Freudenstadt

Rathaus

Freudenstadt lies on the eastern edge of the Black Forest, high on a plateau bordered by two rivers, Murg and Kinzig. The best way to reach it is from Baden-Baden, along the 60km-long Schwarzwald-Hochstrasse, or Black Forest Highway, which was once used to transport lumber.

Arcaded buildings line the square

Freudenstadt was the first planned town north of the Alps, thanks to Duke Friedrich I of Würtenberg in the 16th century. He designed the town’s center as an enormous square, Marktplatz, and lined buildings with arched arcades around the perimeter. A fire destroyed the city 30 years after its inception, then WWII leveled it. What we see today is restored.

L-shaped Protestant church, Stadtkirche

There isn’t a lot to see here – just some shops, the Gothic/Renaissance/baroque Stadtkirche and the colorful Rathaus, but it’s a good way to break up a drive before descending south into the central Black Forest.

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