Freiburg im Breisgau: Wikis


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Freiburg im Breisgau
Freiburg City Hall
Freiburg City Hall
Coat of arms of Freiburg im Breisgau
Freiburg im Breisgau is located in Germany
Freiburg im Breisgau
Coordinates 47°59′0″N 7°51′0″E / 47.983333°N 7.85°E / 47.983333; 7.85
Country Germany
State Baden-Württemberg
Admin. region Freiburg
District Urban district
City subdivisions 41 districts
Lord Mayor Dieter Salomon (Greens)
Basic statistics
Area 153.07 km2 (59.10 sq mi)
Elevation 278 m  (912 ft)
Population  217,547  (31 December 2006)[1]
 - Density 1,421 /km2 (3,681 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate FR
Postal codes 79098–79117
Area codes 0761, 07664, 07665

Freiburg im Breisgau is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Located in the extreme south-west of the country, Freiburg straddles the Dreisam river, at the foot of the Schlossberg. Historically, the city has acted as the hub of the Breisgau region on the western edge of the Black Forest in the Upper Rhine Plain. One of the famous old German university towns, and archiepiscopal seat, Freiburg was incorporated in the early 12th century and developed into a major commercial, intellectual, and ecclesiastical centre of the upper Rhine region. The city is known for its ancient university and its medieval cathedral, as well as for its high standard of living and advanced environmental practices. The city is situated in the heart of a major wine-growing region and serves as the primary tourist entrepot to the scenic beauty of the Black Forest. According to meteorological statistics, the city is the sunniest and warmest in Germany.[2]



Freiburg was founded by Konrad and Duke Bertold III of Zähringen in 1120 as a free market town;[3] hence its name, which translates to "free (or independent) town" – the word "frei" meaning "free" and Burg, like the modern English word borough, was used in those days for an incorporated city or town, usually one with some degree of autonomy.[4] However, the German word "Burg" also means "a fortified town" as in Hamburg. Thus, it is likely that the name of this place means a "fortified town of free citizens". Look further for a description of Freiburg as a town with a wall around it.

This town was strategically located at a junction of trade routes between the Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea areas, and the Rhine and Danube rivers. In the year 1200, Freiburg's population numbered around 6,000 people. At about this time, under the rule of Bertold V, the last duke of Zähringen, the city began construction of its Freiburg Münster cathedral on the site of an older parish church.[3] Begun in the Romanesque style, it was continued and completed 1513 for the most part as a Gothic cathedral. In 1218, when Bertold V died, the counts of Urach assumed the title of Freiburg's count.[3][5] The city council did not trust the new nobles and wrote down their established rights in a document. At the end of the 13th century there was a feud between the citizens of Freiburg and their lord, Count Egino II of Freiburg. Egino raised taxes and sought to limit the citizens' freedom, after which the Freiburgers used catapults to destroy the count's castle atop Schloßberg, a hill that overlooks the city center. The furious count called on his brother-in-law the Bishop of Strasbourg, Konradius von Lichtenberg, for help. The bishop answered by marching with his army to Freiburg.

Panoramic view of Freiburg, seen from Schlossberg. Freiburg Münster can be seen in the center.
Old Town Hall

According to an old Freiburg legend, a butcher named Hauri stabbed the Bishop of Strasbourg to death on July 29, 1299. It was a Pyrrhic victory, since henceforth the citizens of Freiburg had to pay an annual expiation of 300 marks in silver to the count of Freiburg until 1368. In 1366 the counts of Freiburg made another failed attempt to occupy the city during a night raid. Eventually the citizens were fed up with their lords, and in 1368 Freiburg purchased its independence from them. The city turned itself over to the protection of the Habsburgs, who allowed the city to retain a large measure of freedom. Most of the nobles of the city died in the battle of Sempach (1386). The patrician family Schnewlin took control of the city until the guildsmen revolted. The guilds became more powerful than the patricians in 1389.

The silver mines in Mount Schauinsland provided an important source of capital for Freiburg. This silver made Freiburg one of the richest cities in Europe, and in 1327 Freiburg minted its own coin, the Rappenpfennig. In 1377 the cities of Freiburg, Basel, Colmar, and Breisach entered into an alliance known as the Genossenschaft des Rappenpfennigs (Rappenpfennig Collective). This alliance facilitated commerce between the cities and lasted until the end of the 16th century. There were 8,000-9,000 people living in Freiburg between the 13th and 14th centuries, and 30 churches and monasteries. At the end of the 14th century, the veins of silver were dwindling and by 1460, only around 6,000 people still lived within Freiburg's city walls. A university city, Freiburg evolved from its focus on mining to become a cultural center for the arts and sciences. It was also a commercial center. The end of the Middle Ages and the dawn of the Renaissance was a time of both advances and tragedy for Freiburg.

Freiburg Münster medieval cathedral

In 1457, Albrecht VI, Regent of Further Austria, established Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, one of Germany's oldest universities. In 1498, Emperor Maximilian I held Reichstag in Freiburg. In 1520, the city ratified a set of legal reforms, widely considered the most progressive of the time. The aim was to find a balance between city traditions and old Roman Law. The reforms were well received, especially the sections dealing with civil process law, punishment and the city's constitution.

