Freiamt (Black Forest)

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Coat of arms Map of Germany
Wappen der Gemeinde Freiamt
Freiamt (Schwarzwald)

Deutschlandkarte, Position der Gemeinde Freiamt hervorgehoben

Coordinates 48° 10′ N, 7° 55′ E

Basic data
State: Baden-Württemberg
Government District: Freiburg
County: Emmendingen
Height: 322 m above sea level
Area: 52.92 km2
Residents: 4194[31 Dec, 2019][1]
Population Density: 79 Inhabitants per km2
Zip code: 79348
Area code: 07645
License plate: EM
Municipal Code: 08 3 16 054
Community breakdown: 5 districts
Address of
Local government:
Sägplatz 1
79348 Freiamt
Mayor: Hannelore Reinbold-Mench
Location of the municipality Freiamt in the district Emmendingen


Ottoschwanden, Freiamt

Freiamt is a municipality in the district of Emmendingen in Baden-Württemberg about 25 km north of Freiburg im Breisgau.


Geographical position

Freiamt is located in the Middle Black Forest at an altitude of 255 to 744 meters. On the municipal territory is the 744 meter high Hünersedel.

Neighboring communities

Neighbouring communities are (clockwise): Schuttertal (Ortenaukreis), Biederbach, Gutach im Breisgau, Waldkirch, Sexau, Emmendingen, Teningen, Malterdingen and Kenzingen.

From the Freiämter district Keppenbach there is a road connection over the pass Gscheid to Gutach im Breisgau in the Elztal.

Community structure

The municipality of Freiamt consists of the five districts Ottoschwanden, Mußbach, Reichenbach, Keppenbach and Brettental. In total, the municipality includes 62 villages, hamlets, tines, farms and houses. The villages of Reichenbach, Keppenbach and the centre of Ottoschwanden have a village character. Mußbach and Brettental are more characterized by scattered farms and individual settlement areas.

In the municipality of Freiamt are the villages Bromshart, Büttenkropf (possibly identical with Busengraben), Gutenrode, Hagstal, Hofen, which may have been absorbed into Keppenbach, Holinstein, Nordbrechtsberg, Schönnenbrunnen, Brettenhardt and Mutterstegenhof.[2]


Monthly mean values for Freiamt-Ottoschwanden (481 m), 1961 to 1990
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Temperature (°C) 0,1 1,6 4,8 8,4 12,6 15,8 18,0 17,5 14,6 9,9 4,5 1,3 Ø 9,1
Precipitation(mm) 58,2 54,5 58,6 80,0 122,3 113,6 97,0 97,3 71,2 69,0 70,9 70,0 Σ 962,6
Sunshine hours(h/d) 1,5 2,6 3,9 5,2 6,6 7,3 8,4 7,5 5,9 3,9 2,3 1,7 Ø 4,7
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec












Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: DWD Climate Data Germany[3]


Reichenbach, Freiamt

In the Middle Ages, the area of today’s Freiamt was subject to the influence of the three power holders Lords of Keppenbach, Tennenbach Monastery and Margraves of Hachberg.[4] With the takeover of the landgraviate of Breisgau and the bailiwick over the monastery of Tennenbach, the Hachbergs finally asserted their sovereignty.[4] In 1344 Ottoschwanden was sold to Hachberg by the monastery of Andlau,[5] from 1356 to 1386 parts of today’s Freiamt with Zwing and Bann were pledged to Martin Malterer.[4] With the end of the margraviate Baden-Hachberg in 1415, the area of today’s Freiamt came to the margrave Bernhard I of Baden and from then on belonged to all Baden succession entities. In 1952 it was absorbed into the newly founded state of Baden-Württemberg.

The municipality was formed on 1 July 1971 under the name Ottoschwanden-Freiamt by the voluntary merger of the municipalities of Ottoschwanden and Freiamt, and renamed Freiamt on 16 August 1972.[6] Alt-Freiamt was the second largest municipality by area in the old state of Baden.


Ev. church in Keppenbach

In the Hochberger Land, to which Freiamt and Ottoschwanden belonged, the Reformation was introduced in 1556. Even today, the place is still influenced by the Protestant Church. There are two parishes in Freiamt: Mußbach/Keppenbach/Reichenbach with the parish centre in Mußbach as well as the parish Ottoschwanden/Brettental, whose main focus is in Ottoschwanden. There is also a New Apostolic congregation that has built its parish hall in the district of Mußbach (Eckacker).

On 1 January 2013, the Roman Catholic parish of Emmendingen-Teningen was established, which – apart from the patients of the hospital chaplaincy – includes over 13,000 Catholics in Emmendingen, Freiamt, Sexau and Teningen.[7]


Town hall of Freiamt in the hamlet Sägplatz

Local Council

The municipal council in Freiamt has 14 members. It consists of the elected honorary municipal councillors and the mayor as chairman. The mayor is entitled to vote in the municipal council.

The local election on 26 May 2019 produced the following result (with comparative figures for the previous two elections):[8]

Parties and Voters’ Associations %
Local elections 2019
45,7 %
29,5 %
24,7 %
Gains and losses
compared to 2014
+1,2 %p
−0,2 %p
−1,1 %p
FW Independent voters’ association 45,7 6 44,5 6 43,9 6
CDU Christian Democratic Union 29,5 4 29,7 4 28,0 4
SPD Social Democratic Party of Germany 24,7 4 25,8 4 28,2 4
Total 100 14 100 14 100 14
Voter turnout 68,0 % 59,7 % 57,6 %


In May 2017, Hannelore Reinbold-Mench was re-elected for a third term with 99.3% of the vote.[9]

Coat of arms

The current coat of arms of the municipality combines elements of the arms of Alt-Freiamt and the formerly independent municipality of Ottoschwanden. In a Baden coat of arms – a golden field divided by a red diagonal bar as a sign of the long affiliation of both towns to the margraviate of Baden – the fir tree from the coat of arms of Freiamt is found in the lower right field and the crescent moon and the two stars from the coat of arms of Ottoschwanden in the upper left.

