Information around the Black Forest in Germany

The "Belchen" Black Forest

With its height of 1414m – it is only the third highest mountain in the Black Forest – but it is the most beautiful one. The view from here on wooded mountains and valleys in the Black Forest and on the Rhine valley with the Vosges behind is wonderful.

On clear days you can see the Alps. Above the timberline you will find a sub alpine flora, plants like the mountain campanula and foxgloves. The slopes facing the north are covered with pine trees but the ones looking to the south are either covered with rocks or you find meadows and light beech forests.

"Belchen" is quite a common name for a mountain in the Black Forest, in Switzerland and in the Vosges. In the Alemannic language spoken in this region the word "Belchen" means a mountaintop which isn‘t steep but rounded off like a dome which often is bare. On these mountain tops the Celtic people who originally inhabited this area used to worship the sun as a deity which was called "Bellenus". The Celts did that especially on the longest and the shortest day and on the days when day and night are of the same length. This means they followed a kind of sun calendar. From this mountain called "Belchen" in the Black Forest you can see the sun rise directly above another mountain also called "Belchen" in Switzerland on the shortest day of the year. When day and night are of the same length which happens twice a year in spring and in autumn, then you see the sun set at the "Belchen" in the Vosges.

Is that a coincidence? It probably is. But for the Celtic people this coincidence was of great importance.

If you want to see for yourself if it is correct what I am saying here then climb to the top and check on these peculiarities on 21st December, 21st March or 23rd September. It is not a difficult climb, there are lots of hiking trails you can follow. A road ends at the "Belchenhotel" which comes up from the northwest, the "Wiedener Eck" or from the southeast from "Schönau". At the top there is a circular walk on which you can go right round the dome.

> 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

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