Travel into the heart of the Black Forest to find a city resplendent in gorgeous Baroque architecture, where the people are proud of their traditions and culture.
Offenburg, a city whose name means “open castle,” has a welcoming spirit as well as old walls, houses and churches. Lounge in a café while enjoying a slice of Black Forest gateau and participate in the city’s arts and culture scene to experience the warm hospitality.
This city has its roots as a Roman settlement, but from the 13th century until the 19th, it was a free imperial city in the Holy Roman Empire. Explore the old town to discover architecture dating from several different eras, including buildings exhibiting Baroque, Gothic and medieval styles.
Take a self-guided tour of the city to examine its historic establishments. The Königshof, a royal court built in the 1710s, is used today as the police headquarters. The Town Hall, a Hapsburg-inspired building in cream and maroon, dates back to 1741. Also of note are the Jewish Bathhouse and the Capuchins’ Monastery.
Step inside the Ritterhaus, previously a mayoral mansion, and find a museum dedicated to local and natural history. Learn about Offenburg’s role in the revolution of Baden and the economic boom of the 1950s.
Travel back in time in the Black Forest Open Air Museum, which is made up of several traditionally designed farmhouses and cottages. Costumed guides show how people used to live in the region through craft demonstrations. The museum is a 40-minute drive from Offenburg.
Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, sits in sculpted bronze in Offenburg, hinting at the city’s fondness for this drink. Come here during the last weekend in September to take part in the Ortenau Wine Festival. Alternatively, follow the Baden Wine Route, which runs for miles through the region. Wine hiking excursions depart from the city.
Offenburg is one of the transport hubs in Central Black Forest and intercity train services from around Germany run to Offenburg Station. Fly to Basel, Frankfurt or Strasbourg, then head straight to Offenburg to discover a city rich in stunning buildings and engaging culture.