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Batch CCXVII. Schwarzwald, Thursday August 05, 2021 NO. 47
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Our lady of hewn stone

Karin Walther works as a stonemason at one of the oldest workshops devoted to the craft – Freiburg’s Münsterbauhütte. Hers is a story of artisanry, patience, and the historical significance of curly-wooled sheep.

© Monkey 47

“Up there – you can see it better from here,” Karin Walther says as she points skyward. “There’s a bit of the trumpet and some of the wing that sticks out.” We’re standing in the middle of Freiburg’s historic centre on Münsterplatz, the square that surrounds the city’s venerable minster. The scent of peonies is doing its best to stand up to the savoury aroma of the bratwurst serve...

Triberg Falls

© Monkey 47

Germany’s highest waterfalls are another treasure claimed by the idyllic Black Forest – by the city of Triberg, to be precise, where the roaring waters of the river Gutach cascade down seven levels measuring 163 meters in total height. A breathtaking spectacle of nature, to be sure, and don’t forget this extra tip: The way in which they ionize the surrounding air makes waterfalls the place to ...

What Do Charcoal Burners Do?

From our series on artisanal traditions

© Jochen Hirschfeld

Willhelm Hauff’s fairy tale Heart of Stone tells the story of a charcoal burner whose dissatisfaction with his lot in life leads him to take a number of ill-fated decisions. In the end, he winds up back in the same job in the Black Forest, but much happier for his tribulations. But what does a charcoal burner actually do – and isn’t it a profession that has long been forgot...

Tales from the Black Forest - Floating Villages

© Flößerzunft Oberes Nagoldtal

Dusky woodlands, lush green meadows, deep-blue sky, and a traditional farmstead: Monkey 47 is made with plenty of loving care right here in the Black Forest before be-ing shipped out to the entire world. There was a time, however, when the region's landscape was far more dominated by the expansive forests that gave it its name. Lumber was one of the most important local resources, of course, and it was a ...

When Monkeys Grow Up...

Our "godson", Willy, and Dr. Jane Goodall

© Fernando Turmo / Jane Goodall Institut

Do you remember when we announced our guardianship of Willy right here on our homepage? For three years now, we've been the proud guardians of this young chimpanzee, who has been living at the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of the Congo since 2014. The facility, which seeks to protect orphaned chimpanzees, was founded in 1992 by the famous primatologist, environmentalist, and UN Messenger of Peace Dr. Jane Goodall. The ...

The Endless Expanse - The travel journal of photographer Jochen Hirschfeld

Part 1/4 - The Trans-Mongolian Express

© Jochen Hirschfeld

They say that even the longest journey starts with a single step. In this case, it was just one word: Ulaanbaatar! The name had been echoing through my head like the guttural war cry of a fierce warrior on horseback. It was the unfamiliar sound of a faraway land that had made me dream of travelling to Mongolia for a good long while. The little I knew of the country ...

On beard care and other concerns

The Swabian community of Schömberg is home to one of the world’s most prominent beard and moustache clubs. This is a story about facial hair and its consequences.

© Monkey 47

The Swabian community of Schömberg is home to one of the world’s most prominent beard and moustache clubs. This is a story about facial hair and its consequences. It’s eight o’clock on a Friday evening, and I’ve got an appointment at Gasthof zum Plettenberg. Dark wood panelling adorns the inn’s walls and ceiling, and patrons are passing glasses of fresh draught beer across tables covered wit...

Pleasant guests from South America at the Schaberhof

Schwarzwald Import / Export

© Monkey 47

Species Alpaca (Vicugna pacos). A cloven-hoofed member of the camel family. Known for its distinctly tranquil and amiable nature. Characteristics The main physical features of alpacas include lean, elongated legs; a long, thin neck; and a small triangular head. Thanks to its thick coat, which is particularly dense around the legs and on the head, the animal serves as a source of wool. Alpacas can weigh up to 80 kilogrammes, but ...

Tales from the Black Forest - A Clean Tradition

Geldbeutelwäsche

© Monkey 47

“The third time, it becomes a tradition” is a saying in the Black Forest. In other words, if something new has twice proved successful, it becomes an integral part of the local culture. This enables inhabitants of the Black Forest to quickly assimilate innovations. Consequently, the Black Forest dry gin Monkey 47 is not a contradiction but an innovative, traditional drink with a Black Forest element. Of course, particularly well-known traditions have...

Woman of the country

© Monkey 47

Deep in the Black Forest, Cornelia Reich produces organic cheese ­using milk from grass-fed cows. While the local scenery could definitely be described as bucolic, her chosen craft is hard work that requires dedication and a willingness to compromise. Loßburg – 24 Höfe, County Freudenstadt. In surroundings like these, you can’t help but think that this must be how Americans picture Germany: lush greens and azure blues like something out of ...

Tales from the Black Forest - A Wall Under Heritage Protection

Vöhrenbach

Foto von Willy Pragher, 1959, Quelle: Landesarchiv BW, StAF W 134 Nr. 057462b

"A resurrected technical monument of national importance" is how the town of Vöhrenbach in the Breg valley refers to its Linach valley dam. In actual fact, it is even under heritage protection because it is unique throughout Germany. The town constructed the dam between 1920 and 1922 to generate low-cost energy. In 1969, an energy provider offered DM 300,000 if the town would stop generating energy and instead enter into long-term s...

Tales from the Black Forest -The Black Forest Piper

Bohemian Ram. Little Bumblebee

Bohemian Ram. Little Bumblebee. No, not pet names that aging married couples have for each other. These are just a few of the unusually archaic sounding instruments that belong to the larger family of bagpipes. Scottish bagpipes are generally a familiar concept, but the Black Forest shepherd's pipe is less well known, although it was quite prevalent there at one time. When Helmut Moßmann gets out his bagpipes and h...

Where the whittling is done

Ernst Karle is preserving one of the Black Forest’s most important traditions. Join us for a story about the last shingle maker in the region.

© Monkey 47

The journey is an arduous one. Slowly, our car’s plaintive-sounding motor fights its way up the steep and narrow road. Buttercups, dandelions, and poppies bloom off to the side, and lime-green butterflies flutter about in the warm summer air. Suddenly, our driver steps on the brake – hard – just before a hairpin turn. The passenger in the front seat instinctively grabs for the handle above the window. After we nearly scrape...

Erhard von Umtrieb

A lonely house called the Wild Monkey Inn - and its Wunschmaschine

© Jochen Hirschfeld

Who wouldn't like a machine that grants wishes? Herr Taschenbier certainly did for the Sams in Paul Maar's series of children's books, and we can hardly blame him. Recently, we were lucky enough to fulfil this persistent desire and can now call ourselves the proud owners of a custom-designed Wunschmaschine. Indulging us in this flight of fancy was Erhard von Umtrieb, a member of the Germany Steampunk Society's Rauchersalon ("...

Tales from the Black Forest - The Star Village

One Fairytale, Eight Stars, and 240 Finkbeiners - Baiersbronn

© Monkey 47

Gourmets are familiar with the name Baiersbronn. Two large establishments - the Traube in Tonbach and the Hotel Bareiss in Baiersbronn-Mitteltal - have three Michelin stars each. In the district of Schwarzenberg, there is another chef with two stars at the Hotel Sackmann. So Baiersbronn can truly be referred to as the "Star Village." So it comes as no surprise to see just how many luxury cars there ...

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