Gaggenau sits on the Murg river, and the forest and waterways are lined with more than 500 kilometers of trails to explore.
A large waterpark has also been built, ensuring that in the summer time you don’t have to go to the seashore to feel like you’re there. But the waterpark is only one of nearly 130 summer attractions in the town.
Gaggenau is crazy about doing things in the summer! The summer children’s theater series is especially popular. The town recently finished a performing arts center, Jahn, were additional concerts and events can be held. So when you have to travel with the kids, you can leave them off at one of the children’s summer program events and head off to relax in the forest.
All of this is partially paid for by the automotive industry, which has a strong presence in the city. All those Mercedes Benz’s aren’t proof Gaggenau is rolling in the dough, but just proof that they make many of them here. DaimlerChrysler is the biggest employer, and cars have been made in the area for more than 100 years.
Not all of those manufacturing years were glorious, however. During the war, concentration camp prisoners were sent here to do forced labor in the factories as was customary at the time. Several died, and there are memorials commemorating both their presence and their death. Memorials also commemorate the hard price Gaggenau paid for being a manufacturing center — more than 70% of the town was destroyed by Allied bombing.
The damage in part explains the heavy focus on environmental entertainments. There is one castle in an annexed village, but in the town proper there are only modern structures. Thus, the many trails and outdoor opportunities have been maximized. The town also throws a large summer festival, enthusiastic Autumn Fair and hosts a December Christmas market.