Towns and villages
The smaller Wiese Valley is a lovely landscape with mountains and valleys. There are beautiful plateaus offering a stunning view of the Swiss Alps and the French Vogese Mountains. With a beautiful pattern of fields, meadows and forests, the communities of Bürchau (200 inhabitants, 620 metres), Elbenschwand (160 inh., 675 m), Neuenweg ( 350 inh., 750 m), Raich (300 inh., 690 m), Sallneck (370 inh., 625 m), Tegernau ( 460 inh., 540 m), Wies (670 inh., 390 m), and Wieslet (570 inh., 390 m) offer all the characteristics typical for the very pleasant southern Black Forest area, complete with guest houses. These, together with a well-developed sense of community in the villages, enabled Bürchau, Neuenweg and Raich to win the nation-wide competition "Our village will be more beautiful, our village has a bright future".
The community of Häg-Ehrsberg lies east of the county of Lörrach and consists of eleven villages with a total population of about 900. It is situated between 540 and 1190 metres above sea level. The total area covering 2503 hectares contains 1400 hectares of forest and 600 hectares of open pasture. The ever-changing panorama of woods and open land as well as the good climate offer optimum conditions for hikers and mountain-bikers.
Steinen (335- 1000 metres), with inhabitants in seven villages, is charmingly located in the western Wiese Valley near the Three Countries Corner of Germany, France and Switzerland. Here guests are pampered in well-run guest houses and restaurants. Over 100 kilometres of hiking and walking paths provide open-air recreation. Special attractions include the Bird Park with its bird-of-prey demonstrations and the Schneiderhof Farmhouse Museum in the holiday village of Endenburg.
The Erdmanns Cave – one of the oldest and most beautiful stalactite caves in Germany - is the symbol of the idyllic Hasel (325- 925 metres and 1100 habitants) and a unique natural sight in the southern Black Forest region. The inhabitants, especially those who run the village’s restaurants, have been well prepared to welcome the 40,000 cave visitors, hikers and travelling tourists who have been visiting annually for over 200 years.
Maulburg (351 metres) in the mid Wiesen Valley is, with a population of 4000, one of the smaller communities in the county of Lörrach. Known far beyond the county borders as a seat of industry, Maulburg offers employment to over 3000 people. Numerous firms of world-wide reknown companies have settled here. The infrastructure is well developed, providing for the needs of the residents in every area. The village customs as well as the characteristic historical buildings have been well-preserved. There is a wide sense of community; inhabitants and guests alike feel at home.
Schopfheim (375- 1169 metres) with its 19,200 inhabitants is the oldest town in the Wiese Valley. The small medieval town with the stunning St. Michael's Church is witness to the past. In Schopfheim´s City Museum exhibits of property and furnishings of the former middle classes and titled nobility represent a lifestyle of bygone times. Today shops and cafés will tempt you for a stroll through town.
The surrounding villages are mainly rural in character. Of particular significance is the town of Gersbach, 16 kilometres away; this village came first in the national competition " Our village will be more beautiful, our village has a bright future".
The independent village of Hausen (400 metres) home of the Aleman poet Johann Peter Hebel, offers a rich cultural insight and is home to many clubs and associations. Hausen is conveniently located, with access to main roads and a railway station and provides nursery schools, primary and secondary schools, doctors, a dentist, pharmacy and a supermarket for the basic needs of its inhabitants. Traditional trades and businesses exist alongside successful and innovative companies.
The holiday town of Zell has had its city rights since 1810 and has long been known for its industry. The lively Wiese Valley Textile Museum is dedicated to the textile industry and has contributed to its history. Special attention must be paid to the most famous daughter of the city, Constanze Mozart, born Weber, spouse of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and niece of Carl-Maria von Weber. Zell (423 metres) and the local villages of Atzenbach and Mambach lie in the Wiese Valley surrounded by the Zell mountain-ranges (up to 1100 metres) and the other villages of Gresgen, Adelsberg, Pfaffenberg and Riedichen.