In 1520, Freiburg decided not to take part in the Reformation and became an important center for Catholicism on the Upper Rhine. In 1536, a strong and persistent belief in witchcraft led to the city's first witch-hunt. The need to find a scapegoat for calamities such as the Black Plague, which claimed 2,000 area residents (25% of the city population) in 1564, led to an escalation in witch-hunting that reached its peak in 1599. A plaque on the old city wall marks the spot where burnings were carried out.

The 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries were turbulent times for Freiburg. Through battles in the Thirty Years' War (at the beginning of this war there were 10,000-14,000 citizens in Freiburg; by its end only 2,000) and other conflicts, the city belonged at various times to the Austrians, the French, the Swedish, the Spanish, and various members of the German Confederacy. In the period between 1648 and 1805, it was the administrative headquarters of Further Austria, the Habsburg territories in the southwest of Germany, when the city was not under French occupation. In 1805, the city, together with the Breisgau and Ortenau areas, became part of Baden.

In 1827, when the Archdiocese of Freiburg was founded, Freiburg became the seat of a Catholic archbishop.

In 1889, the entire city had to be evacuated when the noxious compound thioacetone (C3H6S ) was produced in a laboratory and released into the air.

The Martinstor, one of the original city gates in Freiburg

On October 22, 1940, the Nazi Gauleiter of Baden ordered the deportation of all Baden's Jews, and 350 Jewish citizens of Freiburg were deported[6] to the southern French internment camp of Camp Gurs in the Basses-Pyrénées. They remained there under poor conditions until the majority of the survivors were sent to their deaths at Auschwitz on July 18, 1942. The cemetery for German Jews who died at Camp Gurs is maintained by the town of Freiburg and other cities of Baden. A memorial stands outside the modern synagogue in the town center. The pavements of Freiburg carry memorials to individual victims in form of brass plates outside former residences, including that of Edith Stein.

Freiburg was heavily bombed during World War II. First, in May 1940, Luftwaffe airplanes mistakenly dropped approximately 60 bombs on Freiburg near the train station, killing fifty-seven.[7] Later on, a raid by more than 300 bombers of the RAF Bomber Command on 27 November 1944 destroyed a large portion of the city center, with the notable exception of the Münster, which was only lightly damaged. After the war, the city was rebuilt on its medieval plan. It became for a short time the site of government for the German state Badenia, which was merged into Baden-Württemberg in 1952. It was occupied by the French Army in 1945, and Freiburg was soon alloted to the French Zone of Occupation. The French Army maintained a presence in Freiburg until 1991, when the last French Army division left the city, and left Germany.

On the site of the former French Army base, a new neighborhood for 5,000 people, Vauban, was begun in the late 1990s as a "sustainable model district". Solar power is used to power many of the households in this small community.


Because of its scenic beauty, relatively warm and sunny climate and easy access to the Black Forest, Freiburg is a hub for regional tourism. The longest cable car run in Germany, which is 3.6 km, or about 2.25 miles (3.62 km) long runs from Günterstal up to a nearby mountain called Schauinsland. The city has an unusual system of gutters (called Bächle) that run throughout its centre. These Bächle, once used to provide water to fight fires and feed livestock, are constantly flowing with water diverted from the Dreisam. These Bächle were never used for sewage, as such usage could lead to harsh penalties, even in the Middle Ages. During the summer, the running water provides natural cooling of the air, and offers a pleasant, gurgling sound. It is said that if you fall or step accidentally into a Bächle, you will marry a Freiburger, or 'Bobbele'.


The Augustinerplatz is one of the central squares in the old city. Formerly the location of an Augustine monastery which became the Augustinermuseum in 1921, it is now a popular social space for Freiburg's younger residents. It has a number of restaurants and bars, including the local brewery 'Feierling', which has a Biergarten. On warm summer nights, hundreds of students gather here.

The Historical Merchants Hall of 1520-21.

At the centre of the old city is the Münsterplatz or Cathedral Square, Freiburg's largest square. A farmers' market takes place here every day except Sundays. This is the site of Freiburg's Münster, a gothic minster cathedral constructed of red sandstone, built between 1200 and 1530. The Freiburg Münster is noted for its towering spire.

The Historisches Kaufhaus, or Historical Merchants Hall, is a Late Gothic building on the south side of Freiburg's Münsterplatz. Constructed between 1520 and 1530, it was once the center of the financial life of the region. Its façade is decorated with statues and the coat of arms of four Hapsburg emperors.

The Altes Rathaus, or old city hall, was completed in 1559 and has a painted façade.

The Platz der alten Synagoge "Old Synagogue Square" is one of the more important squares on the outskirts of the historic old city. The square was the location of a synagogue until it was destroyed on the Night of Broken Glass in 1938.

Saint George is the Patron Saint of Freiburg.

Zum Roten Bären, the oldest hotel in Germany, is located along Oberlinden near the Schwabian Gate.


