Western Europe: Germany - Gengenbach in central Black Forest

By Cubie - September 03, 2017

I left for Gengenbach after another yummy breakfast in Gutach, walked to bus stop Bergle, got on the usual bus #7150 for one last time to Hausach station and hopped on a connecting bus to Gengenbach. I could get a glimpse of the little town from the train before the name of the town flashed on the electronic board and thought to myself, "Hey, this place is beautiful, I hope it is Gengenbach!"

It was :)

I was sitting on steps outside a building eating my ice-cream, schwarzwälder kirschtorte flavour.. haha
Gengenbach is a pretty little town on the banks of River Kinzig in the central Black Forest, complete with half-timbered buildings, baroque style houses, knight keeping guard on the well in the middle of the market square, monastery a hill and super convenient with a train station.

I made my walk to Schwarzwald Villa which was a short walk and would be even shorter if I've known that I could cut across passed the tracks from the train station. 

Schwarzwald Villa is owned by Christel and Alberto who are warm and wonderful hosts. The house was built by Christel's grandfather years ago. The room I booked was a double bedroom with shared bathroom. The toilet was not within the room but I wasn't sharing with other guests as it was exclusively allocated to the room I was in. The bathroom or shower though, I was sharing with Christel and Alberto which was located on another floor. 

First order of things upon checking in was to complete the KONUS card form with morning tea of home made carrot cake and coffee in the garden. They were so organised that I was also given a form to pick what I prefer for breakfast tomorrow (and day after) - type of eggs, tea or coffee, any fruits with yoghurt, etc. 

As we were talking about food, breakfasts in my stays in Black Forest were luxurious. Jams were homemade and included a fig jam. Yum. Breakfast had the whole spread from cold cuts, cheese, muesli, cereal, bread... I was also served a slice of cake for breakfast. I was told that it was an Italian Colomba Cake originated from Eastern Italy. I've not heard of this cake before this but it was yum, the texture was a little like Panettone but it is mostly for Easter. 

Spot Italian Colomba cake on the right
Christel gave me a town map and a quick brief on getting around. I set out on a warm day to explore Gengenbach. :)

First stop of the day, Die Engelgasse (Angel Alley). It is a small pocket of old town area that would transforms one back to the glory of the old days, especially when you get the alley by yourself. 

I think I jumping once mistaking there was a man sitting there.. haha
If there is Engelasse (Angel Alley), there is a Höllengasse (Hell Alley). While it doesn't have a stretch of beautiful half timbered houses like Engelasse, a Scheffel House which belonged to the last overseer of the kingdon's abbey, Magnus Scheffel.

From there I cut back to the market square and saw the unmissable fountain in the middle, The Röhrbrunnen. The knight, referred to as "Schwed" (Swede) by the locals due to him looking so thin in his iron armour. He holds a scroll on his right hand, symbolising of the town's privileges and on his shield, Gengenbach's coat of arms. His thin figure is a reminder of the starving Swedes during the siege of the city. 

If you look down on the cobbled stone path, you might also notice Schwed leading you around the walking tour of the town. 

I also like this little alley which house the Schwedenturm (Sweden Tower). It is a half-rounded tower but fully open on the side facing the town. The tower served a purely defensive purpose and provided the town walls with additional protection. The house next to it was a house of a dyer and was built way back in 1747. It has a protruding uppermost floor which provided some protection in event of rain. 

I am also happy to report that the storks across from Hotel Sonne are still happily living there. I sat on the steps outside one of the building, looking up at the roof and eating my ice-cream. Glad I carried along my other lens!

A short walk, probably about 20 minutes up the "Bergle" Hill with amazing vineyard view got me to the Jakobskapelle (St Jakobus Chapel)

From there, stop by the Pavillon for more views of t he town and beyond. 

After walking back to the town, the other side of the town ("the other side" is very loosely use because the town really isn't big) stands the Stadtkirche Sankt Marien (Town Church of St. Marien). At the same patch of area, there's a herb garden and the town's former fortifications tower. It was a former Benedictine monastery. 

It was a very warm day and after a day of walkabout, I sat on a bench just outside an old tower to be out of the sun. I looked up.. and it was a great day in Gengenbach. 

It was a Tuesday when I was walking about the town but I managed to stop by the farmer's market the next day before I took a train and catch the free Nachtwächterrundgang (night watchman's tour) which runs on Wednesday and Saturday at 10pm (from May to July) and 9pm from August to October. Unfortunately it was conducted in German only but I was lucky that one of the visitors was translating bits of it to another tourist in English and I overheard some of them. 

I had dinner at Zum Turm based on recommendation on Paul's blog post. It also came recommended by the B&B host where I stayed. The first day I had a good German smoked sausages, potatoes and simple salad (€7.90), washed down with Rothaus beer (€2.60). Simple but good. 

Upon leaving the tavern, I saw someone ordered a flammkuchen and served in front of guests with flambéed with Calvados... so I returned the next day for it! 

I went for the full course of flammkuchen with apple slice, cinnamon, raisin, sugar with Calvados (€6.80). I was worry I would still be hungry (probably more glutton) so I got myself Bratkartoffeln with speck too (€3.50). No beer this round, I had a blackcurrant juice (€2.20). The potatoes were crispy on the outside, on the inside, sinful but very good. The flammkuchen was amazing, I had a very happy tummy when I rolled out of Zum Turm. 

Side note: "I can resist anything except temptation." ~ Oscar Wilde

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  1. Looks like the storks are still happily perched there!

    Just back came from Spain and came across lots of stork nests. Most of them were apparently still on summer vacation though :(

    1. Hello! I was just wondering if you would be back to Europe this year as you did an Asian country last year. Look forward to read many great stories on Spain. :)