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Gorgeous Winners of the ‘Black Forest Clock of the Year’ by Hubert Herr

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
Black Forest Clock of the Year 2011 by Hubert Herr

Black Forest Clock of the Year 2011 by Hubert Herr

In the past few years, one of the oldest family-run manufacturers of Black Forest Clocks was able to win the competition Black Forest Clock of the Year twice. Already in the middle oft he 19th century, the brothers Andreas and Christian Herr started to fabricate their first Cuckoo Clocks in their small Black Forest farm house. It was one of their descendants, Hubert Herr, who started the business in Triberg’s mainstreet where it is still located today. As for today, it is the fifth generation of the Herr family that runs the company. One speciality of Herr Clocks is that every single part of the clock– from the extrerior tot he mechanics inside – is produced by themselves.

In 2011 and 2013, Hubert Herr was able to win the competition Black Forest Clock of the Year twice. For the Black Forest Clock of the Year 2011, they had the original idea of integrating a bakery in a Cuckoo Clock chalet-style. The master baker is taking fresh bread out of the oven while the mill in the background produces more flour. The chicken are picking some grains from the ground, while the freshly baked loaf of broads are cooling down on the right. The whole scene is surrounded by a lovely Black Forest Chalet, which even has the sign of the baker’s guild on it: Two Pretzels.

Black Forest Clock of the Year 2013 by Hubert Herr

Black Forest Clock of the Year 2013 by Hubert Herr

In 2013 as well, an elaborate design meant the win for Hubert Herr. Even though the lumber industry theme is often used in Cuckoo Clocks, the Black Forest Clock of the Year 2013 handles this topic very originally. Especially beautiful are the horses on the right who are pulling tree trunks. They are going in circles every full hour when the music starts. The lumberjacks and in the middle also move and on the left there is even a sawing machine – the whole world of the Black Forest lumber industry is captured in one very special Cuckoo Clock.

So rightly it was Hubert Herr who could win the title in these two years. They used their clockmaking experience of two centuries to create two clocks that are both traditional and original. We can not wait to see how creative the clockmakers will be in 2014.

Black Forest Clock of the Year – Conservators of the Black Forest culture

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

The especially elaborately designed Black Forest Clocks of the Year offer a chance for the manufacturers to show off their clockmaking-skills. The main-inspiration is the rural life of the Black Forest: The Chalet clocks often present scenes of Black Forest farms while the carved models are influenced by the life of the forest.


Black Forest Clock of the Year 2007 by Anton Schneider

The competition ‚Black Forest Clock of the Year’ presents clocks who represent the Black Forest life in a elaborate and detailed fashion. Scenes of the rural Black Forest life are so well displayed that the observer feels like he is part of it. It is a great way to explore the life in the Black Forest as it used to be – like a little museum on your wall.

The Black Forest Clock of the Year 2007 is designed and created by Anton Schneider and is called ‚Der Schwarzwaldhof’, the Black Forest Farm. Carved with a lot of details, you can observe two forest workers who enjoy their after-work beer. They are surrounded by elements of the woods such as fawns or fir trees. The balconys are also carved with motives of the forest.

The focus more on the life of the farmers has the Black Forest Clock of the Year 2005 by Rombach und Haas: The farmer and his wife take care of the farm animals, especially  their Black Forest cold blood horse. This breed is especially tough and yet very well-tempered – a perfect working horse for the rough surroundings of the Black Forest. The people of the Black Forest are very proud of their beautiful horses and they are often payed tribute to with the Cuckoo Clocks.


Black Forest of the Clock 2005 by Rombach & Haas

Black Forest Clock of the Year 2006

Black Forest Clock of the Year 2006 by Hoenes

A very special scene is displayed with the Black Forest Clock of the Year 2006 by Hoenes: After the clockmaker has finished one Cuckoo Clock, a resident of the Farm takes of to deliver the clock to its recipent. Since the farms were usually located oustide of larger communities, it often took the carrier several days to deliver the clock. His wife, wearing the traditional bollen-hat, is waving sadly at him to say good-bye. Meanwhile, the clockmaker has already started with a new clock. This snap-shot is surrounded by a vastly decorated Black Forest home.

There is nothing like a Black Forest clock to document the daily life oft he Black Forest as it used to be in good old times. Two aspects are acknowledged with the award ‚Black Forest Clock of the Year’: The skills oft he clock makers, of course, but also the conservation of the rich culture of the Black Forest.