Freiburg is bordered by the Black Forest mountains Rosskopf and Bromberg to the east, Schönberg and Tuniberg to the south, with the Kaiserstuhl hill region to the west.


Dieter Salomon, mayor of Freiburg

Freiburg is known as an "eco-city". In recent years it has attracted the Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz, solar industries and research; the Greens have a stronghold here (the strongest in any major German city; up to 25% of the overall city vote, in some neighbourhoods reaching 40% or more in the 2002 national elections). The newly built neighbourhoods of Vauban and Rieselfeld were developed and built according to the idea of sustainability. The citizens of Freiburg are known in Germany for their love of cycling and recycling.[8]

The Oberbürgermeister, Dr. Dieter Salomon, (elected in as of 2002), is the only member of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen who holds such an office in a city with more than 100,000 inhabitants. However, his deputy, Otto Neideck, is a member of the conservative party, the CDU.

In June 1992, the Freiburg city council adopted a resolution that it would only permit construction of "low-energy buildings" on municipal land, and all new buildings must comply with certain "low energy" specifications. Low energy housing uses solar power passively as well as actively. In addition to solar panels and collectors on the roof, providing electricity and hot water, many passive features use the sun’s energy to regulate the temperature of the rooms.[8]

Freiburg is host of a number of international organisations, in particular ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, ISES - International Solar Energy Society, and City Mayors.

The composition of Freiburg city council is as follows:

Party Seats
Alliance '90/The Greens 12
Christian Democratic Union 10
Social Democratic Party 9
Free Democratic Party 4
Left List / Solidarity City 4
Free Voters 3
Culture List 2
Green Alternative Freiburg 2
Young Freiburg 2
Independent Women 1

See also: List of mayors of Freiburg


Freiburg is a center of academia and research with numerous intellectual figures and Nobel laureates having lived, worked, and taught there.

The city houses one of the oldest and most renowned German universities, the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, as well as its medical center. Home to some of the greatest minds of the the West, including such eminent figures as Johann Eck, Max Weber, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, and Friedrich Hayek, it is one of Europe's top research and teaching institutions..

Freiburg also plays host to various other educational and research institutes, such as the Freiburg University of Education, the Protestant University for Applied Sciences Freiburg, Freiburg Music University, the Catholic University of Applied Sciences Freiburg, the International University of Cooperative Education IUCE, three Max Planck institutes, and five Fraunhofer institutes.


Freiburg VAG tram

Freiburg has an extensive pedestrian zone in the city centre where no automobiles are allowed. Freiburg also has an excellent public transit system, operated by the city-owned VAG Freiburg. This is anchored by a continually expanding web of tram routes, together with feeder buses.

Freiburg is on the main Frankfurt am Main - Basel railway line with frequent and fast long-distance train services from the Freiburg Hauptbahnhof to major German and other European cities. Other train lines run east into the Black Forest and west to Breisach.

The city is also served by the A5 Frankfurt am Main - Basel motorway.

Freiburg is served by EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, located in France, close to the borders of both Germany and Switzerland. This is now a base for the low-cost carrier EasyJet. The airport Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (Baden Airpark) is situated approximately 120 km north of Freiburg and is served by the low-cost carrier Ryanair, among others.


Freiburg is home to football team SC Freiburg that plays at the Badenova-Stadion. In the 2009–2010 season, the team will compete in the Fußball-Bundesliga. Freiburger FC is a football club that had early success in the 20th century, but that now competes in lower divisions.

Freiburg also has the EHC Freiburg Ice hockey team, that plays at the Franz-Siegel Halle, and the RC Freiburg Rugby union team, that competes in the Regionalliga Baden Wurttemberg.[9]

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Freiburg has several sister cities throughout the world:

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's controversial comments, which included questioning the dimension of the Holocaust, have sparked discussions concerning Freiburg's partnership with Isfahan. Immediately following the comments, Freiburg's mayor Salomon postponed a trip to Isfahan, but most people involved, especially those in the Alliance '90/The Greens party, were opposed to cancelling the partnership.[10]

Points of interest

Notable residents



  1. ^ Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg. "Population data". 
  2. ^, German Agricultural Society: Baden (read on January 1, 2008).[1]
  3. ^ a b c "Stadt Freiburg im Breisgau: History". (Stadt Freiburg im Breisgau). Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  4. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition (2000)
  5. ^ German Wikipedia reference to the establishment of the title of Count of Freiburg
  6. ^ Spector, Shmuel and Wigoder, Geoffrey, The Encyclopedia of Jewish life Before and During the Holocaust, New York University Press 2001. See Die Synagoge in Freiburg im Breisgau.
  7. ^ Robinson, Derek (2005). Invasion 1940. London: Constable & Robinson. pp. 31–32. ISBN 1-84529-151-4. 
  8. ^ a b Is this the greenest city in the world?
  9. ^
  10. ^

Further reading

  • Käflein, Achim (photographs); Huber, Alexander (German text); Freund, BethAnne (English translation) (2008), Freiburg,, pp. 168, ISBN 978-3940788016 }

External links

Related information

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Freiburg article)

From Wikitravel

Freiburg im Breisgau [1] is known as the "Jewel of the Black Forest". By German standards, it is a major city in southwest Germany, situated on the edge of the Black Forest. When ordering train tickets and similar items online, be careful not to confuse Freiburg (im Breisgau) with Fribourg in Switzerland.


