The district was created in 1938 as the successor of the Oberamt Freudenstadt which dates back to 1806. In 1973 it was merged with the majority of the neighboring district Horb, and some small parts of the districts Wolfach and Hechingen.
The district is located in the middle part of the Black Forest mountains. The river Neckar flows through the southeast of the district.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms displays a capercaillie, which once was quite common in the area. The colors yellow and black are chosen as they are the colors of Württemberg.