Destination Northern Baden-Württemberg: Where to Smoke!

The federal state, which has existed since 1952, is characterized by the Upper Rhine Plain, the Black Forest, the Swabian Mountains and the foothills of the Alps, but is one of the economically strongest and most competitive regions in Germany and Europe. For as the advertising slogan for the federal state already read in 1999: “We can do everything. Except speak High German.”

One should, of course, highlight the state capital Stuttgart. It is the sixth largest city in Germany, with more than 620,000 inhabitants. It is characterized not only by the resident Mercedes-Benz and Porsche factories, other major industries and numerous family businesses, but also by surrounding vineyards and numerous parks that run through the city center like a green belt. Also worth mentioning is the famous Cannstatter Folk Festival in Wasen, Baden-Württemberg’s Oktoberfest and the second largest folk festival in the world. The city also boasts Königstraße, a popular shopping street and promenade, the zoological-botanical garden Wilhelma, the State Gallery and the baroque palace in the middle of the city center, as well as many cultural institutions.

Karlsruhe is called the “residence of the law” because of the Federal Court of Justice, the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Constitutional Court, which are located there. But there are also numerous industrial companies, mainly in information and communication technology, as well as many cultural establishments. Karlsruhe, which is nicknamed the “fan city” because of its ground plan that is reminiscent of a fan, exemplifies the economic strength and outstanding position of the “Ländle” in Germany.

The history of Baden-Baden, the spa and small town in the Upper Rhine Plain on the western edge of the Black Forest with not even 60,000 inhabitants but about 1.1 million overnight stays in 2019 (according to the tourist information office), goes back to the Romans in the first century AD, who already appreciated the thermal springs. The casino attracted aristocrats and wealthy citizens in the 19th century, and so the city continued to develop into a sophisticated spa town. This also led to the establishment of several luxury hotels and Germany’s largest opera house. In July 2021, Baden-Baden was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as one of the most important spa towns in Europe. It isn’t surprising, then, that several local opportunities for cultivated cigar smoking also arose.

Also very worth mentioning: In addition to the North Rhine-Westphalian city of Bünde, Baden-Württemberg and Hockenheim in particular also have a cigar history. French influence made itself felt during industrialization in the 19th century – French soldiers brought cigars with them, and smoking became fashionable. The search for cheap labor to produce cigars was found in Hockenheim, and so the first cigar factory was built there in 1860. Cigars were produced here until 1979. Today, the Tobacco Museum, opened in 1984, bears witness to this economically important era. From 2020 until the end of 2022, cigars were produced in Massenbachhausen, near Heilbronn, in the old craft tradition – with tobacco grown and processed in the Black Forest. Since the beginning of 2023, the Herr Lehmann cigar manufactory in Lahr in the Black Forest has taken over this work and the associated range.

Between all these institutions, historical and cultural sites, industrial enterprises and estates, as well as along the Castle Road running parallel to the Neckar with its numerous castles and palaces, bars and hotels have also established themselves alongside specialist tobacco shops. These offer passionados a retreat to cultivate their passion and enjoy a cigar or two in good and pleasant company or in peace with a drop of the corresponding drink. Unfortunately, however, you often encounter cigarette smokers or full ashtrays there.

In Baden-Württemberg, smoking is permitted in accordingly marked rooms with an area of less than 75 square meters for patrons that offers no food or only food consisting of cold dishes, in bars, hotels and restaurants (see Cigar Journal 3/2020) as well as in adjoining rooms of discos without dance floors.

Photos: Volker Schäffner




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