Unbelievable, but True

6 Curious Water Attractions and Phenomena in Baden-Württemberg

Der Wasserfall Hoher Gießel im Großen Lautertal im Biosphärengebiet Schwäbische Alb ist ein beliebtes Ausflugsziel.
Surprising Stories about the Waters of Southwest Germany

BW Story - Hirsch & Greif

Surprising Stories about the Waters of Southwest Germany

Submerged lakes, rivers that form marbles and 250 springs in one city: there are lots of surprising stories and facts about water in Southwest Germany. Find out why the stollen from the Wimsen Cave is so aromatic, how long it takes drinking water to get from Lake Constance to the Odenwald Forest and which ancient fossils live in Lake Eichener See. 

On top of that, you can also visit the surrounding attractions! 

Fascinating Danube Seepage

#1 A Rriver Submerges

Fascinating Danube Seepage

Die „Donauversickerung“ bei Immendingen bildet ein einzigartiges Naturphänomen.
The Danube Seepage near Immendingen is a unique natural phenomenon. | © AdobeStock, Foto: Markus Keller

The Danube, one of the mightiest rivers in Europe, is always good for a surprise. The ‘Danube Seepage’ near Immendingen is a unique natural phenomenon. From around May to September, the Danube seeps into the porous karst rock and only reppears twelve kilometres later in the Aachtopf Source. Depending on the weather, you can hike along the riverbed and find prehistoric fossils, all without getting your feet wet. 

Cave Stollen from Hayingen

#2 Maturing in the Cave

Cave Stollen from Hayingen

Die Wimsener Höhle auf der Schwäbischen Alb ist Deutschlands einzige mit dem Boot befahrbare Wasserhöhle.
The Wimsen Cave in the Swabian Alb is Germany's only water cave accessible by boat. | © Schumann

It is the source of the Zwiefalter Aach River and the only water cave in Germany that can be reached by boat. A barge can take you 70 metres into the cave, then the only way forward is underwater. On the way into the low Wimsen Cave (Wimsener Höhle), with its shimmering green water, in autumn, you pass a mysterious box. This is where baker Heiner Beck keeps a very special cake: the cave stollen (‘Höhlenstollen’). The constantly cool temperature and high humidity allows it to develop its fine flavour before being sold for Christmas. 

Stuttgart - a City of Fountains

#3 Fountains Everywhere

Stuttgart - a City of Fountains

Die Abbildungen des nördlichen Schlossplatzspringbrunnens verkörpern die Flüsse Donau, Nagold, Tauber und Jagst.
With its more than 250 fountains, Stuttgart is also known as the 'fountain metropolis' | © TMBW, Foto: Gregor Lengler

More than 250 fountains and water features: the state capital of Baden-Württemberg is known as the ‘fountain metropolis' for a good reason. Many of the springs even bubble with mineral and medicinal water, as Stuttgart has the second largest mineral water reserves in Europe. The 19th-century Galatea Fountain is still a popular photo motif. For an overview of all the fountains, take a guided tour. 

Lake Constance Water Supply

#4 The Journey of the Drinking Water

Lake Constance Water Supply

Seit über 60 Jahren liefert die Bodensee-Wasserversorung Trinkwasser aus dem Bodensee.
The Lake Constance Water Supply Centre has been providing drinking water from Lake Constance for over 60 years. | © Bodensee-Wasserversorgung

Lake Constance is Europe’s largest drinking water reservoir, supplying around four million people in Baden-Württemberg. The water is treated at the Lake Constance Water Supply Centre in Sipplingen. It is then distributed throughout Southwes Germany via thousands of kilometres of pipes using hydroelectric power and pump systems. The water takes two days to get to Stuttgart and a whole week to reach the Odenwald Forest.

Mysterious Lake Eichener See

#5 Now You See It, Now You Don't

Mysterious Lake Eichener See

Der Eichener See bei Schopfheim erscheint völlig unvorhergesehen, wenn sich das Grundwasser staut und nach oben drückt.
Lake Eichener See appears unexpectedly when the groundwater rises in the underground cave system of the doline. | © AdobeSTock, Foto: Kellmann Art

Lake Eichener See near Schopfheim always appears unexpectedly when the groundwater rises in the underground cave system of the doline. The lake can be up to three metres deep and submerge around 2.5 hectares of land. It is also home to a rare living fossil: the prehistoric Eubranchipus grubii lays its eggs that can survive up to three dry periods in the ground until Lake Eichener See returns. 

Neidlingen Marble Mill

#6 Well-Rounded

Neidlingen Marble Mill

Die Kugelmühle Neidlingen formt im rauschenden Wasser Jura-Marmorstücke zu perfekten Kugeln
The Neidlingen Marble Mill forms pieces of Jura stone into perfect marbles in the rushing water. | © Metzler

The marble pieces dance back and forth in the rushing water. The edges grind down further and further until perfect marbles are formed. Eachone is unique: the inner structure of the Jura stone is only revealed when they are polished. As well as the Neidlingen Marble Mill (Neidlinger Kugelmühle), you can also visit the marble factory a few metres further upstream.