Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany

By Cacinda Maloney

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany

Black Forest, Germany (Schluvchsee)

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

 I bring you sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Cuckoo, Cuckoo, Cuckoo!

Deep in Germany’s Black Forest is where fairy tales were born. The Brothers Grimm stories came alive during my recent visit here, where traditions and customs are still very much alive. I actually saw Cinderella herself, as well as Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs! There were also a myriad of other mystical creatures from the forest that I came across as I toured this enchanting land.

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

It was filled with small villages of proud Germans, who represent the Southern German culture and traditions.   This is where the people still “live” the traditions, yet they have adjusted to the modern way of life in the 21st century. This area is also quite a bit different from Northern Germany, as well as, other areas within Germany that I have visited and definitely worth a visit.

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

As I sit back and think of all the famous stories that have come from this region, I am quite astounded at its enormity. Here in southwestern Germany, the winters can be excruciatingly long with temperatures well below freezing. When the farmers in the region could no longer go out and tend to the land, they had to find something to do with their idle time in the dead of winter. Thus began the legends of late night imaginative storytelling. With their idle hands they also created the woodcarvings that make their now-famous cuckoo clocks. This area alone was once the center of clock making in Germany, which was the major industry in the region since the 18th century.

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany

Exploring Local German Traditions: #JoinGermanyTradition

While in Schonach, Germany, I was able to tour the wood shop of the President of the Black Forest Clock Association, Mr. Ingolf Hass.

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clock Maker Ingolf Hass

He is also the owner of Rombach & Haas, also known as ROMBA, which was founded in 1894 by his great grandfather; this makes him a fourth generation cuckoo clock maker. Only a few years ago, he wasn’t the most popular guy in town. His idea to modernize the cuckoo clock as we know it, led himself and his wife Conny to start experimenting with different materials, looks and mechanisms for cuckoo clocks.

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:  Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:  Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

They created new looks for the modern day cuckoo clocks, yet kept with the traditional “cuckoo” sound (in some format), as well as the weighted clock mechanisms that make a cuckoo clock unique. In an area as traditional as the Baden-Wurttemberg (the state within Germany that the Black Forest is located in, near Bavaria) this was quite an uphill battle making waves against the wood grain (pun intended!).

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: workshop

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany

Today, however, they have actually revived the industry, in the sense that that the old cuckoo clocks had became “too kitchy” for the younger generation Germans. Now they are flocking to get a modern version of the one hanging in their Grandmother’s house for their swanky apartments in the city.

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:  Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:  Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany

Learning what makes a cuckoo clock “tick”

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:  Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

Entry into the old wooden workshop, I received a history lesson into the makings of a cuckoo clock. You remember them, right? The ones where there is a bird that appears thru a small trap door and comes out and says “cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo” while the clock strikes the time of day. They are mechanical clocks with the clock case, the cuckoo pipes or bellows (which makes the actual sounds), and the weighted pendulum that regulates the clock.

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:  Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

There are also 2 types of movement: the one day or eight day, where the cuckoo clock is weight driven and has to be wound. While touring the shop, one can still see the workbenches from the 18th century and Ingolf pledges to keep everything as it was back then. He walks on the traditional ceded wooden floors and pulls knobs made from wood of the curio cabinets that hold the small components of the clocks.

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany

The modern day cuckoo clock

From there, we made our way to his showroom floor, where I saw clocks made from metals to flat wood. I saw red clocks, white clocks and pink clocks next to traditional château wooden ones. Clocks with carvings, clocks painted a solid color, clocks with painted pictures, you name it, there is a clock here made just for you.

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany: Cuckoo Clocks

If you don’t find one of your liking, just have one designed especially for you. Conny Haas has been painting cuckoo clocks for over thirty years and uses her superb artistic skills to create amazing works of art. The prime minister of Germany liked their clocks so much that he has his secretary make a standing order of a particular clock that he gives as gifts to dignitaries that visit him. Here is what it looks like:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany:

Sounds from the Black Forest, Germany

Come for a visit to the Black Forest

So if you are in the mood for some history, some art, watching craftsmen do their thing, then Schwarzwald, or the Black Forest is the place for you to see history in the making. And while you are there, might as well make your way over to the world’s largest Cuckoo Clock (https://www.dold-urlaub.de/ ) nearby in Schonach, which is actually a two story building that houses the mechanism or the one near Breisach, which I think is a much prettier stop and has an area of the black forest that you can actually walk down into without much effort.

Disclosure: My trip to #JoinGermanTradition was sponsored by the German National Tourism Office, the amazing time I had visiting the Black Forest was all my own!

 

2018-11-27T12:32:38+00:00

4 Comments

  1. Friday Links – LEATHER & ABEL March 26, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    […] Cuckoo clocks in the Black Forest – I wanna go here now! […]

  2. […] by noon sharp, which was on the parade route in the downtown area. Remember, this is the land of the original cuckoo clock makers. Everything here works to the precision of a clock. I had gotten up early that morning and walked […]

  3. Berlin, Germany August 8, 2015 at 11:46 am

    […] SOUNDS FROM THE BLACK FOREST, GERMANY […]

  4. Wall of Berlin August 30, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    […] SOUNDS FROM THE BLACK FOREST, GERMANY […]

Comments are closed.