Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Cuckoo Clocks of the Black Forest

The Black Forest is one of the most famous forests here in Germany. I first heard about it when I was in Japan while teaching English to Japanese professionals at a conversation school there. One of my clients loved to travel a lot and would like to visit Germany someday and visit the Black Forest. I guess they call it that because of the very thick forest cover (making it very dark) but the Black Forest, I later came to discover, is a jewel with lots of breathtaking views and various activities to offer.

The world's biggest cuckoo clock in a scale of 50:1 in Schonach, Black Forest, Germany
Photo Source: de.Wikipedia
One of the many charms of the Blackforest are the cuckoo clocks. Legend has it that the first cuckoo clocks were made in the Black Forest but who made it was not recorded.. The 320-kilometer long German Uhrenstrasse (Clock Street) was even officially opened in 1992 to the public as a tourist attraction. In this 320-km stretch lies different Black Forest clock factories, workshops and sign painter studios. It also offers beautiful views of the valleys and the various trails and the 30 stations give guests an insight of the meaningful role that the cuckoo clocks brought to the economy and the development of the region.

I would love to visit a cuckoo clock factory one of these days. I can already imagine the many intricate designs of the cuckoo clocks and how precise they should be made. Should a chance come to visit one of the factories, I would like to see how the clockmakers make these fantastic clocks using their various tools: precision vise, lathe machines, graver stones, clockmaker hammers, gages, and a lot of other small tools that clock makers need. 

The next time we visit the Black Forest, I would see to it that we visit the Uhrenstrasse. Just writing this post has made me excited about the idea of being able to watch clockmakers make a cuckoo clock. :)


1 comment:

joh price said...

Me too, I get interested in how this famous cuckoo clock is made. We have one in our home and I love it! No wonder Black Forest is so well known because of the cuckoo clocks.

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