Lying in a secluded wine-rich corner of Baden-Württemberg state in Germany, Freiburg is a laid-back, beautiful university city. Known throughout Germany for Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, good weather, and vineyards, Freiburg is considered by Germans to be a desirable place to live.

Due to its secluded location in the "Dreiländereck" (Three-country corner) and being fairly removed from any other larger German cities, locals will frequently go shopping in France and Switzerland for their respective native products and go to museums and theaters in Basel or Zürich. One can find a strong local patriotism, which shows itself in the anthem of Baden (the former independent state), which can be heard more often than the national anthem.

Although Freiburg is not itself a major tourist destination or a large city, it can serve as a relatively inexpensive base from which to explore much of central Europe. Thanks to its excellent connections via rail and road to the outside world, Freiburg can easily allow to travel to all of Switzerland, Germany, Austria, the Low Countries, and France with little trouble and at good prices. If you plan on an extended stay or travel to these destinations, it can be a welcoming base to return to after each segment of your journey, with more than enough to entertain you for a few days while you stay in Freiburg.

Get in

By plane

Most visitors to Freiburg will arrive via Frankfurt Airport or Zurich Airport, both about a 2 hour train ride away with direct connections. InterCity Express or ICE trains leave in the direction of Freiburg almost every hour from the Fernbahnhof in Frankfurt Airport. Just follow the signs once you arrive and buy your ticket at the Deutsche Bahn Reisezentrum (DB Travel Center). Most trains travel directly through Freiburg, although a few require a train change in Mannheim. Booking ahead online can shave the train ticket from Frankfurt Airport to 29€ on the special-fare, which requires use of the selected train. If your plane is late, you will have to buy a new ticket. A standard ticket from the DB office at the Fernbahnhof to Freiburg is 61€.

The closest airport with a good selection of international destinations, though much less frequent than Frankfurt or Zürich, is the "Euroairport", Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg. Buses run frequently from the airport to Freiburg; see the schedule here. The airport Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden is the closest airport to Freiburg, and has some international flights to various cities through RyanAir and airberlin and a few other discount airlines. It is a short 40 minute train ride to the north of the city, but you will have to connect by bus at the train station, which will add extra time to your journey. You will need to plan ahead to make the trip easier, and Deutsche Bahn's website can give you approximate connection times with bus services. Another possible airport is Stuttgart, which has less convenient train connections but is much closer than Frankfurt.

By train

The Freiburg Hauptbahnhof is situated close to the inner city. Frequent connections run to the north towards Frankfurt and south to Basel, with fast ICE trains leaving in each direction each hour. Again, planning ahead can get cheap fares of 29€ each way. From the Hauptbahnhof, you have direct access to the Strassenbahn (S-Bahn) which runs directly overhead the main station and offers an easy route into the city. The Hauptbahnhof is also within easy walking distance of the inner city and several good hotels. Main direct destinations include:

Local and regional trains can be good for day trips or for traveling to nearby cities. In the main station ask for the Ländertickets or the Regio-tickets. Such tickets can be used by a group of up to 5 persons in the RB and RE trains as well as for local transport. They are a much cheaper alternative for a group of travelers going to cities nearby or going for a day trip.

By car

Freiburg is connected to the German highway system via the A5, running along the Rhine Valley from south to north, starting at the Swiss border. It also is accessible through the Black Forest via the B31 (Ost). To France it takes about 30 minutes by car. To Switzerland it is about 40 minutes. Heidelberg is a 1.5 hour car ride to the north, using the A5. Lake Constance is reachable in two hours via the B31.

By Hitchhiking

It's not recommended, if you are coming from north to get off at "Schauninsland" petrol station. But if you get stuck there you can walk in the next village (Hochdorf) and take the bus 25 or 36 to Freiburg will take about 40 min to center. Try to find someone in Mahlberg, Baden Baden or Bruchsal who is going straight there. The motorway doesn't go directly through the city so driver are unlikely to go 15 km extra just to drop you off in the city if they want to continue their trip. If you are coming from the south you can get off at the "Breisgau" service station. There shouldn't be a problem with finding someone who is going into town.

Another, though not the best solution, is to get off at exit 61 "Freiburg Nord" on the A5. The driver can make U-Turn and get back on the motorway (well, if it's not a truck). There's no really much room to stop, so you'll have to ask people stopping on the red light, most of them will be going to the city. Better don't go there if you're not alone, as you'll have to hop in very quickly.

Get around

The best way to get around Freiburg is by use of public transit and walking. Freiburg has an excellent, but slightly expensive, bus and tram (Strassenbahn) system.

