Black Forest until the middle of the 20th century near Wildschapbach and the Schauinsland (until 1954), while the mining of fluorite and barite continues in the Clara mine in the Rankachtal in Oberwolfach to this day. Doggers' iron ore was mined near Ringsheim until the 1970s and smelted in Kehl .

Overall, the amounts of silver extracted in the Black Forest are rather modest compared to the Ore Mountains or the Harz Mountains and make up less than ten percent of the amounts extracted there.

There are numerous visitor mines in the Black Forest : the Frischglück pit near Neuenbürg , the Hella-Glück pit near Neubulach , the Silbergründle pit near Seebach , the Himmlich Heer pit near Hallwangen , the Holy Three Kings pit near Freudenstadt , the God's blessing pit near Haslach , the Wenzel pit near Oberwolfach , the Caroline pit near Sexau , Suggental silver mine near Waldkirch , Schauinsland pit near Freiburg , Teufelsgrund pit near Münstertal , Finstergrund pit near Wieden and Hoffnungsstollen pit near Todtmoos .


Trunks of white fir trees from Gersbach support the largest cantilevered wooden roof in the world at 16,000 m² (two football fields) at Expo 2000 .

For several centuries, wood from the Black Forest was exported via Enz , Kinzig , Murg , Nagold and Rhein by rafting for use in shipbuilding , as construction timber and for other purposes. This branch of industry boomed in the 18th century and led to large-scale clear cuts. Since the long and straight fir trees were mostly rafted to the Netherlands for shipbuilding , they were also called "Dutch". In the Netherlands, the trunks were mainly used as pile foundations for building houses in sandy and wet ground. To this day, large parts of the historic building stock in Amsterdam stand on these piles, and in the Black Forest reforestations with spruce monocultures testify to the destruction of the original mixed forest . Due to the expansion of the rail and road network as an alternative means of transport, rafting largely ended at the end of the 19th century.

Today, particularly large fir trees with trunks that have grown to a great height are shipped mainly to Japan. The Expo 2000 is made possible by the global advertising effect a resurrection of the standing timber exports. The importance of wood stocks in the Black Forest has increased again in the recent past due to the increasing demand for wood pellets for heating purposes.

Glass production, charcoal burning and potash extraction

The abundance of wood in the Black Forest provided the basis for other economic sectors that have largely disappeared today. Koehler set up their kilns in the woods and produced charcoal, which, like the products of potash cookers, was further processed in glass manufacture , among other things . The Black Forest supplied raw materials and energy for the forest glass . Some glass-blowing factories still testify to this today . B. in Höllental, near Todtnau and in Wolfach and the forest glass center in Gersbach (Schopfheim) , which can be visited.

Precision engineering, watch and jewelry production

Watchmaker's workshop in a room (postcard around 1900)

The first clocks were made in the Black Forest in the second half of the 17th century. But it wasn't until around 1730 that watchmaking was able to establish itself as a separate trade.

Many small workshops between Triberg and Titisee-Neustadt built clocks made of wood in the 18th and 19th centuries. These clocks were unrivaled in terms of price, because there was an abundance of wood and it was easier to work with than metal. In addition, from 1780 onwards they were manufactured using a division of labor: In addition to the actual watchmakers, there were highly specialized sub-contractors such as frame makers, casters for bells and gear blanks, chain makers and sign makers.

Until the first actual clock factories were founded, these in-house manufactured products dominated the world market for wall clocks. An essential factor for this success was that the Black Forests had taken the marketing into their own hands. Trading companies were already distributing the watches at home and abroad in the 18th century.

In the middle of the 19th century, home-made manufacturing fell into a deep crisis due to the first actual watch factories. But around 1900, large-scale production of new types of metal clocks had established itself in the Black Forest as well. With the centers in Schramberg ( Junghans , Hamburg-American clock factory) and Schwenningen on the neighboring Baar plateau ( Bürk , Kienzle , Mauthe ), southwest Germany had once again blossomed into a world center for clocks. In addition to alarm clocks , table clocks , wall clocks and grandfather clocks , technical clocks such as control clocks were also produced. In the last third of the 20th century, most manufacturers had to close due to the quartz crisis .

