Gengenbach, a fairytale town in southern Germany

Gengenbach, a fairytale town in southern Germany

To say that Gengenbach is the most beautiful town in Germany is perhaps foolish on my part. The general appearance of Gengenbach is fairy-like, with its rampart, its gates to the city and its medieval watchtowers.

Inside a labyrinth of cobbled alleys, with colored half-timbered houses. A picture that cannot be more of a postcard!

Where is?

Gengenbach is a small town of around 11,000 inhabitants located on the edge of the Black Forest, Ortenau district, in Baden Württemberg.

It is located halfway between Freiburg and Karlsruhe, two of the most important towns in the region, and very close to the A5 motorway and even the French Strasbourg, so reaching it by car is very easy.

The entrance to the town in the form of a wall and tower (the main access to the village hundreds of years ago) already makes you see that what is inside is an extremely well-kept jewel.

Because entering Gengenbach is like entering a story.

A fairy tale or of the Grimm brothers where their half-timbered houses, their walls or their cobbled and flower-filled alleys take you back to childhood and those children’s stories with which we have all grown up.

Bella, Rapunzel or a clueless piper could have suddenly appeared but no animated character appeared, although I think the cartoonist who was inspired by the Walt Disney stories had to pass through here.

Gengenbach was chosen by Tim Burton to shoot some scenes for the movie «Charlie and the Chocolate Factory», which turned it into the city of Augustus Gloop, the gluttonous child.

What to see and do in Gengenbach.

Stroll through the streets of the well-kept old town and enjoy its peaceful atmosphere. Its magnificent front door already gives us an idea of ​​what we are going to see inside this impeccably maintained villa.

The entire small historic center is in perfect magazine condition. And when I say this I am not exaggerating one iota.

Everything is where it should be for the visitor to rub their eyes well: houses with impeccable facades and the typical half-timbered in perfect condition, charming houses, colorful plants on the balconies, absolute cleanliness, a very well preserved wall, well-kept parks .

Total tranquility that makes this town a bucolic and poetic place.

The Kinzig Tower or Kinzigtorturm

It is one of the two towers that are still preserved on the Gengenbach walls. Its name refers to the Kinzig River, a tributary of the River Rhine, which passes through there.

It is the tallest and strongest tower that the city had, since its main function was to defend the town. It was the main entrance to Gengenbach and still allows access to Gengenbach through an archway, which retains its drawbridge.

In this tower is the Museum of Military History of the Citizen Guard. In the six floors of the tower you will be able to learn the history of the means of defense, with which the old Free Imperial City of Gengenbach had, and the role of the citizen militia.

The Market Square – Marktplatz

The Market Square is unmistakable, the three main streets of the city converge on it.

In the center is the Market Fountain or Röhrbrunnen, with the figure of a stone knight, dating from the 16th century.

He is a knight who rests on a shield and proudly carries the map of the city, he is known as «Schwed» by the residents of Gengenbach. This spring has been supplying drinking water to the inhabitants of Gengenbach for 500 years.

To honor his name, the weekly market (Wochenmarkt) is still located in this square. Gengenbach obtained the oldest market rights, granted to any community in central Baden.

The Town Hall – Rathaus

The Town Hall or Rathaus is located in the Market Square, which has a very peculiar characteristic since its facade is an Advent calendar, the largest in the world.

The 24 windows of it are opening day by day as Christmas Eve approaches so you can imagine the Christmas atmosphere that is breathed here, including the market.

Gengenbach has inspired artists of all kinds: writers, painters, poets … and it is not surprising to see the beauty and tranquility that is breathed.

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