Horb am Neckar is often referred to as the Gateway to the Black Forest. It sits right on the edge of the legendary wood, where the Neckar and Grabenbach rivers come together. The rivers slice through the landscape, providing hills and valleys which with a little imagination can become the nooks and crannies of the Grimm Brother’s tales.
Hiking around Horb am Neckar it is easy to mentally escape. You look down at the town and see the tops of the buildings, their peaked roofs and old stonework like something from another age. This is, of course, because they have been saved from another age.
Enchanted? Doubtful! But still, the well-kept buildings do lend themselves easily to flights of fancy as you walk through the trees.
The ambience of the area is deliberately calm and peaceful. Horb am Neckar cultivates this as it brings in the tourists. All the tradition and culture oozing from every pore of the place is delightful to visitors, and it must have been driving the local kids crazy. Much to the horror of the town fathers, a group of youths took it upon themselves to launch a rock festival in 2005.
Even more horrible? The darn thing is popular! Bands come from all over the world to play — Sweden (Backyard Babies), Argentina (La Vela Puerca) and the US (Ignite, And… You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead) have all sent charting rock bands to perform and the tickets sell out fast. It’s held each August, right after Horb am Neckar’s classical music concert series. Coincidence? You decide! ;-)
The best part is that the foreign rock bands love the Horb am Neckar precisely for the reasons the local kids get bored with it. There’s a jousting festival in June, and the cobblestone streets are truly medieval. You can sit down by the river and watch the sunset into the trees on the mountain.
If you see a fairy tale coming to life in the woods, well, it’s probably just your imagination. ;-)