The public transportation network is operated by several companies, but ticketing is unified among the local RVF transportation association. Tickets can be used on all buses, trams & local trains in the area. The RVF area is divided into three zones on which the ticket price depends. A single ride is 2€ for Zone A (Freiburg city area), 3.40€ for Zone A/B and 4.80€ for Zones A, B, and C. You can buy a pack of 8 tickets for 15€ valid within Zone A from the VAG Pluspunkt shop, located near the Martinstor downtown. In the shop you can also pick up tickets using a point system; 20 points costs 12.50€ and in each direction you will use 3 points in Zone A, 5 points if you cross into Zone B, and 7 points if you cross into Zone C. You will most likely only use the tram and bus systems in Zone A for the majority of your stay. If you come for a short stay or a weekend, buy a Regio 24 which will give you 24-hour unlimited travel within Zone A for one person for 5€ and up to five people for 8.50€. The Regio 24 is also available for 2 or 3 zones. These cards will allow you to use all of the public transport within Freiburg, and also take the DB Regio trains that service the greater region free charge. Timetables and tickets can be found on the VAG Freiburg website [2].

Biking is another convenient way of getting around, and Freiburg's sidewalks and streets have dedicated bike lanes. Many of Freiburg's citizens use their bikes and you can easily get a real feel for the city this way. Bikes can be rented at various shops, the most convenient for tourists being the Mobile at the main railway station (Hauptbahnhof).

Most of Freiburg's important sights are situated close to each other in the inner city. You can cross the inner city by walking in about 10-15 minutes or by riding the tram. Although passengers are rarely controlled, riding without a valid ticket (Schwarzfahren or "Black riding") incurs a 40€ fine! Passengers without tickets have been witnessed being forcibly restrained and removed from the train. The same applies for regional trains, which are controlled about 25% of the time. Those repeatedly caught without a valid ticket can face court orders, as it is considered a criminal offence.

If you have rented a car or drive to Freiburg, you will be able to quickly access most areas with your car. Be aware that parking is relatively expensive but there are many garages available where you can park and then walk to nearby destinations. Like most European cities, use of automobiles is limited in some parts of the inner city, and bike riders must walk their bikes.

  • Münster cathedral is Freiburg's biggest sight in the city, one of the oldest and most beautiful in all of Europe. The gargoyles are not to be missed - be sure to study every corner of the Munster. Make the effort to climb the to the top of the tower for the fabulous views (1.50€). Every day in the morning until 1 pm Mon-Fri and 1:30 pm Saturday, there is a market on the square surrounding the church. Visit on Saturday morning, as it then will be the biggest and nicest. Vendors are pleasant and sell local produce and goods. Buy a Bratwurst mit Brötchen (Bratwurst in a bun) or Currywurst for around 2€. It will be an inexpensive, authentic, and delicious lunch or snack.
  • Bächle are small canals with crisscross the streets of the inner city. These canals were once meant as a way to fight fires in medieval Freiburg. The locals say that if you accidentally fall or step into one, you will marry a Freiburger.
  • Schwabentor. One of two remaining old city gates.
  • Martinstor. The other old city gate, which is well known locally for the McDonald's next door which has placed its logo on the gate.
  • Altes Kaufhaus, located on the square surrounding the Muenster.
  • Rathäuser. The historic and current city halls are about a five minute walk from the Münster.
  • Seepark. A man-made lake and a popular escape from the urban housing estate of Betzenhausen. Complete with beer garden and a restaurant, Seepark is popular with families and those planning a walk around the stunning green-belt area.
  • Hike up the Schlossberg to get to the tower on top of it. Takes about 15 minutes from the old city and offers you an amazing view of the Black Forest, Freiburg, the Kaiserstuhl and the Voges mountain range in France.
  • Take the Tram 2 then bus 21 to the Schauinsland cable car. At the top, great views as far as the Swiss Alps. Warning - doesn't run in bad weather.


The University of Freiburg is one of the most famous German universities. Founded in 1457, the university is considered to be one of the best in Germany and Europe. It attracts 22,000 students to Freiburg, giving it the flair of a student town. This is a prime destination to go study in Germany as an exchange student or for language classes. Additionally there are several smaller universities which contribute to the student image of the city. The biggest of these is the Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg, located in Littenweiler to the east of the city.

