All posts filed under: Traditions

Traditions of The Black Forest Germany

Cuckoo clock of The Black Forest Germany

Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks

Perhaps one of the greatest contributions to the fame of The Black Forest is the cuckoo clock. While it is easy to appreciate their charismatic beauty and charm, few realize how deeply rooted these clocks are in history. It has been a long journey that has involved several hundred years and thousands of people in small towns located in one valley in The Black Forest. The first description of a cuckoo clock was in 1629 and was written by a German nobleman, Philipp Hainhofer. He describes a curious little clock that belonged to Prince Elector August von Sachsen. It contained a bird that resembled a cuckoo. Thus giving the name to the “cuckoo clock”. However, these early clocks were very primitive by today’s standard and did not make any sound! Enter Franz Anton Ketterer! Ketterer was a clock maker from The Black Forest and is credited with the invention of the cuckoo clock you know today. It was one day in the 1730s, after pondering the mechanism of a church organ bellow, he was inspired …

Finding The Perfect Cuckoo Clock

We are in cuckoo-clock country! That’s how you feel once you enter the area in the Central Black Forest where cuckoo clocks have been manufactured for centuries. The World’s largest cuckoo clock can be found here. And not only that, there is also The World’s Widest Cuckoo Clock, The World’s Tallest Cuckoo Clock and The World’s Oldest Cuckoo Clock. A quarter before the hour, you’ll see people lining up in front of the clocks waiting for the cuckoo to come out for its hourly appearance. Touring with us at Black Forest Tours means you will visit the places where the first cuckoo clocks were made. We can take you to one of the last remaining cuckoo clock factory in the Black Forest on special request. Here you can see how a cuckoo clock is built – from the carving of the wood to the painting  of the cuckoo that lives inside. You get to see each step of the process of building a clock. Because they are slowly hand-crafted, there are very few real Black …

Celebrations in the Black Forest

If you are not sure when to visit this area you might want to see if there is a public holiday during the time frame you are considering for your Black Forest vacation. If that’s the case if it always a good time to visit. Because public holidays usually mean that there are tons of celebrations going on all over the area. A quick look into the local events calendar will tell you in which town you can encounter a parade with people wearing traditional costumes or a procession of some sort. On Sundays there are festivals happening everywhere because people always find a reason to celebrate. (we also have an events calendar on our website which we update regularly) Last week we ran into a Fronleichnam (Corpus Christi) procession in a small town in the Black Forest which is famous for its approximately 1 km long Flower Carpet. Everyone in the town is supposed to get involved. The different streets in town get assigned a specific portion of the carpet. That means if you live …

Wurstsalat – a local specialty worth trying

If you have visited the Black Forest before you might have noticed a dish in many local restaurants called ‘Wurstsalat‘. Literally translated to ‘sausage salad‘ you might have hesitated to try the dish (seriously – do you want to eat a sausage salad??) and probably ordered some more well-known German specialty like a Schnitzel. Not that there is anything wrong with ordering a Schnitzel. But during your next visit you might want to try a Wurstsalat. This dish is so popular in the Black Forest that there are plenty of websites dedicated to it. Many make it their goal to find the best Wurstsalat in the region and have online polls to show you where the best one can be found. Unfortunately all of the websites we have found are in German. Wikipedia describes a Wurstalat as a ‘tart sausage salad prepared with vinegar, oil and onions normally made from a sort of boiled sausage like lyoner, stadtwurst, regensburger or extrawurst.’ As shown in the pictures a hard-boiled egg, onions, tomatoes or pickles can be …

The Black Forest PomPom Hat or what exactly is a Bollenhut?

That’s me standing next to the Gutach open air museum where they have a VW beetle wearing a huge Bollenhut. The Black Forest is not only associated with Black Forest Cake, Black Forest Ham and Cuckoo Clocks but also with the Bollenhut – an essential part of the Black Forest Costumes is the PomPom topped hat called Bollenhut. The Bollenhut consists of 11 handmade pompoms (14 pompoms altogether but only 11 are visible). The hat can weigh up to 2 kilograms and comes in the colors red and black. Unmarried women wear a red Bollenhut. Once married, they wear a black Bollenhut. The origins of the hat and the appropriate dress can be traced back to the mid-1700s. These days, the traditional Black Forest Costume can only be seen at special events and then only in certain towns, so you have to plan in advance to see one.