Enz is a river flowing north from the
Black Forest to the Neckar
in Baden-Württemberg. It is 112 km long.
Its headstreams – the
Little Enz (German: Kleine Enz) and the Great
Enz or Big
Enz (Große Enz) – rise in the Northern Black Forest, the
latter at Enzklösterle. In Calmbach, the
Little Enz and the Big Enz
join to form the Enz. The river passes through
Pforzheim, where it leaves the Black Forest. It then flows through the
cities of Vaihingen and Bietigheim-Bissingen. Along the lower course,
wine is grown.
Major tributaries to the
Nagold (with its tributary
Enz feeds into the Neckar.
In earlier times the
Enz was important for the timber rafting
1.1 River system
Enz and upper reaches in the Black Forest
Enz valley in the Gäu and
1.5 Overview of the tributaries
1.6 Political geography
2 Environment and economy
2.1 Flora and fauna
3 Water sports
6 External links
Enz flows through two large natural regions: in the upper half of
its course, the river and its tributaries drain the eastern half of
the Northern Black Forest; later it flows through the southwest German
Gäu landscape, mostly through the
Including its main headstream, the Poppelbach, the
Enz has a total
length of about 105 kilometres. However, unusually, its right
tributary, the Nagold, which discharges into the
emerging from the Black Forest, is longer - in fact almost twice as
long as its own headstream to that point. In addition, the Nagold
carries twice as much water at its mouth. Thus, above Pforzheim, the
Nagold is hydrographically the main branch of the river system of the
Enz, which is then about 149 kilometres long, and thus the third
longest of the
Neckar tributaries after the river systems of the
Kocher and the Jagst.
Enz bears its name without any qualifier until it reaches the town
of Calmbach, where the Great
Enz (Große Enz) and
Little Enz (Kleine
Enz) merge. The Great
Enz has two headstreams, both approximately
5 kilometres long: the Poppelbach and the Kaltenbach, which unite
at Gompelscheuer. As with the source of the Danube in Donaueschingen
this purely nominal beginning of the (Great)
Enz is symbolized by the
Enz Spring (Enzbrunnen) and, likewise, has been erroneously
marketed as such to tourists.
In terms of water quantity and size of catchment area, the Poppelbach,
which flows from the south, is the main headstream, whilst the
Kaltenbach, which flows from the west, has a slightly greater length
and higher source. The Poppelbach rises to the south, only 1 km
north of the source of the River
Nagold at 822 m (in the parish
of Besenfeld); the Kaltenbach rises to the northwest, on the southern
slopes of the Schramberg at 907 m (in the parish of Forbach in
the Murg valley).
Enz and upper reaches in the Black Forest
Enz in the spa park of Bad Wildbad
From the confluence of the Poppelbach and Kaltenbach, the Great Enz
initially flows through a narrow wooded valley that, after a small
change in gradient, opens into the much broader valley of the Rombach,
joining from the west. The valleys of the Enz, Rombach and other
western tributaries of the upper reaches are characterised by glacial
cirques from the last ice age. After the
Enz valley widens at
Enzklösterle it narrows again until it reaches the next glacial
valley, the Kegeltal, at Sprollenhaus. Having hitherto flowed
northeast, the Great
Enz swings northwards and flows through a steep
valley that cuts across the mostly wooded bunter sandstone plateaux of
the northern Black Forest. From the well-known
Old Württemberg resort
of Wildbad, the valley is densely populated. At Calmbach, where the
Little Enz empties into the main river, follow the settlements of
Höfen an der Enz
Höfen an der Enz and Neuenbürg. Here the
Enz makes a wide loop
enclosing a mountain spur atop which is
Neuenbürg Castle. The Black
Forest valley of the
Enz has, including the valley of the Great Enz
from Gompelscheuer, a length of approximately 38 kilometres and ends
as it enters the
Kraichgau region at Birkenfeld above Pforzheim.
Enz valley in the Gäu and
After emerging from the Black Forest, the
Enz flows down to its mouth
Neckar Gäu country in the muschelkalk beds of the South German
Scarplands. From a natural regional perspective, the
between Birkenfeld and Enzberg is counted as part of the Kraichgau,
which continues to the north, further downstream it is part of the
Neckar Basin between
Stuttgart and Heilbronn.
Overview of the tributaries
Tributaries from the confluence of the Little (Kleine) and Great
Tributary lengths are based on the source furthest from
Kleine Enz, from the right in Calmbach, 20 km and 88 km².
Förtelbach, from the right in Höfen an der Enz.
Eyach, from the left between
Höfen an der Enz
Höfen an der Enz and Neuenbürg,
18.5 km and 52.6 km².
Rotenbach, from the left in hamlet of Rotenbach near Neuenbürg.
Größelbach, from the right between
Neuenbürg and Birkenfeld.
Tiefenbach, from the left in Birkenfeld.
Nagold, from the right in Pforzheim, 90.4 km and 1,151 km².
Mäuerachklinge, from the right im
Pforzheim village of Mäuerach.
Igelsbach, from the left between Eutingen and Niefern.
Schlupfgraben, from the left in Enzberg
Erlenbach, from the left in Mühlacker, 11.1 km.
Schmie, from the left near Vaihingen, 12.1 km and 47.4 km².
