Year of 2017

Freudenberg, Germany

These half-timbered homes in the German village of Freudenberg look like the stuff of fairy tales. Peek inside one and you might see an Adventskranz, or advent wreath, made from pine boughs and candles. You’ll likely also see a Christmas tree, a tradition that has its roots here in Germany. It’s said the custom was started by Christians in the 16th century, and that Protestant reformer Martin Luther began the practice of adorning the trees with lighted candles, precursors to today’s electric lights.

Freudenberg is a 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.
Area: 21.03 sq miles (54.48 km²)
Population: 17,929 (2015)
Mayor: Eckhard Günther
Freudenberg (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany).