What are their plans for the next weekend or vacation? Why don’t they follow the tracks of the Black Forest Clock? You will travel some of the most beautiful natural areas in the Black Forest.
The trail is almost 300 kilometers long and leads through the most beautiful landscape in the Black Forest. Of course, we mean the Black Forest Clock Route, one of the most attractive trips for tourists along with the Romantic Route and the Swabian Baroque Route. Like pearls on a thread, they will find such beautiful places as Triberg, Furtwangen, St. Märgen, Eisenbach or Titisee-Neustadt. And for the expert, names like Waldau, Schoenwald or Villingen-Schwenningen are also household names.
The town of Furtwangen has now long been the center of the Black Forest Clock. Today, the museum is known worldwide. The oldest German clock collections come from the clockmaking school founded here in the 19th century. The first director was Robert Gerwig. In 1852 Gerwig persuaded people to keep and collect old hand-carved clocks. Thereby he gathered one of the first pieces of the Furtwang collection which now consists of over 4000 pieces.
Not far from there is the beautiful resort of Schoenwald, where the inventor of the first cuckoo clock Franz Kellerer lived. He was the first who managed to imitate the call of the cuckoo.
The name Triberg is very much connected with the nearby waterfall. When they arrive there in the morning, they are greeted at the entrance by many squirrels waiting to be fed. In this town lives the only remaining cuckoo clock maker who produces the complete clock: Movement, house and carvings. The Black Forest Museum in Triberg is also worth a visit. You should not forget to look at the largest collection of antique Black Forest clocks and other interesting objects. The museum is located just above the entrance to the waterfall.
When they drive out of the cute little town, they very quickly reach Schonach, which is just a few kilometers up on a higher hill. Schonach is one of the centers for cuckoo clock makers.
If you follow the road through Hornberg you will reach Schramberg – the five hills town – and home of Junghans. The reputation of this company is based on the radio controlled clocks they produce. You should not miss the unique collection of industrial clocks in the City Museum. The carefully selected examples of early methods of production and working methods provide the visitor with some interesting information about the social economic history from this area.
Königsfeld is located 800 meters above sea level and is a popular residential and vacation resort for older people, as it offers about 200 kilometers of hiking trails. And here in the center you will also find the watch factory of Peter Auber. He has a talent for old clocks with hand-painted plates copied from old models. He even recreated the famous Sorg clock from Neustadt.
A few kilometers from Königsfeld, the road leads to Villingen-Schwenningen, the very important center of the Black Forest clock in the past. Especially Schwenningen was once considered the largest clockmaking town in the world. You should also visit the two museums with different clocks. If you are interested in the history of the alarm clock, you must see the first examples of industrial clocks located in the old Buerk factory. In just a short time you will reach Trossingen, which is really not far away and Trossingen is a paradise for handicraft lovers who want to make their own clock. The company Selva presents a wide range of more than 10 000 products, where the hobby clockmaker can find almost everything he needs, be it a pendulum, a weight or a gear.
But back to the beginning of the Black Forest Clock: The path of the clock finally leads through Eisenbach, where Johann Baptist Beha built one of his famous table clocks. In the hotel ‘Bad’ you can admire his world clock from 1865, which is proudly preserved by his descendants.
Finally, we arrive in the area around Titisee-Neustadt. It is said Titisee is the cradle of the Black Forest clock. This is the home of the famous ‘Jockele’ or ‘Sorg’ clocks – every collector’s favorite. Even nearby Lenzkirch used to be an important center for clockmakers.
You can start your ‘trail on the tracks of the cuckoo clock’ in many places, for example St. Märgen or St. Peter in the baroque period. Even Waldkirch, albeit in Breisgau, is a clockmaking town with an old tradition.
Photo: Katja Gehrke