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The Mummelsee – The Black Forest’s Dark And Mystic Eye
Once, this was the most isolated lake high up in the Black Forest, at an altitude of 3399 meters. Nestled in a ravine at the foot of the “Hornisgrinde” mountain, the almost round Mummelsee is geographically speaking only a cirque from the last ice age. It’s dark and murky waters cover an area of about 9 hectares and reach approximately 60 meters deep. But there’s more to it than location and impressive depth. Since ancient times, people have told stories about who lives IN the lake, deep at the bottom, in glittering palaces and palaces. It is King Mummelsee who rules over his wet kingdom and keeps a strict eye on the “Mummeln”, his lively and beautiful band of nymphs who love to roam the world of men.
“Mummeln” is a difficult word to explain. It is a local term for the “water lilies” which grew in abundance in the lake. According to local lore, they would transform into beautiful nymphs at dusk and are also often called “Mummeln” or “Mümmlein”. Some language experts say that the word “Mummel” is derived from the German word for “murmur” which is “murmeln”. which refers to the sound of the waters as they are stirred by the winds coming down from Hornisgrinde. Whatever the etymological root of the name Mummelsee actually is, the people living around the lake have developed a close relationship with its mythical inhabitants over the centuries. It is the reason why Mummelsee is the scene of more legends and tales than any other lake in the Black Forest.
You should probably know a few rules before visiting the lake: never throw rocks (or anything else, for that matter) into the water or you’ll feel the wrath of King Mummelsee! Within minutes thunder, lightning, torrential rain and thunderstorms will appear and ruin the day for everyone in the area. Oh, and the nymphs will throw rocks at you right away! Garbage, you say, or perhaps some strange local weather phenomenon. Maybe. But there are many accounts of such events dating back hundreds of years. Most notably, a report from some 250 years ago, when the Margrave of Baden himself visited the lake with his party-loving entourage. After partying and drinking on the lake shore, they started throwing things into the lake. A terrible storm broke out and raged in the area for no less than 7 days. The party of margraves fled in terror as a hideous monstrosity of beasts rose from the waves that had never been seen before. Perhaps this was the king of Mummelsee himself in his anger, for there is not even a passing mention of a monster in the lake, and no one ever believed that anything like Nessie’s little cousin lived in Mummelsee.
But it is home to ethereal fairy-like nymphs, the Mümmlein. They are of a friendly and helpful nature, but again, you need to know how to handle them properly. At dusk, you can see them dancing on the dark surface of the lake. Among the people who lived near the lake, the Mümmlein were always welcome guests: they came early in the morning to help in the fields and stables, they also attended weddings, brought wonderful gifts and took part in dancing. There are many tales of young men falling in love with nymphs, but these always end tragically as King Mummelsee waits for his nymphs to return to the bottom of the lake at night… so when they say goodbye, they must to return. to their master and should not be delayed. Don’t follow them to the lake. The king does not like human curiosity and will punish the nymphs for it. You can suddenly see blood in waves …
When you take a little walk around the lake and look at the dark waters, you start to believe in nymphs, palaces at the bottom of the lake and the reign of an irritated lake king. Over the years, tourists have discovered Mummelsee and there is a tourist infrastructure here, of course, like the venerable “Berghotel” where you should treat yourself to a piece of Black Forest cake after the walk. Many visitors come here to tour the Black Forest. But even on busy days, you will always find a place on the coast where you can feel the tranquility of the country. It is stunningly beautiful on a sunny day when the smooth surface reflects the blue skies. But it’s even more impressive in the fall, when the mist drifts over the lake just above the surface and you can hear the wind in the trees. It is at these moments that the mystical nature of Mummelsee comes to light.
If you travel to the Black Forest, be sure to visit this wonderful place. It will refresh and inspire you! And if you come with us on a day trip to the Black Forest, you will hear all the intriguing legends that make this place so special!
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