Oooh, I heard the magic words: Black Forest, a.k.a. Schwarzwald.
Let’s face it, there are not too many places steeped in legend and lore like the Black Forest, so I don’t really care too much what town I’m having to explore next — picky I am not.
However, that kind of introduction doesn’t befit the town of Münstertal (with all its 65 villages and hamlets) — please forgive me. ;-)
Let’s try this again, OK? What a wonderful town Münstertal turned out to be; easily reached from towns like Bad Krozingen, Freiburg, and Staufen. All this means is you’re close enough to enjoy places like Burg Scharfenstein, a castle from the 1200s, destroyed & abandoned over 500 years ago.
And if you think that’s old, hold on to your hat, because the Kloster St. Trudpert was founded four centuries before the castle was even thought of. Yeah, you did the math right, that’s sometime in the 9th century. Even though the monastery was “secularized” in 1806, it’s still a medieval monastery at heart — right down to its 12th century texts and 14th century manuscripts.
Books and manuscripts aren’t the only way to learn about things. The Bienenkundemuseum will teach you all about beekeeping, by the way. Hmm, you can learn something new everyday. You can also learn about medieval mining at the Teufelsgrund, or Devil’s Ground, where silver had been mined here as far back as the 10th century.
History lover that I am, even I’m ready to party at this point — and there’s no lack of events to choose from. We all know about the German love of the automobile, so the Oldtimer Treffen (held in early May) is a great way to see old cars. Then again, we know about the German love of wine — so come the end of May is the Wein und Musik events.
And it wouldn’t be right not to tell you about the town’s Cattle Drive (first weekend of October), or the Schwarzwälder Weihnachtsmarkt Münstertal (its Christmas Market), the Mine Festival, or the multi-day Markgräfler Weinfest in August.
So far there’s no shortage of things to see and festivals to attend, just as there’s no chance you’ll ever go hungry either. Pick your poison — everything from dairies for the yummiest of cheeses, all kinds of asparagus dishes, and plenty of wine and brandy to wash it all down.
Seems if I had started out in Münstertal (Schwarzwald) with that, I wouldn’t have gotten anything done. ;-)