Ettlingen sits just on the northern edge of Germany’s famed Black Forest region in the chic state of Baden-Württemberg. It is nestled in the fields of the Upper Rhine Valley by the Alb River. The natural beauty of rivers and forests, as well as its many lovely fruit orchards, give this town its picturesque quality.
The Romans were among the first to be charmed by the simple beauty of Ettlingen. They had a crossroads village located here and left behind many artifacts. One of these finds is the Neptunstein, a stone Latin inscription recollecting an early flood of the Rhine. A Roman fountain can also be found here.
There are several tourist walking trails in this town. One of these is a Historical Route, which will take you past some of the highlights of Ettlingen’s colorful history. Let’s take a (virtual) look at some of these.
The medieval castle features a large complex with a baroque chapel and a unique dolphin fountain. From there, we can enter the castle’s decorative rose garden. Past that, a large arch beckons us into the Old Town, with its 15th century Town Hall. And let’s not forget the whimsical “Fountain of the Fool” in the middle of the square.
Another walk is the Panoramic Trail. This route is 2.5 km (1.5 mi) and will last about one and a half hours through parts of the the Black Forest Nature Park. Make sure to take a break at some of the scenic overlooks, with views of the nearby mountains and the Alb Valley.
If you’re just not into the great outdoors, there’s also a trail for Ettlingen’s museums. These will show you a glimpse of the old life as you learn about traditional bread-making and the technology of mills.
There are special events that you can enjoy if you arrive at just the right time of year. The city’s main event is the Schlossfestspiele, or Castle Festival. Or take a nostalgic steam train ride through the Alb Valley — it’s offered several times throughout the year.