Stretching more than 170 km to south, and up to 60 km east to west, the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) is the largest German forest – and probably the most beautiful one. Less than 100 years ago much of this area was an eerie wilderness, a refuge for boars and bandits. Nowadays the region is one of the most visited ones in Germany and most of the villages have been opened up as spa and health resorts like Baden-Baden, brimming with shops selling tacky souvenirs. Railway fans will find several of the most spectacular lines in Europe here. The only city actually surrounded by the forest is Freiburg in Breisgau.