Coat of arms
Coordinates: 48°27′48″N 8°24′40″E / 48.46333°N 8.41111°E / 48.46333; 8.41111Coordinates: 48°27′48″N 8°24′40″E / 48.46333°N 8.41111°E / 48.46333; 8.41111
Country Germany
State Baden-Württemberg
Admin. region Karlsruhe
District Freudenstadt
  Mayor Julian Osswald (CDU)
  Total 87.58 km2 (33.81 sq mi)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
  Total 22,579
  Density 260/km2 (670/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 72250
Dialling codes 07441, 07442, 07443
Vehicle registration FDS

Freudenstadt is a town in Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. It is capital of the district Freudenstadt. The closest population centres are Offenburg to the west (approx. 36 km away) and Tübingen to the east (approx. 47 km away).

The city lies on a high plateau at the east edge of the north Black Forest, and is well known for its fresh air. Its city centre is famous as the largest market place in Germany. After Horb, it is the second largest city of the Freudenstadt district. The city has an administration partnership with the communities Bad Rippoldsau-Schapbach and Seewald.

Freudenstadt is a climatic health resort of international renown. In the 19th and 20th centuries, visitors of note included George V of the United Kingdom, the Queen of Sweden, John D. Rockefeller, and even the American writer Mark Twain. With its many hotels and guest houses, and its high-class cuisine, Freudenstadt remains a popular vacation spot for Germans from every part of the country. Among the many Germans of note who considered Freudenstadt a second home was the justice inspector Friedrich Kellner whose WWII diary is the subject of a Canadian documentary.


The building of Freudenstadt was ordered by duke Frederick of Württemberg in 1599. The designer was architect Heinrich Schickhardt.

Role in the Third Reich and World War II

In World War II, on the nearly 1,000 meter high Kniebis, not far from the Alexanderschanze, a Command Center of the Armed Forces was built to defend the Western Front: the Führer's headquarter Tannenberg. Heavy Anti-aircraft warfare positions with the associated supply and accommodation buildings were built in the area as part of the LVZ West (Western Air Defense Zone), especially on the Schliffkopf and the Hornisgrinde.[2] In the Freudenstadt hospital many wounded were treated. Hitler's one-week visit to Tannenberg and Freudenstadt in 1940 (after the French campaign) at the inauguration of the headquarter was propaganda, which was reported in news reels. Thus, Freudenstadt including the nearby region in France has become a symbol of the Nazi regime and the French defeat, which in 1945 was to play an important role.

Destruction in the Second World War

On 16 April 1945, three weeks before the war ended, the city was unexpectedly attacked by the troops of the 1st French army under General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny. There was a large-scale destruction caused by bombing and shelling.[2] Freudenstadt fell, with interruptions, for about 16 hours under artillery fire. No residents dared to go to meet the French troops to surrender the city, conversely the French troops expected considerable military resistance.[3][3]

Since the water main line was destructed by US air strikes and the main fire trucks had been destroyed by shelling, the fire could spread very well.[3] A handover took place only when the French troops had advanced to the town hall.[4] There were several dozen civilian casualties; about 600 buildings, 95 percent of the entire city, were destroyed directly or indirectly in the night from 16 to 17 April and 1,400 families afterwards were homeless. During the invasion of the French troops, and in the next three days there were many violent attacks by Moroccan units.[5] According to doctor Renate Lutz alone in her treatment have been more than 600 raped women.[6][7] On remonstrances civilians got the answer, according to reports from witnesses, it was war, Freudenstadt must burn three days.[8]

Many of the remaining buildings were then claimed of the French occupation troops. Many families lived in makeshift roofed cellars. Overall, the average living space per inhabitant was reduced to less than eight square meters. The need was great, and the cleanup of the debris was initially slow.

Main sights

Market place and city church
Market place (Freudenstadt)

Cultural and social life

Among other things, the following networked social institutions are present in town: The children's and youth workshop EIGEN-SINN aims to promote personal, social and academic skills of children and adolescents in social group work. The Erlacher Höhe, is committed to ensure that people will have respect and value in social need and that social exclusion is reduced. The Diakonisches Werk works for the poor, marginalized and disadvantaged. In children's center Freudenstadt (KiJuz) open child and youth work is offered for primary school children and adolescents.Furthermore, offers Catholic young community (KJG) Freudenstadt actions on the field of child and youth work.

Evangelical Church

Since 1535 a monastery church was in Kniebis, which was in 1799 burned down by the French. As a result of the Württemberg foundation Freudenstadt was an almost entirely long time protestant city. First, the young church belonged to the dean's office respectively church district Herrenberg within the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Württemberg.


The value added comes in 2006 from the service sector (54,2 %), the manufacturing industry (45,0 %) and from agriculture (0,8 %). 2007 were in the urban area 2,832 guest beds available. The number of overnight stays was 339,292.[9]

The manufacturing sector is located mainly in the industrial areas. Particularly significant are the Gebrüder Schmid (photovoltaic, printed circuit boards, flat panel displays), the Robert Bürkle (equipment for surface finishing), the company Georg Oest mineral (mineral oil, gas stations, mechanical engineering).