In the 20th century the production of entertainment electronics developed by companies such as SABA , Dual and Becker .

In Pforzheim there have been numerous jewelry manufacturing companies that process precious metals and gemstones since the beginning of industrialization. The goldsmith school located there is also based in Pforzheim .

Use of hydropower

The Straßerhofmühle in Hornberg , a typical Black Forest farmer's mill.
Hornberg basin near Herrischried , upper basin of the Wehr storage power plant (emptied, May 2008).

Due to the large amounts of precipitation and height differences, the Black Forest has significant hydropower potential . Up until the 19th century it was primarily used to operate numerous mills , including sawmills and hammer mills , and was then one of the location factors in the industrialization of some Black Forest valleys.

In the Black Forest, run-of-river and pumped storage power plants have been generating electricity on a larger scale since the 20th century . From 1914 to 1926, the Rudolf-Fettweis plant with the Schwarzenbachtalsperre was built in the northern Black Forest Murgtal . In 1932, the Schluchsee with its newly built dam became the upper basin of a pumped storage power plant. In 2013, five power plants with 14 storage basins belong to the network of the southern Black Forest Schluchseewerk . In the Hornberg basin , the topographical conditions allow the water to fall by an average of 625 m to drive the turbines before it flows into the Wehra dam .

As a result of the Renewable Energy Sources Act , numerous smaller run-of-river power plants were put back into operation or newly built in the beginning of the 21st century.

Tourism and transport

Large parts of the Black Forest live mainly from the tourism industry. Schwarzwald Tourismus GmbH anticipated around 140,000 direct full-time jobs in the tourism sector and around 34.8 million overnight stays by tourists in 2009.

In spring, summer and autumn, extensive hiking trails and mountain bike trails enable various target groups to use the natural space. In winter, of course, the focus is on winter sports. Both Alpine skiing and Nordic skiing can be practiced in many places.

Tourist destinations

Hinterzarten in the southern Black Forest: church and Adlerschanze
The old town of Altensteig in the northern Black Forest

The most popular tourist excursion and recreational destinations in the Black Forest are the Titisee and the Schluchsee . Both lakes offer the opportunity to practice water sports such as diving and windsurfing . Coming from Freiburg , these lakes are reached via the B 31 through the Höllental , past the Hirschsprung monument at its narrowest point, and the Oswald Chapel below the Ravennaschlucht.

A much-visited urban destination is Baden-Baden with its thermal baths, the casino and the festival . Other thermal baths are Badenweiler , Bad Herrenalb , Bad Wildbad , Bad Krozingen , Bad Rotenfels , Bad Liebenzell or Bad Bellingen .

Places worth seeing include the old imperial city of Gengenbach , the former district town of Wolfach , Schiltach and Haslach in the Kinzigtal (both on the German half-timbered road ) and the flower and wine village of Sasbachwalden at the foot of the Hornisgrinde. Old towns worth seeing also offer Altensteig , Dornstetten , Freiburg im Breisgau , Gernsbach , Villingen and Zell am Harmersbach . Baiersbronn shines as the center of top gastronomy, Freudenstadt is built around Germany's largest market square.

The former Benedictine monastery of St. Blasien and the monasteries of St. Trudpert , St. Peter and St. Märgen are splendidly furnished . The Alpirsbach monastery and the Hirsau monastery ruins were built in the Hirsau architectural style from red sandstone . The Wittichen monastery near Schenkenzell is a rural idyll .

The Murg valley , the Kinzig valley , the Triberg waterfalls and the Vogtsbauernhof open-air museum are frequently visited.

In addition to the Feldberg, the most promising mountains are the Belchen , the Kandel and the Schauinsland as well as the Hornisgrinde , the Schliffkopf , the Hohloh , the Merkur and the Teufelsmühle in the northern Black Forest .

