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Batch XLIX. Schwarzwald, Sunday February 18, 2018 NO. 47
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Tales from the Black Forest - The Barbarastollen

Cerebral Convolutions on Celluloid

What do the Vatican, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and Oberried have in common? All three are the only places in Europe under the special protection of the Hague Convention in the event of armed conflicts – effectively the younger sister of the Geneva Convention. Many would seem perplexed by the mention of Oberried. A community with 2,800 residents in the Dreisamtal valley under special protection? Yes. Oberried has more to offer than ma...

Tales from the Black Forest - The Rose Village

Ideas Are Essential – Weilheim-Nöggenschwiel

The residents of a small, remote village on the plateau of the Hotzenwald forest had a clever idea for increasing the number of tourists that came to visit. In 1968, they brought the first 8,000 roses to Nöggenschwiel. It is now estimated that there are over 20,000 rose plants. The center of the village soon ran out of space, so the residents of Nöggenschwiel came up with a new ...

Tales from the Black Forest - “Da Bach na”

Soggy Carnival Capers

When Montgomery “Monty” Collins, the developer of Monkey 47, came to Berlin in 1949, the “Da Bach na” race in Schramberg was a traditional event that had long since been in full flow. The tub race down the Schiltach stream was first staged in 1936 and is a weird and wonderful custom that has become a real highlight of the Swabian-Alemannic carnival season. Each year, these madcap Schramberg daredevils – individually or in pairs – tremble with...

Hans Thoma

The Painter from the Black Forest

© ullstein bild-ullstein bild

Born in Bernau (Black Forest) in 1839, painting offered Hans Thoma a way to escape his origins. After the death of his father, a trained miller who later worked as a lumberjack in the Black Forest, Thoma had to provide for his mother and sister, and so he began painting portraits and landscapes for the homes of prosperous farmers. The young “peasant painter” caught the attention of the bailiff of St. Blas...

Tales from the Black Forest

The Thousand-Year-Old Lime – What Now, Old Tree? – Ettlingen-Schluttenbach

Propped upright, there she stands, the Old Lady of Schluttenbach. One ailment follows the other, and the residents of the highest and smallest district of Ettlingen are concerned. Everything could be so wonderful: a village square, a fountain, a choir, a lime tree, and a festival. Once a year, the "Sängerkranz Schluttenbach 1889" choir has traditionally extended an invitation to join them in celebration underneath the thousand-year-old lime t...

Tales from the Black Forest - The Astronomical Clock in Schramberg

If you can’t immediately read the time on the Schramberg town hall clock, this isn’t necessarily due to an overindulgence of Monkey 47. A quick glance at the astronomical clock tends to cause confusion. Instead of two hands, it has three, there is a revolving disc with the signs of the zodiac, and what looks really strange is that the clock face does not display the hours from 1 to 12 but t...

Tales from the Black Forest - The Balzer Crucifix

Jesus Lives in the Tree – Gütenbach

In the past few years, pilgrimages have become really popular again. Away from the long, established pilgrim routes and famous sites, a beech tree in Gütenbach Forest has developed into a place of reflection and inspiration. The tree holds a sandstone figure of Christ firmly within its bark. Only the head and part of the breast still protrude. The "Balzer Crucifix" would have disappeared into the tree a...

Tales from the Black Forest - Hundeschlitten­rennen

The Call of the Wild

The dogs are wild with excitement. They bark frantically and strain nervously in their harnesses. Their ice blue eyes convey their unyielding determination to run... run... just run. Finally, the long-awaited call of the “musher” sounds out and the pack of huskies sprints off through the snow. No other region in Europe has embraced the sport of sled dog racing like the southern Black Forest. Each year, major events held in B...

Tales from the Black Forest

The Eichener Lake – A Lake Mostly Without Water – Schopfheim-Eichen

In the far south lies the small town of Schopfheim next to the Black Forest, and the lake in the district of Eichen is a temperamental wonder of Mother Nature. For most of the time, it is a dry lake and only fills up occasionally in wet years. And this can happen overnight. This unusual body of water was first mentioned in 1772, when five young men drowned in it. Only ...

Carl Friedrich Benz

The Most Beautiful Sound from the Black Forest

© ullstein bild-ullstein bild

In November 1844, a pioneer was born in Mühlburg, in the lovely Black Forest, whose patent now dominates our streetscape: Carl Friedrich Benz. As a graduate mechanical engineer, he’s one of the most important industrial engineers in the history of the global economy, who in 1885, created the first ever motor car: the Benz Patent Motor Car No. 1, a single-cylinder four-stroke engine for driving a three-wheeled carriage. Shown at the 1889 Wor...

Tales from the Black Forest - the Radio-controlled Clock

The Most Accurate and Tastiest Clock in the World

The brown pharmacy bottle with its monkey label not only provides a home for Monkey 47 but can also be used as an accurate timepiece. For gin and tonic with 4 deciliters of Monkey 47, the 0.5-liter bottle holds exactly 12.5 delicious long drinks. If we assume 30 minutes in which to delight in its pleasures, after six hours, there is only enough gin left in the bottle for a weak mixture. Of course, you st...

Tales from the Black Forest - Deep Down

The “Segen Gottes” Silver Mine

Hundreds of years ago, some areas of the Black Forest were full of holes like a Swiss cheese. Where families now go for pleasant walks or exhilarating bike rides, people toiled in mines for 800 years, bringing ores and rocks above ground in a surreal and dangerous world. The Black Forest was an important mining area. Now, this is only alluded to by place names or at show mines, in which ...

The Radhaube

High fashion from 19th-century Villingen

© Sebastian Wehrle

The golden Radhaube—pictured here in all its splendour—is the result of up to 400 hours of sheer artisanal craftsmanship. Though it does require a great deal of endurance from the women who weave it, this traditional headwear serves to this day as a reminder of the good old days in southwest Germany. The citizens of Villingen, for example, continue to wear their city’s time-honoured garb to demonstrate their connec...

The Hornkappe

Like a big, black butterfly

© Sebastian Wehrle

As most traditions do, the Hornkappe constantly evolved over the centuries before its most recent form came to be defined by its strikingly large black bow and long fringe around the year 1890. It takes quite a few metres of silk to create such a bow, which was worn by the local rural population on Sundays and holidays until approximately 1930. Above all, however, it symbolised weddings, confirmations, funerals, and other ceremonial ...

Tales from the Black Forest

Markus Dirr – Dedicated to Good Taste

Markus Dirr first tasted Monkey47 at Schöllmanns, an exclusive bar in Offenburg. Not too far away for him. He lives and works in Endingen am Kaiserstuhl and adopts a similar approach to the Black Forest dry gin: The finest home-grown ingredients combined with ingenious ideas from throughout the world produce new taste sensations without losing sight of tradition. Tradition is a top priority at the Dirr butcher shop. After a...

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