The imposing valley is nine kilometres long, cut deep into the rocks enclosed by slopes which are 600 metres high. A trip across the Black Forest in this valley, which takes the form of a gorge several times, seemed to be a "hellish" enterprise to our ancestors.
This applies especially to the narrowest part of the valley, the"Hirschsprung". There is the statue of a bronze stag high up on a rock reminding people of the animal that once escaped hunters with a gigantic leap across the gorge.
Until 200 years ago there was only a path for mules along a creek, the "Rotbach", which was turned into a road later. Today the route across the "Höllental" is an important road across the southern Black Forest to the Rhine valley .
1770 Marie-Antoinette, the daughter of the Austrian emperor along with some other daredevils, travelled to France to meet her bridegroom, the later King Louis XVI, in France. At that time this area of the black Forest belonged to Austria. After Marie-Antoinette had arrived safely in Freiburg she sat down to a meal of Vienna Roast a la Black Forest. That was her last Austrian dish for the rest of her life.
In 1887 the "Höllentalbahn" (train route) parallel to the road was opened which connects "Freiburg" with "Donaueschingen". It is quite famous because it has to overcome a gradient of 1 :18, because it has to cover a difference of 441 m in height between "Hinterzarten" and "Himmelreich". This part of the line is one of the most interesting ones in Germany. It leads through 9 tunnels and numerous viaducts. The Ravenna viaduct which is 222m long and
42 m high is the most imposing construction of all viaducts. You can find more information about the technical problems the former generations had when this viaduct was built in the chapter "Fantastic trips by car and train".
You can go on a 10-kilometre-long, fabulous hiking tour on the hunter trail through the valley from "Hinterzarten" to"Himmelreich" and back to "Hinterzarten by train.
> The Regions
> The Black Forest is divided into three areas
> Famous Roads
> Homeland of the Rafters
> Lakes and the Highest Mountain
> Glaciers and Lakes: The Primeval Landscape
> The Upland Moors: The typical landscape
> At the Schluchsee
> Lake Titisee
> The Höllental
> The gorge of the Wutach
> The Belchen
> The Schauinsland
> The mountain called Feldberg
> The lake called Feldsee in the Feldberg massif
> In the region called Hotzenwald
> Four valleys in the Hotzenwald region
> The fifth valley in the Hotzenwald