Well-known winter sports areas are around the Feldberg, near Todtnau with the FIS ski-alpine route "Fahler Loch" and in Hinterzarten , a stronghold and talent factory for German ski jumpers. In the northern Black Forest, the winter sports areas are concentrated along the Black Forest High Road and on the ridge between Murg and Enz around Kaltenbronn .

The differences in altitude in the mountains are used in many places by hang-gliders and paragliders .

Hiking trails

In the Black Forest there are very different types of hiking trails, some of which are nationally attractive. The basic structure is a long-distance hiking trail system with lengthways and crossways, which was built up by the Black Forest Association especially at the beginning of the 20th century . The most famous of these is the Westweg, which is steeply steep . After 1950, following the changed demand, circular hiking trails were designated, initially from the relatively dense railway network, later mainly from specially created hiking parking lots. Special, more adventure-oriented themed trails are currently being laid out, partly as a designed facility ( Barefoot Park Dornstetten , Park with all the senses in Gutach ), partly opening up direct contact with nature (Schluchtensteig). Roads and forest paths that are too wide are being avoided more consistently than before.


Vogtsbauernhof open-air museum in Gutach Valley

The Vogtsbauernhof open-air museum in Gutach an der Schwarzwaldbahn offers insights into rural life in the 16th and 17th centuries with its originally rebuilt Black Forest houses . Most of the buildings were demolished elsewhere, numbered the items and accurately re-created according to plan at the Museum ( translocated ). The German Watch Museum in Furtwangen shows a comprehensive cross-section through the history of watchmaking and the watch industry . A formerly important phono industry emerged from precision mechanics in the 20th century; the history of this entertainment electronics is presented in the German Phonomuseum in St. Georgen . The Franciscan Museum in Villingen-Schwenningen shows, among other things, an exhibition on Oskar Spiegelhalder's Black Forest collection and on the Magdalenenberg, an early Celtic burial mound . The Schüttesäge Museum in Schiltach offers information and living history on the topics of timber industry , rafting in the Kinzig Valley and tannery . The Black Forest costume museum in Haslach in the Kinzigtal offers an overview of the costumes of the entire Black Forest and the surrounding areas. Also in Haslach is the Hansjakob Museum and the Hansjakob Archive with numerous exhibits by the writer, pastor, politician, historian and chronicler Heinrich Hansjakob . The MiMa Mineral and Mathematics Museum in Oberwolfach houses minerals and mining products from the entire Black Forest and combines them with mathematical explanations.

Road traffic

The east-west connections Bundesstraße 31 and Höllentalbahn in Höllental

Several roads of interest for tourists lead through the Black Forest. Well-known holiday routes are the Black Forest High Road ( B 500 ) or the German Clock Road . The mountains represent an obstacle in particular for west-east through traffic. Plans for motorway routes through the Black Forest (see Federal Motorway 84 and Federal Motorway 86 ) were discarded.

The Black Forest is a popular destination for motorcyclists due to its winding country roads . This branch of tourism is viewed as controversial due to the high number of accidents and extensive noise pollution and is restricted with speed limits and individual road closures. Since 1984 , motorcyclists have been banned from driving on the Schauinslandstrasse , a former mountain race track , on summer weekends.

Rail transport

Gutachbrücke of the Höllentalbahn

The entire Black Forest was opened up by the railroad early on . In the eastern part of the Northern Black Forest through the Enz Valley Railway from Pforzheim to Bad Wildbad , through the Nagold Valley Railway from Pforzheim via Calw and Nagold to Horb am Neckar , the Württemberg Black Forest Railway from Stuttgart to Calw and the Gäubahn Stuttgart – Freudenstadt or today's section Eutingen – Freudenstadt .

