Until the Middle Ages the Black Forest was really and truly a dark forest- neither more nor less. It was as the Romans said a "silva nigra", a murky and almost impenetrable woodland. Only the highest mountains (the "Hornisgrinde" in the north, the "Feldberg" in the south) could be seen above the maze of trees.
This situation, however, changed in the late Middle Ages, when the huge fir trees and pine trees were all of a sudden used as lumber. The best tree trunks were tied together as huge rafts and taken down the river Rhine to the Netherlands.
A lot of wood was needed for the glass industry and for mining. The fuel to melt the minerals was cut down next to the mines.
That is why by the 17th century half of the forest was cut down and used as a source of energy. Many of the flourishing communities were turned into impoverished regions. Yet a positive side effect was that the region became more inviting and less hostile.
In the south more of the area is wood land again, consisting of different kinds of trees now, not only of fir and pine trees - and after the medieval phase of clearing the forest beautiful meadows have developed on slopes and in higher regions.
Thus after many changes the Black Forest presents itself as a collection of regions which are not distinctly separated from each other. In order to inform about this region it makes things easier to divide the Black Forest up into three areas, the northern part, the middle and the southern part.
> The Regions
> The Black Forest is divided into three areas
> Famous Roads
> Homeland of the Rafters
> Lakes and the Highest Mountain
> Glaciers and Lakes: The Primeval Landscape
> The Upland Moors: The typical landscape
> At the Schluchsee
> Lake Titisee
> The Höllental
> The gorge of the Wutach
> The Belchen
> The Schauinsland
> The mountain called Feldberg
> The lake called Feldsee in the Feldberg massif
> In the region called Hotzenwald
> Four valleys in the Hotzenwald region
> The fifth valley in the Hotzenwald