Alb (Southern Black Forest)

Highlighted position of the Alb

View from Spießhorn eastward to the valley of Menzenschwander Alb

The Alb is a river in the southern Black Forest, formerly called to distinguish it from the Alps in the northern Black Forest also Hauensteiner Alb. It arises from two source rivers, the Menzenschwander Alb and Bernauer Alb, flows in a southerly direction and flows 43.5 km at Albbruck in the High Rhine.


The name comes from the Indo-European may Alb * albhos back for white or river. The river valley formed the borders of the former Albgau for Breisgau.


The headwaters of the Menzenschwander Alb lies on the southern slopes of the Feldberg massif in the district of Breisgau in the Black Forest, the Bernauer Alb on the southern slope of the duke horn. After both streams have their eponymous places Menzenschwand and Bernau traversed in a south-easterly direction, they unite after about 12 or 11 kilometers at the Glashofsäge to Alb.

Both valleys have Glacial age widened valley bottoms, which are characterized because of their altitude by 900 m of grassland management. The Bernau valley is a broad basin, which is divided by small levels of the valley, moraines, marshy depressions, small ravines and round hump-shaped rock heads. Some are above the frost-prone valley floor scattered hamlets and isolated farms of the village. Even more striking are the glacial forms in the narrow valley of the Menzenschwander Alb. It is known the steep Endmoränenwall the Menzenschwander Kluse. Below the falls Alb in waterfalls through a small gorge to siltation level of ausgeschürften from former Krunkelbach - valley glacier lake basin. Both source rivers in canyons reach their confluence in the plane of another former lake basin, which stretches over 4 km to the small town of St. Blaise.

Waterfalls in the gorge of the Menzenschwander Alb

Middle reaches

The location of the local St. Blaise occupied valley area is dominated by the neoclassical dome of St. Blaise. In the abandoned monastery of St. Blaise, the Alb was 1813 for the generation of hydroelectric power for the Badische gun factory and spinning St. Blaise branches to channels. Below the village the Alps is the waterfall at Tusculum (local name based on the Roman Tusculum ). Then the Alb as well as nearly all east neighboring Black Forest rivers change their course by about 60 degrees snapping off in a southerly direction, which is consistent with the increasing as a result of tectonic crustal movements since the Pliocene slope to the High Rhine back in context. The former continues to the southeast extending valley is nearly 200 feet higher still clearly visible in the saddle of homes, especially because in the last ice age some of this mighty 300 meters Albtal glacier through this valley ran through the valley of the Schwarza.

Below the Talk Nicks, the river is dammed (18 acres, length of the dam in the middle: about 80 meters) in Albbecken and most of its water supply to the reservoir derived Schwarza Bruck of Schluchseewerk work.

The Alb is then pumped through a pointed Edged, 200 to 400 meters wide valley where the places Schlageten and Immeneich lie. The valley is accompanied here no longer narrow, wooded ridge, but from the wavy, indented by moors and rocky knolls high plateaus of the Hotze forest to the communities Dachberg and Höchenschwand. At the low end of the mill, the tongue Albgletschers, the longest with 27 kilometers to the Black Forest Glacier Würmkaltzeit was. Here the valley narrows abruptly and leaves the remaining 14 kilometers to Albbruck no place for settlements.

The Albstausee below St. Blaise

The Albtal above the canyon at Lower Mill

The Alb at the Cathedral in St. Blaise St. Blaise


The slope of the Alb intensified greatly in the ravines and the river squeezes through several clammy like passages and splinted sections known as the Devil's Kitchen. From the right lead, as in ravines flowing, the Ibach and Höllbach in the Alb, the latter with two waterfalls. Because of the narrowness of the gorge, the road runs up to 80 meters higher on the left bank. In the valley widening at sawmill Tiefenstein lead one of two sides Schildbach and Steinbach. Here are halfway up two ruined castles and granite quarries.

A bit further down begins about 4 kilometers long, narrowest and most gradient section. Here flowed the Alb earlier on a different path, and through the present, which opens in Hauenstein in the Rhine Mühlbachtal. The old flow path was blocked by melt water and glacial deposits during a previous ice age, after which the Alb found a new way to the Rhine. Since then it intersects the "new" gorge in the granite rock. This gorge section is not passable without equipment, but is here by re- water discharges, the water supply usually low. With sufficient water level here Alb applies with canoeists as well most difficult whitewater Germany. In this section, the road runs up to 100 meters above the river and crosses five short, beaten by the rock walls tunnel, which is why the road was formerly called Axenstraße the Black Forest. From the group of houses Hohenfels (gastronomy, viewpoint) falls, the road to Albbruck gradually at river level. Here is located just before the confluence of the Alps in the Upper Rhine, the hydroelectric power station built in 1898 Hohenfels the former paper mill Albbruck.

One in five tunnels in the upper canyon wall