From the Rhine Valley, many railways run along the valleys into the Black Forest. The Albtalbahn from Karlsruhe to Bad Herrenalb , the Murgtalbahn from Rastatt to Freudenstadt , the Achertalbahn from Achern to Ottenhöfen in the Black Forest and the Renchtalbahn from Appenweier to Bad Griesbach . The Baden Black Forest Railway has been connecting Offenburg via Hausach , Triberg , St. Georgen , Villingen and Donaueschingen with Constance on Lake Constance since 1873 . A branch in Hausach is the Kinzigtalbahn to Freudenstadt. In Denzlingen the Elztalbahn branches off to Elzach , the Höllentalbahn runs from Freiburg im Breisgau through the Höllental to Donaueschingen, the Münstertalbahn from Bad Krozingen to Münstertal , the Kandertalbahn from Haltingen near Basel through the Kandertal to Kandern and the Wiesentalbahn from Basel to Zell im Wiesental .

From Titisee on the Höllentalbahn, the Dreiseenbahn leads from Titisee to Windgfallweiher and Schluchsee. Along the border between Baden-Württemberg and Switzerland, the Wutach Valley Railway connects Waldshut-Tiengen with Immendingen on the Black Forest Railway .

The routes are still busy today or are extremely popular museum railways .

Around 11,000 hosts in 143 holiday resorts give holidaymakers the free KONUS guest card . This means that guests can use buses and trains in the entire holiday region free of charge.


Since January 2006, the Schwarzwald Tourismus GmbH, based in Freiburg, has been responsible for the administration of tourism in the 320 communities in the Black Forest. Previously there were four separate tourism associations.

Protected areas

The Black Forest National Park , which has existed since the beginning of 2014, is the first national park in Baden-Württemberg. It is 10,062 hectares in size and is located on the main ridge of the northern Black Forest between Baiersbronn and Baden-Baden. Since February 2016, a contiguous area of ​​63,236 hectares in the southern Black Forest has been designated as a Black Forest biosphere area, which was recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve in June 2017 .

Two nature parks named after him include the Black Forest area, the Black Forest Central / North Nature Park and the Southern Black Forest Nature Park . They should help to preserve the landscape as a cultural landscape, to better market the products of local farmers and to make the area more usable for tourism. The 394,000  hectare Southern Black Forest Nature Park, the largest nature park in Germany, includes the southern part of the Middle Black Forest, the Southern Black Forest and adjacent areas. The Black Forest Middle / North Nature Park is the third largest German nature park with 375,000 hectares. It begins in the southern part of the Central Black Forest, bordering the Southern Black Forest Nature Park, and takes the remaining part of the Black Forest to the north.

In addition, there are over 100 nature reserves and numerous landscape , forest and bird sanctuaries in the Black Forest . The Feldberg nature reserve is the oldest and, with 4227 hectares in front of the Präg glacier basin, also the largest nature reserve in Baden-Württemberg. The three large European bird sanctuaries, the North , Central and South Black Forest , together cover over 90,000 hectares.


Rudolf Epp : Black Forest woman in Gutacher costume, oil painting around 1900

The largely very rural Black Forest consists of many scattered communities and a few large cities. Tradition and customs are cultivated in many places.

Arnold Lyongrün : Spring in the Black Forest, oil painting 1912

In some cases, traditional costumes are still worn today, mostly on festive occasions. The appearance of the traditional costumes varies greatly from region to region. One of the most famous Black Forest costumes is that of the communities of Kirnbach , Reichenbach and Gutach in the Kinzig valley with the characteristic Bollen hat . Unmarried women wear it with red "Bollen", married women with black. Marriage-capable women sometimes wear a bridal crown, the so-called Schäppel , before and on the wedding day , the largest of which from the city of St. Georgen weighs up to five kilograms.

