There is a lot to discover in the Bernauer Hochtal and its surroundings, extending right across three very varied cultural regions. The area is part of a triangle joining Germany, France and Switzerland. It's always a good idea to take some time for a day trip to some of the attractions in the nearby countries.
From the Rössle, you can quickly get to Lake Constance, Alsace or Switzerland - destinations that are absolutely worth a day tour.
Hochtal-Steig - High Valley Climb
The painter and writer Hans Thoma is probably the most famous artist in the region. Born in Bernau in 1839, he was possibly the most popular German landscape and portrait painter from 1900 onwards. He died on the 7th. November, 1924 at the age of 85. Founded in 1949, the Hans-Thoma-Kunstmuseum in Bernau provides a deep insight into the extensive and varied work of Hans Thomas' oil paintings, prints, handicrafts and documents from his life.
Every year the three-day Hans-Thoma-Fest takes place.
Every other year, the Hans-Thoma-Kunstmuseum presents the Hans-Thoma Prize, a prestigious prize funded by the state of Baden-Württemberg. It is awarded to artists who have already created a recognised work or who can be expected to evolve greater works in the course of their artistic development. Prize-winners have to have been born in Baden-Württemberg or have a focus of their work there.
The Museum also has regularly changing exhibitions featuring modern and contemporary artists associated with Bernau and the region.
The museum is located on the upper floors of the town hall directly opposite the Rössle.
D-79872 Bernau in the Black Forest
The High Valley Climb in the Bernauer Hochtal is a truly wonderful hiking experience. It has been awarded the title "Premium Hiking Trail" and "Black Forest Gourmet Trail". The circular hiking trail is 15.6 km, leading through light forests and extensive meadows with wonderful views of the highest Black Forest peaks, the Alps and the entire valley. There are eight sky loungers for a sensational view right in the midst of nature.
Hikers need to be in fairly good physical condition to go on the walk, as the first half of the trail goes up from 885 to 1,349 metres. The path then leads down to the Krunkelbach hut and from there over to the sunny side of the valley. You will have utterly magic views of the high valley on the last part of the trail back to the starting point.
One of the special features of the gourmet trail is the viscope - an "intelligent viewing telescope". The name of each peak on the horizon is displayed as you look at it.
The Cathedral in St. Blasien is definitely worth a visit. It was inaugurated in 1783 with a festive service - after only eleven years of construction - and is today one of the most important buildings in the region in terms of art history.
A visit to the Resenhof Museum of Local History in Bernau is also interesting. The Museum gives you a good impression of how people in the Black Forest lived and worked in former times.
A day on the "Geniesserpfad" in Bernau - The Epicurean Trail - is a must. The magnificent views all along the high valley hike give you a good feel for the magic of Bernau. There are several lovely venues on the hike for a tasty food break and refreshments.
Freiburg is considered the capital of the Black Forest and the sunniest city in Germany. Freiburg is a lively town with a lot of unique charm including a much loved weekly regional market, the famous Freiburg Cathedral, an enchanting old town with old medieval lanes and alleyways.
Where to, France or Switzerland? The Alsatian town of Colmar on the Alsatian Wine Route is well worth a day trip.
Basel, the third largest city in Switzerland, isn't far away either. Art lovers won't want to miss the world-famous "Fondation Beyeler" art collection. A visit to Basel Zoo is also worthwhile.