Rund um die Region Bayerischer Wald

The story about the Bavarian Forest National Park

In the early Middle Ages, the Bavarian Forest National Park was still considered an impenetrable wilderness and a place without law and order. However, monks from the Danube monasteries ventured into the dark forest for a longer period of time in the 11th century. This was because on of their tasks was to open up new areas by clearing the forest. In their wake they brought with them some farmers who built small settlements around the newly established monasteries. This is how the first villages in the Bavarian Forest region came into being.

In the 14th century, glassblowers found their way to the Bavarian Forest region. On the one hand, there were rich deposits of quarz, the most important raw material for glass production. On the other hand, they needed large quantities of wood for the furnaces to manufacture their products. The forest landscape of the Bavarian Forest had these two materials to offer in abundance.
The mule trails through the Bavarian National Park, named after transporters who bought goods across the Alps, also played and important role in the settlement. Salt, grain, hops, honey and brandy were transported across the low mountain range on barrows.

The nutrient-poor soil in the Bavarian Forest region were not suitable for agriculture, which is why the Bavarian Forest National Park was considered a poorhouse until well into the 20th century. It was not until the 1960s that Bavarians realized that the primeval Bavarian Forest had an unbeatable advantage over other regions in Germany: nature. The first national park in Germany was established, which is visited by up to one million tourists every year.

The Bavarian Forest National Park

Along the border with the Czech Republic lies Germany’s only primeval forest, the Bavarian Forest National Park, with its unspoiled nature and rare animal species such as lynx and otters. It covers an area of around 6,000 square kilometers between the Danube, the Bohemian Forest and the Austrian border.

Bizarrely towering rootstocks, impenetrable patches of young growth, renaturalized streams and mystical-looking high moors – this is how this uniquely beautiful natural landscape of the Bavarian Forest presents itself to its visitors. The withdrawal of man from this one so important commercial forest was controversial from the beginning and is still questioned by part of the population today. The heart of some locals beat too much for the primeval forest, too deep is the imprint to care for the forest and to use it respectfully.

But it was precisely this respect for nature that once prompted the founding of the Bavarian Forest National Park. To give nature space and not to intervene when natural processes change the usual idyllic picture of the forest, to wait, to tolerate, even if it exceeds one’s own lifespan – that is what one wanted and wants to achieve. The forest takes it calmly, it does what nature tells it to do and what emerges is impressive: diversity, renewal and different understanding of time.

The special natural beauty of the Bavarian Forest National Park includes primeval forest reserves, wildly romantic rock faces around ice-age lakes, untamed mountain streams in rocky gorges, and lonely high moors.


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