Donaueschingen is a rustic small German town in the Black Forest area of Baden Württemberg. It is a host to a famous cycling circuit along the wooded hillsides of the Black Forest, the source of the famous Danube River, and historic collections of art.
Of course, the town wouldn’t be complete without its very own castle a.k.a. Schloss… ;-)
Donaueschingen doesn’t have too many museums or what you might consider typical touristy spots, but the one you will see surely won’t disappoint. The Princely Collection at the Donaueschingen Palace and the Fürstenberg Collection has artwork dating from the 15th and 16th centuries.
The Schloss dates back to the late 18th century and is open from Easter thru October. Although the real source of the Danube River (called Donau in German) is where the Breg and Brigach Rivers come together in Donaueschingen, but the traditional site is in the garden fountain of the Schloss.
If you’re the more athletic type, ride with your bike along the start of the Danube and through the forested hills for which the area is famous. The Danube Cycle Trail that begins in Donaueschingen is very well-known and the longest in Europe. The best time of the year is usually in the early summer when it isn’t too humid. These trails are well-marked and the bicycle lanes are mostly paved.
When you’re finished all the hiking, biking, and sightseeing for the day, make a stop at the 725 year old Fürstenberg Brauerei (yes, a brewery!). Donaueschingen was once the feudal lands of Heinrich von Fürstenberg in 1283. With this feudal contact came the right to brew beer, thus opening the first source of the Royal Fürstenberg Brauerei. The original manuscript granting this feudal land is in the brewery archives.
Tours of the brewery are available, you can have a nosh in their restaurant, or head right over to the Bar/Tasting Room and try the Fürstenberg Salvator — originally made in the late 1800s. It was liked so much by the last German Kaiser, Willhelm II, that he declared it the “Table Drink of His Majesty the Kaiser.”
Doesn’t matter if you’re feel like pretending you’re royalty while you drink it, just drink and “Prost” (Cheers!) to Donaueschingen — so do I. :-)