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BAVARIA


Germany’smost iconic souvenir


Story by Lindsey Holland Photos by Kim Bissell


T e Black Forest, or Schwarzwald in German, is a range of


hills stretching 100 miles north to south along the French border until the forest touches the Swiss border near Basel. T e Black Forest runs almost parallel to the Rhine River and has an area of approximately 4,600 square miles, roughly half the size of Denali National Park in the United States. T e Black Forest is rumored to have gotten its name, Silva Nigra, from the Romans because of the dense growth of conifers that block out much of the sunlight. While the Schwarzwald was cut off from the German


mainstream until the last century, the strong traditions of the farmers, clockmakers, foresters and glassblowers make a tour through the Black Forest worthy of a stop, and visitors who choose to travel through the region will not be disappointed. T e Black Forest drive takes visitors down the nearly-200-mile winding “clock road.” T e drive through the dense forest off ers striking views of


classic cuckoo clocks, calming waterfalls and quaint German villages, all of which present a truly romantic and authentic image of German tradition. In Schonach, a village along the L109 just west of Triberg, a cuckoo clock built into a house is visible from the road is said to be the world’s largest. But hidden within the forest are several clock-making companies, a clock museum and spa resorts for visitors hoping to spend more than a day exploring the region. In Furtwangen, south from Triberg on Highway 5000, tourists


can visit the clock museum, Deutsche Uhrenmuseum, to learn more about the history of all clocks. A special section of the museum is devoted to cuckoo clocks. T e cuckoo clock originates in the Black Forest, and the museum traces the development of clocks from the dark ages to the space age. Eva Renz, head of public relations for the clock museum, said


tourists oſt en overlook the Black Forest and the tiny clock-making villages because the region is not part of the tourist stream. However, a visit to a cuckoo clock manufacturing company or a cuckoo clock store will prove rewarding to visitors willing to invest a day or two in the region. One company in Furtwangen, AMS clocks, has been


producing clocks since the 1850s. In addition to cuckoo clocks, the company manufactures modern and quartz clocks. While the


36| ALPINE LIVING 2011


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