Black Forest Clocks of the Year by August Schwer

Friday, April 25th, 2014

It’s not the Oscar nor the Grammys that matter in the Black Forest, but another award: The Black Forest Clock of the Year is awarded to a Cuckoo Clock that is even under all the gorgeous Cuckoo Clocks a special one. The awards goal is it to acknowledge a special and creative Cuckoo Clock that is rich in detail.


Black Forest Clock of the Year 2004

In the first few years of the awards, it was the members of the association’s board that voted for the Cuckoo Clock of the year. In recent years though, the poll was executed during an exhibition where the manufacturers can show their best clocks of the year to the public. Twelve clocks by six different manufacturers are shown in a regional museum, and the visitors can vote there as well.


Black Forest Clock of the Year 2008

For a few years, the Black Forest Clocks by August Schwer were serial winners oft he competition: The Black Forest Clock of the Year 2004 and then the Black Forest Clock of the Year 2008, Black Forest Clock of the Year 2009 and the Black Forest Clock of the Year 2010 were created by the traditional clockshop of Schönach/Black Forest.

All of these four models of the famous Chalet Clocks by August Schwer are especially rich in detail . The Black Forest Clock oft he Year 2004 for example shows the scenery of a jolly fair. The fair is located at the Black Forest  Chalet and has so many lovely details that looking at it will never be boring.

Black Forest Clock of the Year 2009

Black Forest Clock of the Year 2009

The dazzling array of details of the Black Forest Clock of the Year 2008 will also amaze you: Kids playing with their pets are the main focus of the snapshot, but it is the details you gasp at second view that make the clock more special than other clocks: The elaborate design of the blinds, for example, the lovely arranged bowery or the hand painted details of the house – the craftsmanship of the Cuckoo Clocks, that is already on a very high level, gets lifted even higher here.

Black Forest Clock of the Year 2010

Black Forest Clock of the Year 2010

In the following years, August Schwer set high standards again: The Black Forest clock oft he year 2009 shows two Black Forest farmers enjoying their after work beer, sitting in front of an elaborately designed Black Forest farm house with well house and wayside cross. The Black Forest Clock of the Year 2010 is a Chalet-style clock as well, the gorgeous Black Forest horses are the center of attention with this one. If you are looking for that one, very special Cuckoo Clock to add to your home, you might want to take a look at the Black Forest Clocks of the Year. The clockmakers used all of their creativity and skills to design special and unique masterpieces. We will present the other winners in the upcoming weeks as well.

Legendary Places – The Mummel Lake

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
Foto: Nobert Hüttisch

Foto: Nobert Hüttisch

In the Black Forest, there are a lot of places that attract many tourists. Often it is their beauty or specialness that attracts them, such as the Waterfalls of Triberg for example. A lot of these places are the source for some very special legends of myths that were established in the long and rich history of the Black Forest.

One of these very mystical places ist he Mummelsee, or Mummellake, in the northern part of the Black Forest. While it used to be quite isolated in earlier times, it is one of the most visited Black Forest lakes nowadays, thanks to its location at the Schwarzwaldhochtstraße, the main travel route through the Black Forest.

It’s not only its breathtaking scenery that attracts the visitors, but also a lot of myths and stories around it that fascinates the people:

One says that there used to be a monastary for ‚pure souls’ where the lake is today. Because of a ‚rage of heaven’, the monestary vanished one day and where it used to be, only a dark, deep lake could be found. The residents oft he are noticed though that they had somehow help with their daily work: The houses were already cleaned or the cattle already fed when they got up in the morning. The people of the region were convinced that it was the pure souls oft he monestary that helped them and made the region to be so fertile.

Another legend tells of a young shepherd met a lovely virgin there. They spent hours telling tales and singing together. Yet the virgin always warned the shephard not to look for her at the lake in case she does not show up for their daily meetings. When that happnened one day, the longing became too strong though and the shepherd looked for the girl anyway. When he could not find her at the lake, he sat down at the shore and yelled her name. This cause a loud roar coming out oft he lake and the water got as red as blood. The boy ran home, panic filled, and died there.

The third tale says that a lot of ghosts used to live in the lake and came into the settlements at nighttime. The residents saw that they were poorly dressed and wanted to do them something good: Therefore, they provided them with clothes. The ghosts were not happy about this though: They felt wounded in their pride and were angry that their presence was discovered. Therefore, they went back into the lake and were never again seen.

As you can tell, the mystic landscape around the Mummelsee delivers a lot of inspirtaion for tales and storys. And who knows – some might even be true.

