Black Forest

Foto: Touristik Noerdlicher Schwarzwald - A. Richter - Black Forest Region Black Forest - traditional male clothing

The Black Forest region ('Schwarzwald') is essentially known for three distinctive features: its highlands, scenery and woods, the typical Black Forest Gateau ('Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte') whose success is based on tasty cherry schnapps and the traditional cuckoo-clock.

The name black forest was quite accurate in earlier times, when the forest was impenetrable though profitable - wood, silver and ore were the foundations of the Black Forest's inhabitants comparable wealth. When the wood trade began to falter clock-making stepped in and has been a successful industry for the Black Forest ever since the 17th century.

Another famous feature of the Black Forest region are the traditional hats with their enormous pompoms called 'Bollenhut'. They are particularly distinctive among Germany's traditional costumes. The hat is famous all over the world even though it was originally worn in only three parishes of the Black Forest region and on special occasions only.

The Black Forest region is blessed with a particularly rich mythological landscape. It is said to be haunted by werewolves, sorcerers, witches and the devil in differing guises. Helpful dwarves try to balance the scales.