• Photo: (c) Hanmon | Dreamstime.com


At an altitude of 2,400 feet, Freudenstadt claims to be the "better climate" in Germany and it has the sunny days to prove it. Founded in 1599 by Duke Frederick I of Württemberg, the "city of joy" has the country's largest market square, more than 650 feet long and edged with arcaded shops. The square still awaits the palace that was supposed to be built here for the city's founder, who died before its construction began, though it is difficult to admire its vastness, since a busy, four-lane street cuts it nearly in half. The city's location along three scenic driving routes (the Valley Route, the Spa Route, and the Black Forest Mountain Route) makes it an ideal place for an overnight stay. When the fountains all spout on this square, it can be quite a sight, and a refreshing one as well.


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