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This is my hometown. A city of two hundred thousand people, pulsating but still laid back due to its warm climate. Temperatures can reach up to 38 degrees Celsius in summer and in winter it is the mildest place. All up – climate wise – Freiburg has it all, lots of sunny days, a bit of snow and …lots of sunny days...

 
  F r e i b u r g  im Breisgau - Muenster, Rathaus and the rest ...                        
to the Rathausplatz (Place of City Hall) Part of City Hall
the Muenster cathedral

This is my hometown. A city of two hundred thousand people, pulsating but still laid back due to its warm climate. Temperatures can reach up to 38 degrees Celsius in summer and in winter it is the mildest place. All up – climate wise – Freiburg has it all, lots of sunny days, a bit of snow and …lots of sunny days.

View from the top of the Muenster onto Martinstor and the city On the way up to the Muenster top

Historically, Freiburg was founded in 1120 (there are several dates around 1120, so I picked one) when a Baron, called Konrad Zaehringer, brother of Berthold III von Zaehringen (the head of the family), decided to place a market at the bottom of the "Schlossberg" (local Hill, next to the Muenster, where Konrad’s Castle used to stand). Trading went well around the area. In those times, Freiburg used to be wealthy because of silver mining in the Black Forest.

From the belltower section
Ornate Sandstone windows at the very top View of the city with the Schwabentor
the Kornhaus, early place of city administration

Around the 12th century, the building of the Muenster commenced. It took 300 years to complete the church. This is why different styles of architecture can be identified today. From the mid 14th century, Freiburg delivered the Baron of Zaehringen a one-off payment of 15000 Silver pieces, to join the Habsburgers, a powerful Austrian family at the time, for the next 450 years. During that time, the Freiburgers were exposed to French-Austrian battles and the usual medieval troubles. At the beginning of the 18th century Freiburg discontinued their partnership with the Habsburgers and became part of the lands of the Baron of Baden, who was a descendant of the Zaehringer family. Due to that occasion, the Bertholdsbrunnen was build in 1807. 

Insel Restaurant and Hotel in the Gerberau

The "Rathaus" (city hall) was built in 1896 to 1901. Prior to that, the building was used by the Medical department of the University. A further sight, the cities’ theatre, was built in 1910. Today, it offers an interesting theatre, opera and dance program all year round. In 1918, the Baronship of Baden becomes part of the republic. During the Second World War, Freiburg also experienced some bombing toward the end of the war in 1944. 

Muenster from the Schlossberg
Pub, Zum Deutschen Haus

However, according to an older and wiser woman, we met on the train once, Freiburg mainly functioned as a hospital town during the war. Freiburg has much to offer. Every summer, tourists stream from all over the world, as they choose Freiburg as one of their stops in their Germany visit. The inner city with its "Baechle" (small canals) , cobble stone paving and ornate well-restored Buildings sends one back to the times in which they were built.

Schwabentor Bertholdsbrunnen
Hosanna, largest bell of the Muenster

 I have walked through this place a number of times, but I never get bored with it. Take a walk through the older part of town, from the Muenster, with its 320 steps, to the "Schwabentor", down to the "Gerberau", where two canals run through, finally reaching the Martinstor. There are many little avenues with "Baechles" running through them. By the way, the Muenster can be climbed for DM 2,- (which goes to the restoration works). From there you will have a wonderful view over Freiburg and the Market place beneath. 

Once you get tired of touring the city, have a rest in one of the great student pubs, or if you prefer good old German traditional cuisine and atmosphere you may visit a "Gasthaus", where "Bier" and "Schweinebraten" are plenty. In the evening you may visit one of the cinemas (The cinema in the "Friedrichsbau" sometimes screens films in English language), or go to a club. But whatever you do: enjoy yourselves : )

Part of the belltower
Last edited 19-06-01

All photos by A. Goss & S. Goss

 

© A.Goss, April 2001