In Emmendingen, you can find out all the secrets you like.
This town in Southern Germany, near Freiburg im Breisgau, is home to the only archive of diaries in Germany (Deutsches Tagebucharchiv). While the archive is fairly young, it is already attracting international attention.
The Germany Diary Archive was founded in 1998, after a local business woman heard of a similar project going on in Italy.
The Emmendingen archive has no political agenda, but merely seeks to make the diaries of ordinary German people available for researchers and posterity. Which means that not only is reading other people’s diaries permitted, the Archive actually encourages you to go picking through the lives of total strangers.
The Archive is housed in the old town hall, which is a Baroque style building on the main square. Von Goethe’s sister’s house is nearby and serves as the regular town library and archives. You can catch a quick breakfast at one of the cafes on the town square and then head into the library to read till your heart’s content.
In addition to the diaries, you can also get access to that most legendary of German forests here. The Black Forest stretches all around Emmendingen. You can also hike up the Kaiserstuhl mountains and really feel like you are stepping back into the setting of a Grimm Brother’s fairytale.
When you come back down the mountains, you will likely be hungry and thirsty, so lucky for you this is a good region for food and drink. There are many local wines, some grown on the slopes of the Kaiserstuhl and others brought over from neighboring towns in the Baden wine country.
Typically very fresh with fruited undertones, you will be able to wash down the rich pastries for very reasonable prices with the added bonus of supporting Emmendingen’s local industries.