Southwestern Germany is probably one of the lesser-known parts of this historic country. Many travelers are visiting Nuremberg or Munich, even Stuttgart, but how many enter the Black Forest? How many of you are visiting Freiburg, Offenburg, or Baden-Baden?
In this article, we share with you our 15-day road trip itinerary in Germany.
Freiburg im Breisgau
When we talk about Southwestern Germany, it is inevitable to start with Freiburg im Breisgau. This university town is the fourth largest in the Federal state of Baden-Wurtemberg and is home to about 220,000 inhabitants. Of the three cities, we are going to talk about, Freiburg is without a doubt, the best known.
Besides, it’s considering the entrance to the Black Forest, and it’s the ecological capital of Germany. Freiburg is especially known for the famous “Fribourg Creeks”; small canals were created artificially along different streets of the oldest area of the city.
Freiburg Cathedral is located precisely in this area of the city. Like most cathedrals, it was built in different stages, in this case in three: 1120, 1210, and 1230. It is Gothic, although it’s built on a Romanesque church. One of its most noteworthy features is that it still retains the same stained glass that was placed in the Middle Ages.
There are many other places worth visiting in this wonderful city: the new and the old town hall, the warehouses of the cathedral square (Munsterplatz), the three gates that are still preserved from the old wall, the Augustinermuseum (one of the largest museums in the city) and, being the ecological capital of Germany.
Many people visit Freiburg to better understand its environmental measures and discover first-hand how the city has developed so much and so well under the protection of renewable energy.
Baden-Baden, the treasures of the Black Forest
Another treasure hidden in southwestern Germany is Baden-Baden. This town, with only 55,000 inhabitants, has beautiful and charm houses. Baden-Baden became especially famous for becoming a place of rest and entertainment of the European bourgeoisie. The city’s casino is considered one of the most luxurious in the world and inspired novels by some of the most important writers of universal literature, such as Dostoyevsky and Turgenev.
The building has a casino called Kurhaus and was built between 1821 and 1824. It also offers different shows like dances, concerts, performances, etc.
But Baden-Baden has many other secrets. It is one of the most beautiful places in Europe, because it is located in the Oos Valley, in the middle of the Black Forest, and is one of the spa towns best valued by visitors who especially like this type of tourism.
Like Freiburg, Baden-Baden offers many other tourist attractions: the two palaces (the old and the new), a gigantic English-style garden called Lichtentaler Allee or the ruins of a Roman spa that put the city on the map, for the first time, in the time of Lucio Septimius Bassano, back in the 3rd century.
- Check OUT: Black Forest Card. The card provides you with free entry to over 180 of the most exciting attractions in the Black Forest.
Finally, let’s talk a little bit about Offenburg. This small town (also a university, though less famous and frequented than Freiburg) is around 58,000 inhabitants and is very close to the Rhine River, on horseback between Freiburg and Karlsruhe.
Among the tourist attractions of Offenburg: is the monastery of the Capuchins, the Inn Salmen, the Ritterhaus (a building dating from 1784 and which currently plays a municipal archive and museum), the Konigshof (or former royal palace, which is the police station now, or the Mikwe (bathhouse that was always assumed as the original medieval period and which, according to recent research, dates back a little later, from between the 16th and 17th centuries).
However, the best thing about Offenburg is the cobblestone streets of the center and the incredible landscapes that we can find on the outskirts of the city. Also, Offenburg comes one of the most important and spectacular railway routes in Germany, the Black Forest line. If you are lucky enough to be able to ride this train, you will see one of the most impressive landscapes in Europe along 150 kilometers and with level changes of up to 650 meters with respect to the sea.
It is precisely this geographical component that makes southwestern Germany an essential place for those travelers who love nature. It is not that Freiburg, Baden-Baden, and Offenburg are not worth it exclusively as cities; it’s that their geographical situations and the nature that surround them make them an inescapable appointment.
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