Germany's Southwest Treasure: The Black Forest


The Black Forest, or Schwarzwald to Germans, is located entirely within Baden-W├╝rttemberg, in southwestern Germany. It is an almost rectangular area of mountains and forests 200 Kilometers long and up to 60 Kilometers wide, with an area of approximately 12,000 km2, or 4,600 sq. mi. The name Schwarzwald stems from the Romans who named the area such because of the densely grown Conifers that block out most of the sunlight from withing the forest.

The region itself contains many notable rivers and mountain peaks. Some of the rivers include the Danube, the Enz, the Kinzig,the Murg, the Nagold, the Neckar, the Rench, and the Weise. The highest peak in the Black Forest is the Feldberg with an elevation of 1,493 m or 4,898 ft, compared to say, the highest point in Germany, the Zugspitze with an elevation of 2,962 m or 9,718 ft.

Economy and Ecology

The forest of this region consists mostly of pines and firs that grow straight up without producing many branches and are well suited for making lumber, and like so many other forested areas, the Black Forest has had areas that were once decimated by mass logging. Because of the logging and land usage, the Forest is only a fraction of it's original size. Such is why the forest is now carefully maintain. Every year selected plots of land are cleared and replanted for lumber usage, but always under strict observation of forest rangers. With this lumber the region has produced some of the world's best-quality wood products, such as the world-famous Cuckoo clock.

Points of Interest

The Black Forest's main industry is tourism and as such the region contains many places to go and many things to see including historic churches and monasteries, castles and palaces, museums, historical railways and mines, wildlife parks and many other natural wonders to speculate on your own over a network of tracks around 23,000 Kilometers, and not to mention around two dozen little towns spread throughout the region as well!

The Triberg Waterfalls

The Triberg Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in Germany with a fall of 163 meters, and consists of seven majors steps from a gently high plain into a rocky v-shaped valley. At the bottom of the falls is a small town that has formed around the basin. The falls is a popular tourist where over half a million domestic and foreign tourists visit every year. You can walk all the way from the bottom up to the top of the falls, although it is said the bottom of the falls is far more spectacular than the top.

Fun Facts

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake consists of layers of dark chocolate sponge, cherries, whipped cream and chocolate curls. The cake is world famous and is served practically everywhere. The lowest layer of sponge, as well as the cherries on top are soaked with kirsch, a famous cherry brandy that is believed to have originated from the Black Forest region.

Black Forest Ham

As you can guess from the name, this Ham is a specialty of the black forest area. The ham is seasoned with special spices and cured over pine brushwood and sawdust directly from the forest, and then cold smoked for several weeks.

Words to know

Der Wald - Forest

Der Wasserfall- Waterfall

Die Dachkehle - Valley

Das Bauholz - Lumber

Pflanzen- To Plant

Works Referenced

ger/101/2011/fall/sam_e.txt · Last modified: 2011/11/02 02:14 by krconnell
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