The Romans called it “Silva Nigra”, literally meaning “Black Forest”. At that time this denomination was synonymous with “Unknown Place”, hence a “Blank Spot on the Map”.
Life in the Black Forest has always required its inhabitants to develop special skills and the ability to adapt to the environment. It was not until the 11th and 12th century that the first farmers settled on the heights of the Black Forest, facing hard work given the poor soil. With the countryside being covered by a thick layer of snow in winter, even the neighbouring farms couldn’t be reached.
The farmers who had settled here crafted everything necessary for life, including the farmhouses. This required them to develop various technical skills, for example to perform carpentry and roofing work. They also produced the furnishings and utility objects on the farm. However, in the course of time, typical crafts developed in the Black Forest, such as rafting, resin harvesting and processing, brush-making, hammer blacksmithing, glass-making as well as straw weaving and clock-making.
Our exhibitions comprise many objects and products that bear witness to what life and work in the Black Forest were like in former times.