  • As in most other German cities, the inner city is the place to go shopping. There you will find everything from H&M to shops selling Armani.
  • Several large department stores exist on Kaiser-Joseph Strasse and smaller independent shops and stalls in the many back-streets and alleyways. Outside of the city centre one can find several large supermarkets, such as Real, E-Center and Kaufland.
  • Freiburg is known throughout Germany for its fascination with all that is esoteric, from alternative complimentary medicines to jewelery made from semi-precious stones. The famous 'Kartoffelmarkt' (potato market), situated close to the 'Stadttheater' (city theatre) boasts a large collection of stalls selling alternative clothing, jewelery and accessories every weekday morning.
  • Due to the large city centre-based university, many large bookstores can also be found in the heart of Freiburg, selling both new books and second-hand.
  • The large Farmer's market in the 'Münsterplatz' (Minster square) at the foot of the 'Münster' (Minster cathedral) is where Freiburgers buy their locally produced flowers, fruit and vegetables as well as enjoy a traditional 'wurst' (German sausage) as a snack. Every weekday (until early afternoon) and Saturday morning, the Münsterplatz is a bustling market of commerce. One cannot experience Freiburg truly without a visit to the 'Münstermarkt'.
  • Grocery stores: Migros, located in the basement of Karstadt on the north side of Kaiser-Josef-Straße, has the best fresh selection of all grocery stores in Freiburg. Penny Markt, located near the University, and Aldi (if you don't mind buying most things in large quantities), in Schwarzwald City, are among the cheapest. Kaufland to the north of the city on Waldkircher Strasse has an impressive range. Treff discount supermarkets are also excellent for the budget conscious.
  • Shopping malls: Schwarzwald City is located in the north part of the inner city.
  • Three Italian restaurants situated just outside the inner city have acceptable Pizza for 2 euros up. They are called Firenze, Milano and Bella Italia. The once famous Laubfrosch changed its strategy and now is more exclusive.
  • For fast food, check out the area around the Martinstor (sometimes known as McDonald's-Tor because of the McDonald's sign defacing the historic landmark). In that area, you will also find many other fast food places, ranging from Chinese to Turkish, as well as some cafés.
  • A very interesting and cheap place to eat is the Markthalle also close to the Martinstor. During the day, various small stores from all around the world offer cheap but good dishes. Check out the Indian place. It has good curries.
  • The Brennessel[3], Atlantik[4] and Walfisch[5] are places where you can eat a lot for a very cheap price. The Brennessel features a daily spaghetti special from 18-19h30 (€1.50 a plate).
  • The Afghan Ecke is a very popular place with locals in Freiburg, located at Siegesdenkmal.
  • Euphrat located near the university has the best Turkish (Döner) in town, and an excellent vegetarian selection.
  • Tacheles (Grünwaldstrasse, Tel 0761 3196669) claims to have 300 varieties of schnitzels, which each come with a small salad and choice of side dishes.
  • Kartoffelhaus(Basler Straße 10,79100 Freiburg Tlf: 0 76 17 20 01) is a charming, cosy restaurant whose specialty is the potato... imagine it in many wholesome yet creative forms; they are all good. There's a particularly wonderful ambience in winter when it's freezing outside. Prices are fair and service is excellent. Open daily 11:30 - midnight.


The Greifenegg Schlössle is one of the top culinary destinations in Freiburg. Situated next to the Kastaniengarten, it offers an excellent view over the city to accompany dinner. Other very good restaurants are: Wolfshöhle, Villa Thai (Thai food) and the restaurant in the Colombi Hotel.