The Black Forest is also known for the typical farmhouses with sweeping cripple hipped roofs , the Black Forest cake , the Black Forest ham , the Black Forest elf , Kirschwasser and the cuckoo clock . The beauty of the landscape and the traditional awareness of its residents have already attracted numerous artists in the 19th and early 20th centuries, who made the Black Forest known all over the world through their works. Above all , Hans Thoma, who came from Bernau , and his fellow student Rudolf Epp , who was sponsored by Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden (Baden) , painted motifs from the Black Forest throughout his life. The painter J. Metzler from Düsseldorf traveled to the Black Forest to paint landscapes. The works of the Gutach painter colony around Wilhelm Hasemann , whose landscape and genre motifs shaped the image of the Black Forest, were widely distributed . Like the local writer Heinrich Hansjakob , they were part of a Baden folk costume movement.

Wood carving plays an important role in handicrafts, producing not only popular works such as the Longinus cross , but also famous sculptors such as Matthias Faller .


In the Black Forest there is an unusual card game, Cego , which is part of the region's cultural heritage. After the defeat of Front Austria in 1805 a large part of its territory was assigned to the Grand Duchy of Baden . During the Napoleonic Wars that followed, soldiers from Baden moved with French troops to Spain, where, among other things, they learned a new card game, L'Hombre . They brought this back to Baden and adapted it to play with tarot playing cards, which were still widely used in southern Germany at the time. Cego was so popular that it became the national game of Baden and Hohenzollern. These are the only regions in Germany where tarot cards are still used for playing. The game has grown organically and there are many regional differences. In recent years, however, the establishment of a Cego Black Forest championship has resulted in official tournament rules being defined. In addition, courses and local tournaments are held regularly. This is an integral part of the Alemannic Week, which takes place every year at the end of September in the Black Forest.

The Black Forest in literature and film


Title page of the first volume of the Black Forest village stories , 1843.

The Black Forest village stories (1843) by Berthold Auerbach appeared in numerous European countries and significantly established the narrative genre of village history . A very well-known work that takes place in the Black Forest is Wilhelm Hauff's fairy tale Das kalte Herz , which appeared in 1827 as part of the story Das Wirtshaus im Spessart in Hauff's “ Fairy Tale Almanac for the Year 1828 ” and has since been filmed several times.

The young journalist Ernest Hemingway traveled to the Black Forest for three weeks in August 1922. The later Nobel Prize winner published some not exactly benevolent reports about it in the Toronto Star .

Music film

Numerous films have been produced in the Black Forest since the 1920s. It all started with the first film adaptation of the operetta Schwarzwaldmädel by Leon Jessel in 1920 .


Especially since the fourth film adaptation from 1950 , which heralded the Heimatfilmwelle, the Black Forest has provided the picturesque backdrop for numerous cinema and television productions of the post-war period, including Black Forest Melodie with Gardy Granass , Black Forest Kirsch with Marianne Hold and Dietmar Schönherr , and Black Forest Trip out of lovesickness with Roy Black . Successful television series were Der Forellenhof (1965), in the 1980s Die Schwarzwaldklinik , since 1994 Die Fallers - Eine Schwarzwaldfamilie and in 2002 the documentary Schwarzwaldhaus 1902 .

Feature films (selection list)



  • Hartwig Haubrich , Wolfgang Hug , Herbert Lange: The big book from the Black Forest . Theiss, Stuttgart 1991, ISBN 3-8062-0819-0 .
  • The Black Forest. Contributions to cultural studies . In: Ekkehard Liehl, Wolf Dieter Sick (Hrsg.): Publication of the Alemannic Institute Freiburg i. Br. 4th edition. tape 47 . Konkordia, Bühl 1989, ISBN 3-7826-0047-9 .
  • Kurt Klein: Hidden Black Forest. Unknown from folklore and history . In: Edition Morstadt . tape 18 . Morstadt, Kehl, Strasbourg, Basel 1988, ISBN 3-88571-172-9 .
  • Max Scheifele : From the forest history of the Black Forest. The drift of firewood and cabbage wood. When landmarks talk . DRW-Verlag, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-87181-010-X .
  • Horst Friedrich Vorwerk (text), Erich Spiegelhalter (fig.): The Black Forest. A German cultural landscape, past and present . Herder, Freiburg 1992, ISBN 3-451-22658-8 .

