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Coordinates48°35′53″N 8°12′3″E / 48.59806°N 8.20083°E / 48.59806; 8.20083Coordinates: 48°35′53″N 8°12′3″E / 48.59806°N 8.20083°E / 48.59806; 8.20083
Basin countriesGermany
Max. depth17 metres (56 ft)
Surface elevation1,036 metres (3,399 ft)

The Mummelsee is a 17-metre-deep lake at the western mountainside of the Hornisgrinde in the Northern Black Forest of Germany. It is very popular with tourists travelling along the Schwarzwaldhochstraße. According to legends, the lake is inhabited by a Nix and the King of the Mummelsee.


The Mummelsee has a circumference of approximately 800 m (2,625 ft) and is surrounded by steep and forested mountain slopes on its northern, western and eastern sides. The western lakeside rises towards the mountain "Katzenkopf" (1,123 m (3,684 ft) above sea level) and the northern lakeshore rises towards Hornisgrinde. With 1,163 m (3,816 ft) above sea level, Hornisgrinde is the highest mountain in the Northern Black Forest. Solely the southern lake banks are (nearly) flat. This also being the place where the alpine hotel "Mummelsee" and the close-by St. Michaels chapel are located.


According to statements made by the town Seebach, the name of the Mummelsee derives from the (German) vernacular term "Mummeln" used for white waterlilies (Nymphaea alba).[1] In the past, this species of plant could be found in large numbers in that area. (The yellow pond lily, Nuphar lutea, is also called "Mummel.") The myth of the nix, which were also called "Mümmlein" (diminutive form of "Mummel"), possibly could have been the namesake of the lake as well.[2] (Connected to this context, the white waterlily is also referred to as "Nixblume" meaning "nix flower").[3]


Favoured by the route of the Schwarzwaldhochstraße, the lake became a tourist destination. A bigger building that includes the hotel, two restaurants, one grocery and souvenir store, as well as a paddleboat rental is located directly near the visitors' car park.

A great part of the hotel building burnt down on 5 May 2008.[4] The fire was presumably a case of arson.[5] After the incident, the hotel was rebuilt in the "Schwarzwaldstil" with an increase of usable floor space from 2,385 m2 (25,672 ft2) to 3,690 m2 (39,719 ft2) and reopened on 26 March 2010.

Mummelsee in literature[edit]

  • Once located in complete isolation and lacking any road connections, the lake is surrounded by quite a number of myths.[6] According to one legend, a nix lived in the lake and bestowed people with her guidance, danced, sang and played with them at night.
  • These legends inspired Eduard Mörike to write the poem "Die Geister am Mummelsee" (The spirits at the Mummelsee).
  • In his work of adventure fiction "Simplicissmus", Grimmelhausen used the lake and its inhabitants to tell about the dive to the centre of the earth. The description of the system of underwater pathways from the surface towards the centre of the earth might have been inspired by Plato's dialogues (Phaedo).
  • August Schnezler, editor and collector of legends, wrote three poems (Der Mummelsee, Die Lilien und Mummelsees Rache) about mythical incidents at the lake.


Formerly, the naturally existing trail around the lake was kept in its original state. The route was still marked by several tight passages and obstructive tree roots, even though it was frequented by a considerable number of visitors. In 2014, the path was reconstructed with greater accessibility in mind.[7] A few years ago, modern art work by artists was installed along the circular trail.


Visitors' parking spaces are located at the southern lake shore. Busses for hiking tourists drive to Baden-Baden, Achern and Freudenstadt on a daily basis. On weekends, there are direct bus connections available to Oppenau and once on Saturday and Sunday each to Offenburg. The "Baden-Württemberg-Ticket", "Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket" and the "Konus-Ticket" (sold by the Deutsche Bahn and local bus companies) are valid to use on all these routes.


  1. ^ "Mummelsee". (in German). Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  2. ^ wp_admin. "Mummelsee". Erlebniswelt Mummelsee (in German). Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  3. ^ "Die Ortenau: Zeitschrift des Historischen Vereins für Mittelbaden (72. Jahresband.1992) (Universitätsbibliothek Freiburg i. Br., H 519,m) - Freiburger historische Bestände - digital - Universitätsbibliothek Freiburg". Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  4. ^ ka-news (2008-05-05). "Millionenschaden am Mummelseehotel | ka-news". Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  5. ^ ka-news (2010-03-16). "Nach der Brandkatastrophe: Mummelseehotel erstrahlt in neuem Glanz | ka-news". Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  6. ^ Diedrichs, Ulf; Hinze, Christa (1998). Alemannische Sagen. pp. 89 et seq. ISBN 3-860-47-924-5.
  7. ^ "Mummelseerundweg offiziell eröffnet". Nachrichten der Ortenau - Offenburger Tageblatt (in German). Retrieved 2019-07-24.

External links[edit]