In the first century A.D. Hüfingen in Baden-Württemberg was famous for marking the boundary of the Roman Empire (that would be like Julius Caesar, not the Holy Roman Empire) on the southern edge of the mystic Black Forest.
Today, it’s more known for its castle ruins, its Carnival, and its charming Altstadt (Old Town) with lots of half-timbered houses framing its city streets that border the gorgeous town of Donaueschingen.
Does this sound like your kind of place? Great, let’s get to seeing it then. :-)
The Romans weren’t the first people to settle here in Hüfingen. Archaeologists have found Bronze Age artifacts, and the remnants of a Celtic settlement.
I’m sorry to say that the Celtic settlements are gone, but you can see the old Roman baths, that’s now a museum of sorts that’s open from May to October.
More of Hüfingen’s history is found within the City Museum of Art & History (located at Nikolausgasse 1 — open on Sundays from 2pm-5pm).
The other museum in town is Hüfingen’s School Museum, totally dedicated to the reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic. Um, that would be reading, writing, and arthmetic to my school teacher readers out there. ;-)
Hüfingen’s schloss isn’t open for historical tours, it’s now a nursing home, but you can see the Burgruine Fürstenberg instead. This ruined castle was supposedly built in the 11th century, standing for more than 800 years before finally being destroyed in 1841 (even managing to survive being sacked during the 17th century Thirty Years’ War).
In order to fully appreciate the beauty of Hüfingen’s St. Verena & Gallus Church, take a 90-minute guided tour (it’s only a few euros). Even if you don’t, you’re still welcome to visit the Catholic Church for sightseeing or services.
Anytime is a great time to visit Hüfingen, but I would try to come (at least once) during its Carnival. Held right before the sacrificial days of Lent, the Fool’s Guild makes a grand display of the whole affair — parade included.
As festive as Carnival might be, you’ll find the hiking trails (going over little bridges and stuff) a tad bit quieter. I wonder if this is how it looked back when Hüfingen was at the far reaches of the Roman Empire?
Either way, it’s perfect.