Economy, geology and mining

  • Michael Bliedtner, Manfred Martin: Ore and mineral deposits of the Middle Black Forest . Geological State Office Baden-Württemberg, Freiburg im Breisgau 1986, ISBN 978-88-12-65452-9 .
  • Eberhard Gothein : Economic history of the Black Forest and the adjacent landscapes. First volume: City and Business History , Verlag Karl J. Trübner, Strasbourg 1892 ( digitized version )
  • Gregor Markl, Sönke Lorenz (Ed.): Silver, Copper, Cobalt. Mining in the Black Forest . Markstein, Filderstadt 2004, ISBN 3-935129-10-6 .
  • Georg Sawatzki, Horst Peter Hann: Badenweiler-Lenzkirch-Zone (southern Black Forest) . Explanations with tips for excursions. In: Geological map of Baden-Württemberg 1: 50000 . State Office for Geology, Raw Materials and Mining Baden-Württemberg, Freiburg im Breisgau 2003.
  • Wolfgang Werner, Volker Dennert: Deposits and mining in the Black Forest . State Office for Geology, Raw Materials and Mining Baden-Württemberg, Freiburg im Breisgau 2004.

Art history


  • Adolf Hanle: Northern Black Forest (Meyer's nature guide). Mannheim / Vienna / Zurich 1989
  • Adolf Hanle: Southern Black Forest (Meyer's nature guide). Mannheim / Vienna / Zurich 1989
  • Ulrike Klugmann (ed.): Southern Black Forest, Feldberg and Wutach Gorge ( nature magazine outside ). Hamburg 1983
  • Hans-Peter Schaub: The Black Forest. Natural diversity in an old cultural landscape. Mannheim 2001


