Rottweil, 26 km (16 mi) east of Triberg, has the best of the Black Forest's Fasnet celebrations. Outside the Black Forest, the celebrations are good-natured and sophisticated, but here and in adjacent areas of Switzerland they're pagan and fierce. In the days just before Ash Wednesday, usually in February, witches and devils roam the streets wearing ugly wooden masks and making fantastic gyrations as they crack whips and ring bells. If you can't make it to Rottweil during the Carnival season, you can still catch the spirit of Fasnet. There's an exhibit on it at the Stadtmuseum, and tours are organized to the shops where they carve the masks and make the costumes and bells. The name "Rottweil" may be more familiar as the name for a breed of dog. The area used to be a center of meat production, and locals bred the Rottweiler to herd the cattle.
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