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Titisee, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

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Map: Titisee, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

At 321 acres, Titisee or Titi Lake (see=lake) is the largest natural lake in Germany's Black Forest. It is a natural reservoir dammed by glacial moraine during the last ice age and extends about a mile long and on-half mile wide. Titisee has a maximum depth 131 feet and receives most of its water from the inflowing Seebach River. Water leaves Titisee through the Gutach River, eventually reaching the Wutach River, a tributary of the Rhine River. Describing the lake's physical characteristics, however, just begins to touch on why so many people visit Titi Lake and the Baden-Wurttemberg region of Germany.

Titisee is in the "Hochschwartzwald" or southern Black Forest. Long known as the land of childhood fairytales, the Black Forest stretches 120 miles long by 40 miles wide. The Romans called it "silva nigra" and up until the Middle Ages it was an almost impenetrable forest of enormous pines and firs. The Black Forest, with its absence of light, was either sinister or enchanted depending on the tale, but it was always magical. Eventually some of the tall trees were cut down for timber, and the expanding glass and mining industries used a great deal of wood for fuel. By the 17th century half of the forest had been cut down. The open patches made the Black Forest more accessible, and the new meadows pushed the more sinister elements away, enhancing the forest's charming storybook character.

Visitors interested in exploring the history of the Black Forest can spend the day at the Vogtsbauernhof, the Black Forest Open Air Museum. The museum illustrates how people lived in the forest over the past 400 years, and is an easy day trip from Titisee. Guests can explore six furnished farmhouses and approximately 15 outbuildings originally built between the 16th and 19th centuries and stroll through the kitchen and herb gardens. Interpreters demonstrate butter and bread making as well as crafts and other homemaking skills. Founded in 1964, the 12-acre museum was established to protect and preserve the cultural heritage of the Black Forest.

Titisee, most likely named after the Roman General Titus, is tucked between Mount Hochfirst and 4,895-foot Mount Feldberg. The nearby mountains provide ample opportunities for winter sports, and there are trails for cross country skiing as well as alpine slopes. Because of the wind across the water Titisee takes a long time to freeze, but when it does visitors can ice skate on parts of the lake. The same wind that slows down the lake's freezing makes Titisee an exceptional place to sail and windsurf during the rest of the year. Boat tours show visitors around the lake, and pedal boats are also available for hire. To preserve the lake's water quality, only boats with electric motors are allowed on Titi Lake. A few areas around the lake provide access for swimming. Bank fishing is allowed for part of the year, while on the water anglers reel in catches of pike, perch, chub, lake trout and rainbow trout.

Several towns and villages border Titisee including Titisee-Neustadt, a spa town on the lake's northern shore. Holiday cottages and vacation rentals dot the shore of the lake, and there are restaurants and shops nearby. Titisee is 18.6 miles east of Freiberg with any amenity a visitor might need. All around the lake, the enchanting Black Forest waits to share its treasures with anyone who dares to explore. Titisee is the perfect place to start from or retreat to at the end of a long magical day and a fantastic Baden-Wurttemberg destination.

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