Freudenberg is a small town in the Siegen-Wittgenstein district, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The town lies on the German-Dutch holiday road called the Orange Route, joining towns, cities and regions associated with the House of Orange.
All these half-timbered houses add a medieval charm, thus making this city look like a fairytale land. If you are a nature lover, you will certainly fall in love with the scenic mountain landscape. It is a good place for hiking, there are 160 km of marked trails at your disposal, but that`s not all you can do here. Among the activities, you can visit The Museum of Technology and get in touch with the industrial history of the place. You can also practice different kind of sports like fishing, swimming, horseback riding, tennis or badminton.
A single one-lane road passes through the Altstadt (the old town center) by the Rathaus (Town Hall) constructed in 1605. This means that the German village is easy to explore on foot.
The town of Freudenberg in its current form came into being through municipal reform on 1 January 1969. Into it the seventeen formerly self-standing municipalities of Alchen, Bottenberg, Bühl, Büschergrund, Dirlenbach, Freudenberg, Heisberg, Hohenhain, Lindenberg, Mausbach, Niederheuslingen, Niederholzklau, Niederndorf, Oberfischbach, Oberheuslingen, Oberholzklau and Plittershagen were merged into one.
The village and the castle of Freudenberg had their first documentary mention in 1389.
The castle was founded over the Weibe Valley together with a settlement by the Counts of Nassau as a corner post of their domain. Count Johann IV of Nassau, Vianden and Diez gave the Freudenberg townsfolk their “freedom rights” on 7 November 1456. This was a kind of minimal town rights, but the document bestowing this distinction upon the town is taken as evidence of town rights being granted Freudenberg. Documents give clues that Freudenberg was established quite early on as a “Flecken”, or market town. The historic town core is even still called Alter Flecken.
The “Alter Flecken” is Freudenberg’s downtown core, built wholly of half-timbered houses. It gives the impression of a small town from the 17th century. The Alter Flecken was included in the Kulturatlas des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen (Cultural Atlas of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia) as a “Building monument of international importance”. The Evangelical church, after Freudenberg got its own parish in 1585, was built as a “fortress church” (i.e. with architecture somewhat reminiscent of a military fortification). The belltower is the only one of the former castle’s towers still left standing.
The church in Oberholzklau was built early in the 13th century and is worth seeing as a Romanesque church whose architecture nevertheless plainly shows transition to Gothic. The rectory next door, built in half-timbered style, is from 1608.
In 1540, both the castle and the town were heavily damaged by a fire. On William the Rich’s orders, there came into being about the mid 16th century new building works. The market town was given a new town wall with four gates. In the northwest, the Hohenhainer Tor was built, in the northeast the Weihertor, in the southeast the Braastor and in the southwest the Schultor (Tor means “gate”). However, owing to yet another town fire on 9 August 1666, the town was once again laid waste. Prince Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen built the town anew, using much the same layout, planned in 1540, as had stood before the fire. The castle, however, was not restored, and to this day, all that can be seen of it are a few wall remains.
In 1969, the new, greater Freudenberg came into being with the merger of the seventeen former municipalities named herein.