Community Partnerships

The parish has a partnership with the parish of De Pinte in Belgium.

Economy and infrastructure

Wind turbines on the Schillinger mountain

School centre of Freiamt

In addition to Black Forest tourism, crafts and above all agriculture and forestry shape the life of the community. As a bioenergy village, Freiamt supplies itself with energy from renewable sources and also exports electricity.


In the district of Mußbach there is an elementary and a secondary school, whereby the elementary school has a branch in Ottoschwanden.

Culture and sights


A local history museum in the district of Ottoschwanden presents the history of the village. It is housed, among other things, in a former Leibgeding, which before its move to the Freihof in Ottoschwanden stood in the so-called Vorhof, an area between the town hall and Reichenbach. The “Bäule” is also the setting for a farmers’ market on Fridays.

There is also a private tower clock museum in the Freihof.[10]


In Freiamt the density of clubs is high.


There are singing and music clubs in Keppenbach/Reichenbach, in Mußbach/Brettental and in Ottoschwanden. The community has three associations each, of which those belonging to the old Freiamt perform together (choir community and music associations “Harmonie” and “Freundschaft”).


The situation is similar with the sports clubs, where the borders of the old communities Freiamt and Ottoschwanden are blurred by a game community between the sports club Freiamt 1959 e. V. and the sports club Ottoschwanden 1960 e. V. in the football teams.[11]


There is also a trade association with a total of 51 members in Freiamt.


The Freiamt Spa House

  • On 2 October 2004, an observation tower was opened on the Hünersedel (744 m) in the Brettental district, the highest mountain in the municipality. The 29-metre-high tower, which was built with the help of private donations (€ 200,000), offers a panoramic view over the Upper Rhine Plain to the Vosges and over the Middle Black Forest and the neighbouring valleys (Schuttertal, etc.).
  • In addition to an indoor swimming pool, the Kurhaus in Freiamt offers a hall and a meeting room where regional artists exhibit their works on a monthly basis. The spa administration also has its headquarters there.
  • Keppenbach Castle, possibly built in the 12th century to protect the silver mines in Freiamt, is located northwest of Reichenbach above the Brettenbach valley.

Natural monuments

See: List of natural monuments in Freiamt (Black Forest)

The Kreuzmoos nature reserve is partly located in the Freiämter district.

Regular events

  • Since 1999, Freiamt has hosted the largest beach party in southern Baden every year at the end of June, with more than 4,000 visitors, organised by SC Freiamt. From 2006 to 2009, it also included a “Miss Beach Party” contest.
  • The SC Freiamt organizes every year a sports week with a soccer green tournament.
  • The Musikverein Freiamt organizes an autumn stool in August or September in the district of Reichenbach.
  • The Landjugend Freiamt organises a four-day Landjugendfest in the odd years.
  • On the first Saturday of November, the three Freiämter music societies will hold an autumn concert in the Kurhaussaal.
  • The Musikverein Ottoschwanden organises the annual May festival on the “Rollberg” on 30 April and 1 May.


Sons and daughters of the community:

  • Émile Rupp (1872-1948), organist; born in Ottoschwanden
  • Gottlieb Reinbold (1892-1985), farmer and politician (BCSV, CDU); born in Ottoschwanden

Personalities associated with the community:

  • Rolf Schweizer (1936-2016), organist, composer and cantor; lived in Freiamt
  • Alfred Haas (* 1950), politician (CDU) and former member of the state parliament; grew up in Freiamt
  • Heinrich Meier (* 1953), philosopher; grew up in Freiamt
  • Dennis Bührer (* 1983), football player and coach; grew up in Freiamt-Ottoschwanden


  • Albert Köbele: Local genealogy Freiamt, district Emmendingen in Baden, 1637-1953. Grafenhausen: Köbele 1977 (= Badische Ortssippenbücher 3)
  • Albert Köbele: Ortssippenbuch Ottoschwanden, Landkreis Emmendingen in Baden. 2. Edition. Grafenhausen: Köbele 1993 (= Badische Ortssippenbücher 15)

Web links

Commons: Freiamt– Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual references

  1. Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg – Population by nationality and sex on 31 December 2019 (CSV file) (help on this).
  2. The State of Baden-Württemberg. Official description according to districts and municipalities. Volume IV: Regierungsbezirk Freiburg Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1978, ISBN 3-17-007174-2. pp. 221-224
  3. German Meteorological Service
  4. a b c Freiamt –, retrieved 16 July 2019.
  5. Ottoschwanden –, retrieved 16 July 2019.
  6. Federal Statistical Office (ed.): Historisches Gemeindeverzeichnis für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Name, boundary and key number changes in municipalities, districts and administrative districts from 27.5.1970 to 31.12.1982. W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart/Mainz 1983, ISBN 3-17-003263-1, p. 495.
  7. Homepage of the Roman Catholic Parish Emmendingen-Teningen
  8. Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg, Result of the local council elections in Freiamt, retrieved on 12 November 2020
  9. Hannelore Reinbold-Mench wins mayoral election with 99.3 percent(Memento of 23 July 2017 in the Internet Archive), Badische Zeitung, 14 May 2017, retrieved 13 June 2017.
  10. Tower Clock Museum(Memento of 24 September 2015 in the Internet Archive), retrieved 5 September 2015.
  11. Homepage of the SG Freiamt-Ottoschwanden