See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Black Forest  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikivoyage: Black Forest  - Travel Guide
Commons : Black Forest  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Black Forest  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Emil Meynen , Josef Schmithüsen : Handbook of the natural spatial structure of Germany . Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Remagen / Bad Godesberg 1953–1962 (9 deliveries in 8 books, updated map 1: 1,000,000 with main units 1960).
  2. ^ Hans Gebhardt: Tourist areas. In: State Center for Political Education: Regional Studies Baden-Württemberg , accessed on September 22, 2014.
  3. Information service Agriculture - Food - Rural Areas of the Ministry for Rural Areas, Nutrition and Consumer Protection in Baden-Württemberg
  4. ^ Robert Gradmann : Southern Germany. Engelhorn, Stuttgart 1931. Reprint: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft Darmstadt, ISBN 3-534-00124-9 . Volume 2: The individual landscapes , p. 85.
  5. cf. for example: The state of Baden-Württemberg - official description by districts and municipalities. Volume 1: General Part. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1974, ISBN 3-17-001835-3 , p. 32. Or: Christoph Borcherdt (Ed.): Geographical regional studies of Baden-Württemberg. 3. Edition. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1993, p. 169 f.
  6. ^ Rudolf Metz : On the natural spatial structure of the Black Forest. In: Alemannisches Institut (ed.): Alemannisches Jahrbuch 1959, Schauenburg , Lahr 1959, pp. 1–33
  7. Thomas Breunig: Revision of the natural spatial structure of Baden-Württemberg at the level of the main natural spatial units. (PDF; 2.41 MB) In: Naturschutz-Info 1998, Issue 1. State Institute for Environmental Protection Baden-Württemberg, May 1998, pp. 55–58 , accessed on November 23, 2015 .
  8. Main natural areas of Baden-Württemberg (PDF; 3.1 MB), changes (PDF; 2.4 MB; pp. 55–58) - LUBW ( notes )
  9. Natural area profile Black Forest edge plates (150) - LUBW (PDF; 9.9 MB; notes )
  10. Grindenschwarzwald and Enzhöhen natural area profile (151) - LUBW (PDF; 8.9 MB; information )
  11. Natural area profile of the northern Black Forest valley (152) - LUBW (PDF; 9.0 MB; notes )
  12. Natural area profile Middle Black Forest (153) - LUBW (PDF; 9.6 MB; notes )
  13. Natural area profile south-eastern Black Forest (154) - LUBW (PDF; 6.8 MB; notes )
  14. Upper Black Forest natural area profile (155) - LUBW (PDF; 10.1 MB; notes )
  15. Map services of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation ( information )
  16. The Black Forest. Contributions to cultural studies . In: Ekkehard Liehl, Wolf Dieter Sick (Hrsg.): Publication of the Alemannic Institute Freiburg i. Br. 3rd edition. tape 47 . Konkordia, Bühl 1984, ISBN 3-7826-0047-9 , pp. 70 .
  17. LUBW , German Weather Service : Climate Atlas Baden-Württemberg, Annual Rainfall 1971–2000: Map description ( memento of the original from May 20, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Map ( Memento of the original from November 11, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed September 3, 2013 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  18. Tabula Peutingeriana ; Ammianus Marcellinus 21, 8, 2; see Maximilian Ihm : Abnoba . In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume I, 1, Stuttgart 1893, column 104.
  19. ^ Höhr, 1866: Document book of the Abbey of Sanct Gallen 840-920, Volume 2.
  20. Hansmartin Schwarzmaier: The traffic routes in the northern Black Forest in the course of its development in the High Middle Ages. Working group for historical regional studies on the Upper Rhine eV, April 28, 2006, accessed on July 10, 2017 .
  21. ^ Berthold Schaaf: The beginnings of Black Forest clockmaking around 1680. In: Ders .: Black Forest clocks. Leinfelden-Echertingen 2008, pp. 9–13.
  22. ^ Johannes Graf, Eduard C. Saluz: Black Forest clocks - good and cheap. Furtwangen 2013, pp. 8–13.
  23. ^ Johannes Graf, Eduard C. Saluz: Black Forest clocks - good and cheap. Furtwangen 2013, pp. 14-17.
  24. Helmut Kahlert: The watch factories arise. In: Ders .: 300 years of the Black Forest watch industry. 2nd, completely revised and updated edition, Gernsbach 2007, pp. 185–231.
  25. Johannes Graf: Challenge quartz watch. The German watch industry in the 1970s. In the S. (Ed.): The quartz revolution. 75 years of quartz watch in Germany 1932 ~ 2007. Furtwangen 2008, pp. 62–75.
  26. Including private accommodation and the overnight stay of relatives and friends. Schwarzwald Tourismus GmbH: Tourism development in the Black Forest 2009 , accessed on November 23, 2015.
  27. ^ Baden-Württemberg: State government wants to curb motorcycle noise. In: Spiegel Online from July 24, 2012
  28. Schauinsland: Motorcyclists ignore driving ban - cyclists in fear. In: Badische Zeitung from June 28, 2010
  29. Holidays in the Black Forest - KONUS guest card. Retrieved May 14, 2016 .
  30. ↑ The southern Black Forest is the second biosphere area in the state: State Gazette for Baden-Württemberg. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on March 4, 2016 ; Retrieved March 3, 2016 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  31. Documents on the Black Forest biosphere area at the Freiburg Regional Council, accessed on March 5, 2016.
  32. Black Forest Biosphere Reserve recognized by UNESCO , German UNESCO Commission, June 14, 2017, accessed on June 14, 2017.
  33. Brigitte Heck: A hat makes a career. In: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe (Ed.): Baden! 900 years - stories of a country. Info-Verlag, Karlsruhe 2012, ISBN 978-3-937345-56-7 , p. 256 (catalog for the major state exhibition).
  34. Cego - rules at Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  35. Wissen.html Probable origin at Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  36. Cego at Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  37. Probable origin at Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  38. Cego - rules at Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  39. Cego - an old card game that is experiencing a renaissance at Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  40. Wolfgang Stock: Ernest Hemingway's Fischwasser began in the Black Forest , accessed on June 28, 2019
  41. See Black Forest Girl. Views of a picture book beauty. Gutach 2007, page 36