The Cuckoo Clocks Older Brother – The Shield Clock

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Most people associate two things with Black Forest Clocks: The Carved Cuckoo Clocks and Clocks Chalet-Style. Before these clocks were produced though, there stands a long and rich history of clock manufacturing in the Black Forest.

Schilderuhr-8-Tages-Uhrwerk-40cm-von-Rombach-Haas__1012_7378_01The reason why especially the Black Forest has established itself as a centre of Clock-manufacturing was mainly caused by two reasons: In the long and harsh winters of the region, the Black Forest always tried to keep themselves busy when life on the farms got slow. One of these occupations was the carving of tools and of items of the daily life such as plates and cups. When technical inventions made it possible for clocks to be run with wooden movements, it became possible for the Black Forest people to produce clocks using their own resources and abilities.

1Schilderuhr-8-Tages-Uhrwerk-33cm-von-Rombach-Haas__1012_3402_01Way before the common known Cuckoo Clocks became popular, there were other kinds of Clocks that were typical for the region. The Shield Clock, for example: It is still created in handwork and is created on a fir-tree basis. It used to go through an interesting production process: The fir-tree shield was soaked in glue-water  and covered with chalk-powder first. After that had dried, another layer of glue water was applied.  Then it was polished before the digits and other decorations were painted on it by hand.

Even today, these traditional Black Forest Clocks have a big fan base.  Beside the Cuckoo Clock, they are the most common export-good of the region – even when they have to leave the spotlight often to their younger brother.

Meet the Manufacturers: Anton Schneider Cuckoo Clocks

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Schneider Cuckoo-Clock-1-day-movement-Chalet-Style-28cm-by-Anton-Schneider__4032632400701_30-MT-11009_MT11009Since 1848, Cuckoo clocks Schneider produces its famous clocks in the city of Schonach in the middle of the Black Forest. This means a clock-making tradition that has been going strong for six generations now. It all started in the farmhouse of founder Anton Schneider and has lead to a large company with a lot  employees. The focus at Anton Schneider lies on passing down skills to young trainees.  Anton Schneider combines the traditions of its heritage with the possibilities of modern tools to create clocks that are both rich in history and quality.

 Schneider Cuckoo-Clock-8-day-movement-Carved-Style-88cm-by-Anton-Schneider__4032632500623_30-8T-MT2457H_8TMT2457HThe company is well known for their very special moving parts  and melodies of the Chalet-styled Clocks. But their carved clocks are also extraordinary and beautiful. The hard work and steady improvement was rewarded with the Clock of the Year Award in 2013.

If tradition combined with a modern manufacturing process are important to you, then you should take a look around to explore the world of Schneider Cuckoo Clocks.

Snowshoe-walking in the Black Forest

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Feldberg Schneeschuhwanderer

Snowshoe hike at the Feldberg, © Hochschwarzwald Tourismus GmbH

Besides the typical winter sports you can do in the Black Forest, some other kind of sport has become a rising star in the past few years: Snowshoe-walking! It has become so popular that guided snowshoe-tours of any kind are offered.

Let’s start with the roots though: Many ancient nations were using them; in fact it was the possibility they had to continue to hunt during the winter. Where snowshoes actually originated from is not known, but traces where found from the Inuit to the Caucasus.

In our modern society they are not necessary to gather food anymore, yet they have become very popular as a leisure activity. The requirements for snow shoeing are fairly easy to fulfill: If you can walk, you can snowshow. All you need is a bit of snow and a lot of nature. Other requirements such as lifts or loipes are not necessary.

In the gorgeous Black Forest, the possibilities and offers when it comes to snow shoe walking seem to be endless: A moonlight tour around the city of Hinterzarten, a tour of the Feldberg with some delicious hotpot dinner after that or an easy tour at the Windeck – with the flexibility of snow shoes, you will explore the Black Forest more intense than normally you ever would.

Traditions of the Black Forest: The Bollenhat

Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Copyright: Tourist-Information Gutach Hauptstraße 38 77793 Gutach (Schwarzwald)

Copyright: Tourist-Information Gutach Hauptstraße 38 77793 Gutach (Schwarzwald)

