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Ortenau - Wine region near Black Forest
The Ortenau region lies between the river Rhine and the Black Forest. The region is characterized by a charming landscape with many old towns and villages and a mild climate. The highest point, Hornisgrinde is 1,164 m above sea level. The lowest point is a village called Rheinau. Ortenaukreis spans about 60 kilometers from North to South and approximately 30 kilometers from West to East. The transition from the Black Forest to the Rhine valley is characterized by many valleys, including the river valleys of the Schutter, Kinzig, Rench and Acher. The Kinzig is the most important Black Forest River of the region.
The economy in the Ortenau region is dominated by small to medium size businesses. There is, as everywhere in southern Baden no large-scale industry in the traditional sense. Larger industrial plants are to be found in Northern Baden. The more traditional industries can be found in the rural areas of Ortenau region including agriculture like vineyards and orchards. With its numerous recreation and leisure facilities and a wide culinary offering of top restaurants, the Ortenau offers ideal opportunities as a tourist destination.
Holidays in the Ortenau region
Mini breaks with a French flair:
Those who visit the Ortenau will immediately be captivated by the beauty of the landscape. Entertainment options are wide and varied not only for couples and families but also for individuals - whether a sporting venture, a sightseeing break or just a lazy timeout option. The Ortenau is ideal for a quick getaway from Munich or Frankfurt, where visitors will continue to find that time can quickly run out whilst enjoying a full schedule of events.
Kehl with its 40,000 inhabitants has a wonderful pedestrian street that boasts many similarities to pedestrian areas that are typical of small to medium sized cities. For gourmet lovers the farmer's market on Friday morning is a must-see as there are so many wonderful French products available. The protestant Church in the market square and the Town Hall are amongst the few highlights. This place is a quaint typical border town where the promenade along the Rhine and the Europa Bridge to the French Strasbourg is worth a visit.
Offenburg, established since 1148 lies about eleven kilometers away on the other side of Odelshofen. This county town with its 60,000 inhabitants tends to have a look and feel that some may find more interesting than Kehl. One can easily take a leisurely stroll through the pedestrian zone, which is very pleasant and showcases some well preserved older houses dating from the 60s, 70s and 80s. The city hall and the police department are good examples of the Baroque architecture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the St. Ursula column (dated from 1961) with the Patroness of Offenburg fits very well into this area. The Gasthaus Sonne on the market square comes highly recommended for its culinary delights. Also worth a visit is the Salt House, the Hirsch Pharmacy, the Lion Fountain or Billet's Castle with its public park. For those interested in churches, Offenburg and its surroundings has much to offer, such as the Holy Cross Church, the Trinity Church or the Baroque Franciscan Monastery.
Why not enjoy a fascinating visit to the museum in Ritterhaus, a beautiful building which is home to the municipal archives. One will find exhibitions such as the Archaeological collection with finds from the Stone, Bronze, Iron and Neolithic ages. Also on display an Alemannic tree coffin from the Ethnology era and an Ethnographic collection from former German colonies dated from 1894-1917. A permanent exhibition of Cron hunting trophies are on display as well as the eccentric cigarette lighters and lamp stands. In addition, the museum features lots of information on Geology, Jewish history as well as local history on the city itself. For those who wish to organize a visit it is advisable to review the current program, workshops and information evenings which include special tours to some of the temporary exhibitions. There is a variety of events for every taste. As the museum director is also the Chairman of the Historical Society, the events have a special historical charm, and are properly managed under the leadership of a true specialist.