  • The Kastaniengarten (beer garden) lies perched on the slope of the Schlossberg, overlooking both the city and the valley leading into the Black Forest. On nice summer days, this is the best location to relax over a cool beer, and enjoying the views of the Munster, the old city gates and the inner city. Additionally, in good weather conditions you can see as far as the Vogesen, named after the mountain range in France. To get there, head to the Schwabentor, one of the old city gates, then cross the bridge on its left and head up the mountain a bit.
  • The Grace, Maria and the Wiener are stylish bars in the city center.
  • The Feierling brewery in the heart of the Altstadt close to the Augustiner Kloster has excellent selfmade beer and is famous for it among the locals. In summer it also has an enjoyable beer garden outside. However, for the experience of the beer garden, go to the Kastaniengarten. For good beer, Feierling is the best option.
  • Drifters is a nice location for House music. It is situated in the same building as the club Cräsh [6], a hang out for alternative people, which turned from a more punk into a metal place.
  • Waldsee is a nice location a bit out of the way. It features "Rootdown" once a month and "Montage", both nice clubs for electronic music. It is excellent during the summer months, as the location offers open space next to a lake. Wonderful menu for warm snacks too.
  • Jazzhaus [7] is one of Freiburg's most popular spots, featuring the best in live music, both international and local. There is something to suit everyone, from classical to reggae to cabaret. The regular theme nights are also a hit: "Funky Dance Night" and "Sister Zone" (women only) are favourites, not to mention the 60s, 80s and 90s nights.
  • The Strandcafe is a cafe run by a female-collective. Thursday night there is a bar and From Monday till Thursday its open from 10 am till 6 pm. On Friday and saturday it s open around 2 pm and Sunday it s closed. It's located in the "Grether"-Area[8], an alternative living-and working project close to the inner city. Its much cheaper then other bars in Freiburg. Very calm.
  • The StuSie is the Bar of the student village located at tram stop "Am Bischofskreuz". Cheap and good Beer, Cocktails... Shot-night every Wednesday and decent breakfast on Sundays. Many international students.
  • The KTS [9] is an instituted left-wing autonomous center in the south of the city. Many concerts, parties, meetings, political organisations...
  • In the summer check out the Sternwaldwiese, an area in the Wiehre, where many people make campfires and party all night. Bring your own beer and watch your backpack. Another good place to meet local folk is the Augustinerplatz located next to the Feierling-brewery. Bring your own beer or buy it from the pubs around.
  • The Atlantik [10] is a bar everybody should have seen when visiting Freiburg. Food, beer, rock music and people that hang out in this place since 20 years. Located behind the Schwabentor.
  • Another Rock-Bar with fewer students and more carpenters is the Walfisch [11] in the Wiehre.
  • The Mu-dom Bar is a student-run bar in the neighborhood of Stühlinger. Located in the basement of a former hospital, the space once served as a morgue. Cheap prices and international folk. They have started checking IDs at the door, you must be a student with a valid student ID card (ISIC or Albert-Ludwigs Universitaet) to enter.
  • O'Kelly's [12] is the best Irish pub in Freiburg and is actually the first Irish pub to open in Freiburg in 1990. Situated at Milchstraße 1, right behind the Theater Freiburg and the University Library (UB1). O'Kelly's is a cozy, typically Irish pub with low ceilings, a warm atmosphere, and fresh, homemade Irish and German food. Live music can be enjoyed Friday evenings and all major sporting events are shown on the big screens, from Irish TV and German TV. Every Monday night at 9:15 there is the O'Kelly's Pub Quiz, run by Moe, an Irish guy who looks like a younger version of Moe the Bartender from the Simpsons. Teams come back week after week and fight hard to win free booze.
  • El Bolero and Cafehaus both have a lovely and seculded outdoor seating area which is popular in the summer, located just off of Martinstor at the Holzmarkt.
  • Cohibar, located next to the University Library (Stadttheater stop) has the best cocktails in town, with (limited) outdoor seating in the summer.
  • If you're looking for camp grounds, try Hirzberg [13]. The owners are extremely friendly and helpful. They have a good knowledge of things to see in the city and local walks in the Black Forest.
  • We also tried camping Hirzberg. But our experience is bad. The owners were unfriendly, the space was very small and showers were dirty! The toilets also didn't have any toilet paper. So we went to the other camp ground, Camping Moeslepark and spent there 6 days. Much better, very friendly (a young couple running the campground), in the Black Forest and close to the city. [14]
  • If you don't want to stay in the expensive Jugendherberge, there is a cheap and very good alternative, the Black Forest Youth Hostel [15]. You can cook in their kitchen, however they don't provide breakfast. You should also be prepared to pay in cash...
  • Hotel Schemmer, conveniently located just blocks away from the train station, is a clean and very affordable stay. Breakfast included in every room. About a 8 minute walk from the city center.
  • Hofgarten Hotel B&B Freiburg [16] is only 10 minutes by car from the old town and Muenster Cathedral, the city centre, the main station and the pictorial Glottertal. The nearest bus stop is only 50m from the guesthouse. The rooms are tastefully and individually furnished and all of them are equipped with shower/WC, cable-television, wireless-lan and telephone. Some rooms also have a balcony. They offer a delicious breakfast buffet with regional ingredients. You get a nice doubleroom for only 45 Euro/person/night incl. breakfast.

Upper Mid-range

Hotel Rheingold is a four star hotel just opposite the train station. Its tidy rooms are a bit on the worn side but the staff is very helpful and friendly. There's a garage underneath the hotel, where guests get reduced rates. A doubleroom costs 139 Euros a night at peak times, breakfast included.


Hotel Best Western Premier Victoria [17] has been classified as the most ecological hotel in the world. Their electricity is generated from solar panels and from wind turbines, while their heat is from sustainable woodchips furnace. It is a pleasant family-run hotel a stone throw away from the train station. You will pay about 115 Euros a night - not cheap but worth it.


The Colombi Hotel is the most luxurious hotel and only five-star in Freiburg. It is situated on the edge of the town centre and overlooks Colombi Park. It is a short walk from the main railway station and features a renowned restaurant.


Religious services

Holy Mass is said in various Catholic churches in the city center:

  • Münster Unserer Lieben Frau, Münsterplatz (800 m from central station). [18] Sun: 07:00, 08:30, 10:00, 11:45, 20:00; Mon-Sat: 07:00, 08:00, 18:30; Wed, Sat: also 09:00
  • St. Martin, Rathausplatz (600 m from central station). [19] Sat: 18:00; Sun: 07:30, 09:30, 11:15; Tue-Sat: 07:00; Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat: 09:00
  • Herz Jesu, Stühlinger Kirchplatz (back-side of the Omnibusbahnhof). [20] Sat: 19:00; Sun: 09:30 (croat.), 11:00; Tue: 09:45; Fri: 18:30

Tourist Information

  • Freiburg has its very own Tourist Information Office. They can provide maps and hotel booking information.

Opening hours for the Tourist Information office are:

  • June - September (Monday-Friday 10a.m.- 8p.m., Saturday 10a.m.- 5.30p.m., Sunday and Holidays 10a.m.- noon)
  • October - May (Monday-Friday 10a.m.- 6p.m., Saturday 10a.m.- 2.30p.m., Sunday and Holidays 10a.m.- noon)

Stay safe

There is not much to worry about in Freiburg. It probably is one of the safest cities in all of Europe. However, always take the same precautions as you do traveling anywhere else. No need to provoke a pickpocket. However, one should avoid the banks of the Dreisam, especially alone at night. One should also avoid at night the area near the tram stop Runzmattenweg which is between the main street train station and the Bissierstrasse tram stop. It is locally known to be a common spot for muggings of international students.

