(Note, this is a post about Fasnet in Villingen Schwenningen only. I went from town to town in the Black Forest area in Germany to experience Fasnet first hand – if you’ve landed on this article, you should start HERE.
Villengen and Shwenningen are two towns that compliment each other. Formerly part of Baden, Villingen is full of history and stories. Where today you’ll find a bike store, for instance, there used to be a public bathhouse. If you fancy a break from all that wandering and exploring, the multitude of drinking fountains are the ideal place to stop off. They would certainly have a lot to say if they could speak! In years gone by, fountains were the perfect meeting places for people wanting to catch up on the latest gossip!
Shwenningen used to be one of the world’s largest clock-making towns – and harmoniously combines both tradition and progress, as illustrated by the symbiosis of magnificent Wilhelmian style villas and modern builds.
The carnival here was a lot of fun. It’s hard for me to really segregate the experience between each town, distill it down to pros and cons – and try and arrive at which one was “best”. In fact, it was so hard – that I gave up. They’re all great. Each one is different – and it’s pointless trying to identify which one is better than another one. The carnival in Villingen-Shwenningen has a lot of similar costumes to what you’ll see in other carnivals – but there are a couple of special guilds to look out for. The Narro is probably the most readily seen costume, and is supposed to be one of the oldest guilds.
You sometimes also find the “Morbili” who often accompanying Narros, but is also seen in smaller or larger groups. The Morbili’s wooden mask is that of a friendly smiling, sometimes toothless old lady. She is dressed accordingly and wears a beautiful lace fitted bonnet. Much to everyone’s delight, she also chucks candy, sausages and other assorted gifts to the crowds – as long as she likes you!
The funniest of the lot has to be the Wuescht! They have horrendous costumes stuffed to the brim with straw – and if they’re feeling naughty, they stuff your jacket full of it! (With the breeches fully stuffed with straw – walking as you can imagine – is therefore quite a task). On their back, the Wuescht wear a wooden board on which a ragged doll is fastened – with some highly colourful references! (look out for them!)
I stayed at the Mercure, Villingen-Schwenningen. They have a fantastic hotel restaurant, with large windows facing the town square. In addition, the museum-cafe right next door is certainly not to be missed.
Don’t forget to check out my other blog posts on Fasnet in and around the Black Forest region. Click on any of the links below to go to the individual stories.