Calw's allure derives from its impressive and meticulously maintained roster of late-17th- and early-18th-century houses, whose half-timbered facades add an undeniable charm to such sites as the Marktplatz. The town's most prominent bridge, the 14th-century Nikolausbrücke, in the center, merits a stroll in admiration of its carefully chiseled masonry.
The birthplace of Herman Hesse, the Hesse Haus, Marktplatz 30 (tel. 07051/7522; www.hermann-hesse.com), is a literary shrine for scholars and fans. Entrance is 5€ adults, 3€ students and children. The only other formal attraction in town is a small-scale folklore museum called Palais Vischer, Bischofstrasse 48 (tel. 07051/167260). It's open April to October Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 5pm, and November to March Tuesday to Sunday 2 to 5pm. Admission is 1.50€ adults, free for children 11 and under.
Off the Beaten Trail
The environs of Calw also merit some attention if you have the time. Of exceptional interest is the hamlet of Zavelstein, which is signposted in Calw. Follow the road south for 5km (3 miles). A drive to this little hamlet is especially spectacular in late March and April, when the meadows blossom with edelweiss and crocuses. You may want to continue south in the direction of Talmühle-Seitzental, where you'll see a sign pointing along a twisting road leading to Neubulach (tel. 07053/969510). Until it closed in the mid-1920s, this was one of the most active silver mines in the Black Forest. Long after it was abandoned, the medical profession learned that its dust-free interior was beneficial in the treatment of asthma. A therapy center is now located inside. The mine's ancient shafts can be visited on guided tours given April to November daily from 10am to 4pm, costing 5€ for adults and 3€ for children. Call tel. 07053/7346 or visit www.bergwerk-neubulach.de for details.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.