Due to the central location in the Black Forest, four federal roads lead through Freudenstadt. At the market place the B 28 (Kehl-Ulm) meets the B 462 (Rastatt-Rottweil). Here ends also the B 500 (Baden-Baden-Freudenstadt). Since 1985, the B 294 from Bretten to Gundelfingen bypasses Freudenstadt in a north-south direction.[10]

Bus and train

In 1879 the city received through the construction of the Eutingen im Gäu–Freudenstadt railway connection to the railway network. It runs from Stuttgart over Herrenberg and Eutingen im Gäu to Freudenstadt. Because their continuation into the valley of the Kinzig was already planned (and as part of the Kinzig Valley Railway was carried out in 1886), the main station was built southeast of the city, relatively far from the center. In 1901 the Württemberg part of the Murg Valley Railway to Klosterreichenbach was built. The 60-meter higher originated Stadtbahnhof north of the center is a Standardized railway station.[11] A continuous connection to Rastatt (Baden) was established in 1928. Thus, Freudenstadt is the starting point of three railway lines. Eutingen and Stuttgart are connected on the Gäubahn. There is a rail service every hour with consolidations in school transport. Since 2006, coming from Karlsruhe, S41 goes every two hours about Freudenstadt up to Eutingen where is connection to the Regional Express (RE) Stuttgart-Singen.

The connection to Offenburg is via the Kinzig Valley Railway. The trains of the Ortenau-S-Bahn (OSB), connect Freudenstadt hourly over Alpirsbach, Schiltach and Hausach to Offenburg. The central bus station (ZOB) with more than 40 bus lines is a main transport hub in the Black Forest. City buses run to destinations in the urban core. Public transport to towns in neighboring distrits, such as to Oberndorf, Wolfach, Altensteig or Dornhahn. On the nights of Saturdays, Sundays and holidays an overnight bus service completes the night rail service.

Media and Telecommunications

As regional daily newspapers both report the Schwarzwälder Bote and the Neckar Chronik of the Südwest Presse about what is happening locally.

Courts, authorities and bodies

Freudenstadt is home of the Amtsgericht, which belongs to the court Rottweil and the superior court Stuttgart. It is the seat of the district office of the homonymous district and home to the majority of its administrative authorities. There is also a notary and a tax office. It is the seat of the church district Freudenstadt of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Württemberg.


The schools sponsored by the city are on the one hand the Kepler-Gymnasium and the Kepler secondary school. Southeast towards the central station is the Falken-Realschule, not far away from the Hartranft Elementary School. The Theodor-Gerhard-primary school with integrated Werkrealschule as a second primary school of the main town is located opposite to the Kepler schools. Among the schools sponsored by the district are the Eduard-Spranger-School , a business school with an economic high school, the Heinrich-Schickhardt school as industrial and technical school with a technical high school and Luise Büchner School as domestic school with a nutritional scientific school. The Christopher's School, a special school, is found north the building yard.

Sons and daughters of the city

Other personalities

International relations

Freudenstadt is twinned with:


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Freudenstadt.
  1. "Gemeinden in Deutschland nach Fläche, Bevölkerung und Postleitzahl am 30.09.2016". Statistisches Bundesamt (in German). 2016.
  2. 1 2 F. Wein (in German), Die Luftverteidigungszone West, Explorate Verlag, ISBN 978-3-937779-25-6
  3. 1 2 3 Hans Rommel: Vor zehn Jahren 16./17. April 1945 – Wie es zur Zerstörung von Freudenstadt gekommen ist. In: Freudenstädter Heimatblätter. Beiheft 1 Freudenstadt: Oskar Kaupert 1955 56
  4. Der deutsche Südwesten zur Stunde Null. Zusammenbruch und Neuanfang im Jahr 1945 in Dokumenten und Bildern. (paper back) Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe (author). Publisher: Karlsruhe, Harschdruck, (1 January 1975)
  5. Volker Kopp (in German), Besetzt. Französische Besatzungspolitik in Deutschland, Berlin: be.bra-Verlag
  6. Annette Bruhns, Der Ostfeldzug, "Der Krieg gegen die Frauen" (in German), Spiegel Special (2): pp. 84
  7. Margarete Dörr (in German), „Wer die Zeit nicht miterlebt hat…“. Frauenerfahrungen im Zweiten Weltkrieg und in den Jahren danach, Campus Verlag, pp. 575, ISBN 3-593-36095-0
  8. Bundesministerium für Vertriebene, Flüchtlinge und Kriegsgeschädigte (in German), Dokumente deutscher Kriegsschäden, pp. 181
  9. "Struktur- und Regionaldatenbank" (in German). Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  10. Straßenbaubericht 1985 (PDF; 4,5 MB)
  11. Rainer Stein, "Der württembergische Einheitsbahnhof auf Nebenbahnen" (in German), Eisenbahn-Journal Württemberg-Report (Fürstenfeldbruck: Merker) Band 1 (V/96): pp. 80–83, ISBN 3-922404-96-0
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