Strudelbach, from the right near Enzweihingen, 15 km and
Dürre Enz, from the left in Oberriexingen.
Glems, from the right near Unterriexingen, 47.2 km.
Leudelsbach, from the right between
Unterriexingen and Untermberg,
6.5 km and 22.7 km².
Saubach, from the right in Bissingen.
Metter, from the left in Bietigheim, 28 km.
Steinbach, from the left in Besigheim.
Enz (foreground) empties into the Neckar
Enz flows mainly through the counties of Calw, Enzkreis, Pforzheim
and Ludwigsburg. Some headwaters of tributaries of the Great
the headwaters of the Kaltenbach flow partly through Rastatt.
Until the great territorial upheavals around 1803 and 1806, the course
Enz ran mainly through the territory of Old Württemberg, with
short sections in the
Old Baden or through knightly estates. Wildbad,
Neuenbürg, Vaihingen, Bietigheim and
Besigheim were Old Württemberg
centres of administration. The current territory of the counties of
Rastatt and the
Pforzheim (parishes of Brötzingen,
Pforzheim, Eutingen and Niefern) belonged to Baden. In Oberriexingen,
sovereignty was divided between imperial knights and Württemberg.
Environment and economy
Flora and fauna
The lower reaches of the Enz, with their typical water meadow shore
structures, are an ideal habitat for many riparian plant and animal
species. Many of the oxbow lakes and riparian woodlands are protected
Enz itself and parts of the valley such as the nature
reserve near Vaihingen-Roßwag and the mouth of the
Unterriexingen are part of the Europe-wide protected network of nature
protection areas known as Natura 2000.
In the shallow waters up to 10,000 larvae - of mayflies, caddis flies,
dragonflies, beetles, snails and mussels - have been counted. Even
Western vairone, barbel, nase and bullhead have their spawning grounds
From early summer, the
Enz is home to dense communities of river water
crowfoot and watermilfoil.
Some rare and endangered species live all year round on the Enz, which
is an important resting stop for many migratory birds. These include,
inter alia, kingfisher, sandpiper, goosander, grey wagtail, moorhen
and dipper. Other guests and residents of the coppiced willows and the
trees lining the banks of the river are white wagtail, Icterine
warbler, spotted flycatcher, nightingale and golden oriole.
Railway viaduct over the
Enz near Bietigheim-Bissingen
Until the early 20th century timber rafting was an important branch of
the economy in the Black Forest. Like its neighbouring rivers, the
Murg and Nagold, the
Enz was used for transporting tree trunks and,
especially, logs. Schwallungen (storage ponds that were drained for
rafting), such as the Poppelsee and Kaltenbachsee at Gompelscheuer,
recall this activity. In the
Black Forest section of the
today forest products and tourism dominate the economy.
In the muschelkalk area of the river, agriculture has a certain
significance, and viticulture is practised on steep, terraced
vineyards of the
Industry and service are concentrated in
Pforzheim (jewellery, precious metals, watches, commercial and
administration), but can also be found in smaller centres in the
catchment area of
Stuttgart (especially Bietigheim-Bissingen).
Since the 5th century; B.C. (the Early
La Tène period) iron ore
mining has been carried out in the
Enz region. The visitor mine of
Frischglück Pit is an example of an individual mine.
The upper reaches of the
Enz are mainly used by white water canoeists.
The most famous section is the challenging Kurparkstrecke in Bad
Water sports are restricted on some sections of the river in order to
protect the ecosystem:
Enzkreis: traffic lights on the weir at Mühlhausen: no boating on the
mill's loop when there is a red light
Ludwigsburg county: Enter from the riverbank and landing stages
only at the marked entry and exit points. Keep off pebble islands and
shoals; no camping, barbecues or fires on the waterfront, except at
signed and equipped places.
1 May to 30 September 30: Roßwag (river km 34.12) closed as far as
the Vaihingen Seemühle (km 29.94)
Same period, but to
Bietigheim-Bissingen Sawmill (km 13.16): at water
levels below 65 cm (Vaihingen Gauge) Boating only with trained
guide; prohibited at levels less than 45 cm.
^ Topographic Map 1:25.000
^ Teilbearbeitungsgebiet 45
Nagold bis Mündung Neckar
^ Topographical map of Baden-Württemberg, 1:50,000 series.
^ Friedruch Huttenlocher & Hansjörg Dongus, Die naturräumlichen
Einheiten auf Blatt 170 "Stuttgart", Bad Godesberg, 1967 (Series:
"Naturräumliche Gliederung Deutschlands").
^ Historical Atlas of Baden-Württemberg, map VI/13.
^ Regulation of the Landratsamte Ludwigsburg on the regulation of the
general usage on the
Enz in the district of Ludwigsburg, 25 April 2006
Max Scheifele: Als die Wälder auf Reisen gingen. Flößerei im
Enz-Nagold-Gebiet. Verlag G. Braun, Karlsruhe, 1996,
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Enz.
Map of the course of the
Enz at: Map services of the
Baden-Württemberg State Office for the Environment, Survey and
Conservation (Landesanstalt für Umwelt, Messungen und Naturschutz
High Water Forecast Office with gauge data etc. on the Enz
Enz Valley Cycleway
Nagold to its confluence with the
Boating information at kajaktour.de