Why Is the Black Forest Called the Black Forest?

Andreas Wonisch/Moment/Getty Images

The Black Forest in Germany derives its name from the once-abundant resources within its borders, which included wood, silver and ore. Although the Black Forest is heavily wooded, dark and dense, its name comes from the economic value found in its trees, soils and rocks.

The economic output of the Black Forest has varied through time. The availability or scarcity of its precious resources (silver, wood, and ore) have waxed and waned since the 17th century when the Black Forest was first inhabited and its resources were discovered. The Black Forest continues to be an area of economic significance, and is one of the most iconic natural features in Germany.