  • Nice daytrips include:
    • Staufen: With its castle ruin and nice old city, Staufen is a pretty, small German town. Note that the devil took the real-life Faust (known from Goethe's Faust) in one of the local hotels. So watch out for any weird guys with horns. Staufen lies about 30 minutes by car south of Freiburg.
    • Vogtsbauernhof: By car (B33 trunk road from Offenburg in the direction of Villingen-Schwenningen or vice versa) or by rail (the Black-Forest route from Offenburg in the direction of Konstanz or vice versa to Hausach station, then 30 minutes on foot) a beautiful outdoor farm life museum, demonstrating 400 years of Black Forest domestic life.
    • LooserLand Hike in the Kaiserstuhl, it's lovely. Go and check a so called Strausse
    • Colmar: Situated across the border in France, Colmar is a beautiful small city. Many locals from Freiburg like to take visitors there for a quick taste of France, as it is only about 1 hour by car. In the summer, take the back roads for glorious views of sunflower fields.
    • Alsatian villages: gorgeous, unspoilt villages in the Alsatian wine region: Riquewihr, Ribeauville, Haut Königsberg.
    • The Black Forest: Go hiking or skiing or biking. Just go.
    • Titisee, a touristy Black-Forest town, lying in the margins of the lake Titisee.
    • Schluchsee [21], a bigger and less-known lake in the Black Forest. To get there take a Regional Bahn Train from Freiburg Main Station (Hbf) towards Seebrugg. This train travels normally once an hour, and the trip takes around one hour.
    • Take one of the wonderful Black-Forest tracks like Feldberg or Schauinsland. The nearest train station to Feldberg is Hinterzarten. Schauinsland can be reached by local buses travelling from Freiburg in the direction of Günterstal.
    • Take the Aerial tramway of Schauinsland, which travels for 3.6km over the Black Forest, reaching a place with a very nice panorama.
  • There are night trains to Italy and Amsterdam. Main destinations include Florence, Rome, Milano. In Italy you can also get connections to the south of France fairly easily. Within 15 hours you can get from Freiburg to Nice, Monaco or Cannes. However, the fastest way to get to Nice is by airplane. You can get a low-budget flight with easyjet from Basel Airport. Normally, this is even cheaper than travelling by train.
  • Cross the Black Forest and head to Lake Constance. Ride a bike around it.
  • Head to Basel, Berne or Lucerne in Switzerland. From Berne, head on to Interlaken and Brienz. Instead of the train, take the boat across Lake Thun. Same ticket, twice the scenery. Thanks to the new fast train connection between Strasbourg and Paris a trip takes less then 3,5 hours from Freiburg.
  • Go to Heidelberg.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Simple English


Freiburg im Breisgau
Coordinates 47°59′0″N 07°51′0″E / 47.983333°N 7.85°E / 47.983333; 7.85
Country Germany
State Baden-Württemberg
Admin. region Freiburg
District Urban district
City subdivisions 41 districts
Lord Mayor Dieter Salomon (Greens)
Basic statistics
Area 153.07 km2 (59.10 sq mi)
Elevation 278 m  (912 ft)
Population  217,547  (31 December 2006)[1]
 - Density 1,421 /km2 (3,681 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate FR
Postal codes 79098 - 79117
Area codes 0761, 07664, 07665

Freiburg is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Its full name is Freiburg im Breisgau.

Freiburg is on the western edge of the southern Black Forest (German: Schwarzwald).


Twin cities

Freiburg has many twin cities throughout the world:

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's, controversial comments, which included questioning the size of the Holocaust, have sparked questions about Freiburg's partnership with Isfahan. After the comments Freiburg's mayor postponed a trip to Isfahan, but most people involved, especially those in the Alliance '90/The Greens party, were opposed to cancelling the partnership.[2]

Famous residents

  • Friedrich von Hayek, economist
  • Hans F. K. Günther, Nazi eugenicist
  • Dany Heatley, player for the Ottawa Senators NHL team
  • Martin Heidegger, philosopher (originally not from Freiburg, taught in Freiburg)
  • Edmund Husserl, philosopher
  • Boris Kodjoe, model and actor
  • Benjamin Lebert, author and newspaper columnist
  • Joachim Löw, coach of the German national football team.
  • Gerdvic von Holtzapple, Last commander of the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg during World War II
  • Karl Rahner, Catholic theologian
  • Wolfgang Schäuble, Minister of the Interior, 1989 - 1991, in Helmut Kohl and, 2005 - current, Angela Merkel governments.
  • Jürgen Schrempp, former head of DaimlerChrysler
  • Berthold Schwarz, fabled alchemist who supposedly introduced gunpowder to Germany
  • Til Schweiger, actor and director
  • Hermann Staudinger, Nobel Prize in chemistry "for his discoveries in the field of macromolecular chemistry"
  • Edith Stein, Saint of the Roman Catholic Church, martyred by the Nazis, member of the Freiburg faculty; her residence is marked by a plaque.
  • Martin Waldseemüller, the inventor of the name America
  • August Weismann, biologist
  • Bernhard Witkop, organic chemist


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