No visit to the Black Forest is complete without a stop at the Cuckoo's Nest, located next to the river by the car park at the 400-year-old Vogtsbauernhof farmhouse open-air museum in Gutach.
We offer curiosa, giftware and unique memorabilia to mark your visit to one of the world's most beautiful regions, as well as yummy, healthy fresh food, most of which is prepared from scratch with local products chosen to support the region's farmers.
Gutach is in the heart of the Black Forest, home of the cuckoo clock and the traditional Bollenhut, the forest where a confectionery house lured Hansel and Gretel into the wicked witch's trap. It's a place of beauty, mystery and fantasy, famous for its fairytale castles, proud history and stunning expanse of hills, valleys, rivers and forest.
Astrid grew up on a local farm and is happy to be home after living in other countries for 18 years. She and her husband Victor, a French-trained chef, now run the Cuckoo's Nest, which has been in the same family's hands for 45 years. Come and say hello and get insight into the region's heritage, traditions and culture from a real Black Forest girl!
The Bollenhut is traditionally a Protestant costume from Gutach and neighboring towns Kirnbach and Hornberg-Reichenbach, though the whole of the Black Forest has “adopted” the distinctive hat for its promotions.
Unmarried girls traditionally wear the hat after their “Confirmation”. It is made of straw and has red plush balls attached to it in the shape of a cross (when looking from above). Married women wear the same design, except the plush balls are black. The costume originates from the 1800s.
Astrid used to wear the Bollenhut and images of her are still on lots of postcards, calendars, umbrellas and other souvenir items.
Vogtsbauernhof Open Air Museum
Centred on the Vogtsbauernhof farmhouse, built in 1612, the most visited open air museum in Southern Germany is home to six fully furnished farmhouses, a cottage and a variety of outbuildings. All the other buildings are from the region and were dismantled, transported and rebuilt on-site to offer an authentic look at Black Forest life from the 1600s to the 1900s.
Though it's an open-air museum, there's plenty to do if the weather is unfriendly. Exhibitions include travelling crafts, livestock farming and woodworking, and there's an impressive medicinal herb garden with over 130 different herbs.
Kids love the place because of the large playground and activities throughout the day. The museum runs creative and/or informative workshops to take part in, especially during the school holidays. For adults the museum provides the unique opportunity to see 300 years of truly rich Black Forest farming history in a few hours.