Carnival season, or fastnacht, is a major highlight on Germany's calendar. On 16 and 17 February 2015 the town of Rottweil plays host to a centuries-old spectacle – the Rottweil Narrensprung. At 8am on the Monday and at 8am and 2pm on the Tuesday, hordes of colourfully dressed figures stream through the Black Gate to the sound of ringing bells, and wend their way through the historical town centre. But remember, only people from Rottweil are entitled to wear the traditional Narrensprung costume. The Swabian-Alemannic fastnacht, which was added to Germany's list of intangible cultural heritage in 2014, is also famed for its traditional hand-carved wooden masks. It's an event not to be missed!
Did you know? The Swabian Alb, situated 40km south-east of Stuttgart, is one of several UNESCO biosphere reserves in Germany. Here, you can expect stunning natural landscapes, geological wonders and sites of historical significance. Well worth a visit!