The Belchen – King of the Black Forest Hills
People call it the “King of the Black Forest Hills”. The Belchen sits between Schönau and the Münstertal, crowned at 1414m with a Stone Cross that reaches into the heavens. The peak is the centre of Belchenland, a wonderful skiing and walking region, and can also be reached by cable car directly from the village of Multen. The views stretch out over the Vosges, the Swiss Jura and to the Alps. The Markgraefler poet Gerhard Jung called it the “Basilica of Belenius”, the “Cathedral of the Sun God”. Johann Peter Hebel was also fascinated by this “Peak of Peaks”. He once described it as “the first station and the road between the earth and heaven”. Today the Belchen Hills (Celtic – “sun hills”) still possess a special magnetism. Alongside the Black Forest peak there is also a Belchen (Bölchen, Belchenfluh) in the Swiss Jura and the Vosges-Belchen, Ballon d’Alsace, that together create a right angled triangle. In Celtic times these peaks were used for observing the rising of the stars and determining the feast days (see EPTINGEN/CH).