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Mummelsee

The Mummelsee has a legendary beauty

The Mummelsee, which lies in a fabulous position on the Black Forest Hochstrasse scenic route, is the largest of the seven remaining tarns in the Black Forest. It measures 3.7 hectares, has a circumference of around 800 metres, is 18 metres deep, and is 1,036 metres above sea level. The Mummelsee takes its name from the white water lilies popularly known as “mummel”.

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Mummelsee Seerose

The saga of the Mummelsee

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The mystical name of the Mummelsee among the dark fir trees comes from the water fairies or sprites. They live in the fathomless depths in a magnificent crystal palace. It is surrounded by splendid gardens where the blood red corals and the sweet-smelling water lilies grow. The sprites are charming, alluring figures, delicate and slender, with a rosy beauty. Every night, they rise to the surface of the dark water where, accompanied by the sound of instruments, they dance a delightful dance, or else they hurry with their spindles to the neighbouring houses in the valley.

 

In days gone by, the sprites often came down into the valley to find the farmers and woodcutters; they helped in the house and farmyard, or looked after the children when the women had to work in the fields. They were there in the early morning. But as soon as night fell, and the stars came out in the sky, they had to hurry back to the crystal palace at the bottom of the lake. And this was by order of their king. One of the beautiful sprites fell in love with a young farmer’s son from Seebach. When there was a fair in the valley, the water fairies came down into the inn where people were dancing. The water sprite who loved the farmer’s son danced one dance after another with her beloved. The water sprite was far more beautiful than any of the other girls; no one could dance so gracefully and with such poise.

When darkness started to fall, all the nymphs returned to their crystal palace in the lake. Only the water sprite who had fallen in love could not bring herself to leave her beloved in the village. She wanted just once more dance with him. She thought to herself, night would fall earlier in the valley than up there in the forest. She danced another round, and another. She was completely unaware of the time speeding by.

 

Suddenly the clock tower struck ten. Now the sprite came to her senses. Fear gripped her heart. She pulled her lover out of the dance-hall out into the open. Without speaking, she hurried up to the forest. As they arrived at the lake, she said sadly, “We will never see each other again, for I must die. Wait for a while by the bank. If blood rises out of the depths, I have lost my life; if it does not, then I will be with you again soon.” She took a willow rod and struck it three times on the water. The water parted, and there appeared a marble-white staircase, leading down into the crystal palace. The waters closed over the water sprite. The night was dark. Not a single ripple stirred the surface of the water.
Then a small dark cloud rose up from the depths of the lake. It was the blood of the poor water sprite, who had to die for love.