Besides the world famous Cuckoo-clocks there is something else that makes you think of the Black Forest right away: The traditional ‚Bollenhat’. Besides the Bavarian Dirndl, it might be the most famous traditional garb that is connected with Germany.
Behind this colorful tradition stands a lot of history and meaning. First of all, it is wrong to consider the Bollenhat as the traditional garb oft he Black Forest. Actually, it is only the traditional dress of three small villages: Gutach, Kirnbach and Reichenbach. Caused by its concise look and by a love for traditional movies with regional background in the 50s and 60s, the Bollenhat became the symbol for the whole region.
It is traditionally made with a white strawhat as base and fourteen fluffy tufts. Usually, the hats are given down from generation to generation, yet there are some traditional hatmakers left that still work in the hatmaking business. It takes one week of work to produce one hat, two kilogramm of whool are usually needed.
The red tufts are worn by young girls from their confirmation on until they are married (as you can tell, it is a protestant region). As soon as they are married, they are wearing their tufts in black. Kids and old women usually wear no tufts but only the bonnet-part. Although not as important as they used to be, the Bollenhat still has its place in the life of the Gutach-people: At wedding ceremonies, church services and on traditional celebrations such as Thanksgiving, the Bollenhat is still used today.
Getting curios? In the open air museum Vogtsbauernhof, you can watch a traditional hat maker while she does the traditional work of creating a Bollenhat – just like the people have done it since centuries.

Snow and Cuckoo-Clocks: Winter Vacation in the Black Forest

Monday, January 13th, 2014

The Black Forest is easily one of the most famous regions of Germany. Especially the Cuckoo Clocks and the world famous Black Forest ham are responsible for the regions popularity.

Besides these goods, the Black Forest also has a remarkable landscape to offer. Therefore, it attracts a lot of foreign as well as German tourists. Many of them travel to the Black Forest during winter season: Besides the rustic coziness, a lot of possibilities for any kind of winter sport are given.

The center is certainly the area around the highest Black Forest-Mountain, the Feldberg. 16 lifts and 55km of prepared slopes are waiting for the alpinist – for every level, from beginner to pro. If alpine skiing is not enough for you, you can choose between a wide variety of other snow-related activities: Snowshoeing, for example, or the new trend sport of Snowkiting. There is also a big Snowpark for those who prefer to ride the mountains with only one board under their feet. And if that it is way too much exercise for you, you can also start with the Apres-Ski right away.

Speaking of boards: When you fan of the narrow ones, don’t worry either. The Black Forest has more than 170 tracks for Cross Country skiers prepared. On more than 1200km, you can discover the whole region on your ‘Bretterl’ and explore the stunningly beautiful nature first hand. You should check the snow-conditions before you start your day, of course. But especially in the higher regions, such as around the Feldberg, enough snow is pretty much guaranteed in winter.

To bring some variety into your vacation, the Musuem of Ski of the Black Forest is one of the many cultural possibilities the Black Forest has to offer. It shows the history of skiing, from its beginnings to pro-sport.

A visit to the Black Forest is definitely something you should put on your Bucket List – you will experience a visit that combines winter-sport, relaxation, culinary highlights as well as cultural possibilities.

Traditional or Modern Cuckoo Clock – Trenkle leaves the choice up to you.

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

20131212 Trenkle BlauCuckoo Clocks are one of the most famous things that people throughout the world associate with Germany. They go way back and were first mentioned in the 17th century. But still in today’s 21th century, they are very popular with Germans and tourists alike and can be found in countless living-rooms and kitchens around the globe. No piece of furniture represents Germany as much as the typical Cuckoo Clocks, and families on all five continents bring a piece of German culture and tradition into their homes like that.

Despite their long history, the Cuckoo manufacturers are willing to embrace innovations, both in the technical as well as in the creative field.

Usually, you decide between two kinds of Cuckoo-Clocks: The ones with an 1-day-movement, and the ones with an 8-day-movement. That means that you have to wind up your clock either daily or weekly.  They are running mechanically without any energy support. Meanwhile, some clock-maker are producing clocks with the newer Quartz-technology.

20131212 Trenkle pink20131212 Trenkle naturTrenkle Clocks is a typical, traditional Clock-company of the Black Forest. From the hands to the clock face to the movement, every little detail is produced by Trenkle self. Trenkle is also a company that is leading when it comes to new things – whether it is design or technical gadgets.  Newer clocks by Trenkle for example are usually equipped with a quartz-movement run by batteries. That has the advantage that they just keep on running, even when you’re absent for a while. When you return after a vacation for example, you do not have to wind up and re-set your clock.

Trenkle also offers a variation of colors for the newer carved models of their clocks. Beside the traditional, wooden colored clock, you can also purchase them in more modern colors such as pink or blue for example.

Today’s Cuckoo Fans can choose between a huge number of different clocks.  In our Cuckoo Palace, both fans of the traditional as well as of the modern clocks will find the clocks of their dreams – and those who like both kinds will find beautiful combinations of the old and the new.

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