The city of Freudenstadt in Nordschwarzwald, Baden-Württemberg, is literally the city of joy. In German Freude means enjoyment, pleasure, or delight and Stadt means city. When something pleases you, es freut mich. It was perhaps this idea which the original planners and founders of Freudenstadt hoped to achieve through the city’s design.
Have you heard of sacred geometry and sacred architecture? Building designs that serve a greater purpose than simply form and function? Where mathematical power is taken to a higher level, and combined with the energetic power of the universe? The result being a building within a building; a secret within a secret. Architectural properties on display with esoteric principles at work in the background.
Freudenstadt is one of the oldest, planned cities in the southwest of Germany.(1) It was founded in the 16th century by Friedrich I, the Duke of Württemberg. Looking at the centre of Freudenstadt from above, one can see that the civic centre stands prominently out. The large central square is the Marktplatz – the inner hub of Freudenstadt. It’s one of the largest market places in Germany.
Heinrich Schickhardt, the Duke of Württemberg’s master builder, was nicknamed the ‘Schwabian Leonardo Da Vinci’.(2) He was skilled in engineering, architecture and city planning. Some critics believed Albrecht Durer’s lectures on fortress design influenced Schickhardt while he was sketching ideas for Freudenstadt.(3) All of Schickhardt’s initial architectural drafts focused on surrounding the Duke’s castle – positioned directly in the middle as a sacral point – with a protective wall of housing around it. At first, Schickhardt designed a Baublockplan, then changed it to a Dreizeil– and finally decided upon a Fünfzeilplan.(4) Why did Schickhardt favour this multi-ranked design?
For a moment, reflect upon a common theme in temple design: a series of rings. This design often starts with an extreme outer ring (that represents contact with the folk), and progresses into an inner ring (that represents contact with the priesthood). Three, as in three rings, has always been a magical number. But the number five has often been used for materialistic and financial reasons. It’s also a masculine number, generating masculine energy, which Freudenstadt’s quadratic inner city arrangement complements.
Today’s Freundenstadt, however, bears only some resemblance to the original plan. During the Second World War, Freudenstadt was flattened by Allied bombing and the town was later rebuilt. However, symbolism can still be found, in the statue of Venus, positioned in the middle of the Marktplatz, to the fountain of Neptune found nearby. No doubt these are simple cosmetic additions, but still not without forethought.
Friedrich I was not the only man interested in Freudenstadt or the surrounding area. During the Second World War, Adolf Hitler, made the nearby village of Kniebis (Kniebis marks the precise location of the border between Baden and Württemberg) his Führerhauptquartier and called it Tannenberg. From his hideaway in the Black Forest, Hitler could visit Freudenstadt, and the Strassburg Münster, among other places.(5)
In 1999, Schickhardt was honoured with a European Kulturstraße: a tourist route that connects 19 cities in France and Germany. The route shows where Schickhardt was architecturally active. One of the places on the route is Montbeliard in Alsace, a town that was mentioned in the previous article about the Belchen network.
The mind wonders if the map of the Kulturstraße could be seen as a celestial constellation. ‘As above, so below’ – one of the golden rules of sacred geometry.
List of References
- Heinrich Schickhardt und die Gründung von Freudenstadt, 2009, http://www.schule-bw.de/unterricht/faecheruebergreifende_themen/landeskunde/modelle/epochen/neuzeit/schickhardt/freudenstadt/12geschichte.html
- Freudenstadt, 2009, Wikipedia, http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freudenstadt
- Hitlers Hofstaat auf dem Kniebis: Die Großsen und Bekannten im Führerhauptquartier Tannenberg, 2009, Suite101, http://weimarer-republik-drittes-reich.suite101.de/article.cfm/hitlers_hofstaat_auf_dem_kniebis
- Featured Post photo: © Jörgens.Mi/Wikipedia, Licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0, Source: Wikimedia Commons
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