Freiburg im Breisgau Tourist Attractions
Situation and characteristicsFreiburg im Breisgau, a commercial and administrative center, as well as an episcopal and university city, lies between the Kaiserstuhl and the Black Forest at the point where the river Dreisam enters the Upper Rhine plain. It is the gateway to the southern Black Forest. The 1,284 m/4,213ft high Schauinsland, Freiburg im Breisgau's own domestic mountain, lies within the city boundaries, and only a few kilometers away is the wild and romantic Höllental ("Hell Valley"). The little streams (bächle) which provided water supply and drainage in the medieval town still flow through the streets of the old town, and in the paving of many streets there are decorative mosaics of river pebbles.
The main axis of Freiburg im Breisgau, rebuilt after heavy destruction in the Second World War, is Kaiser-Joseph-Strasse (pedestrian zone), which divides the old town into an eastern half, with the Minster, and a western half with the Town Hall and the University. On the south side stands the old Martinstor (St Martin's Gate).
The Freiburg im Breisgau Minster (13th-16th C.) is one of the great masterpieces of Gothic architecture in Germany. It has a beautiful interior, with many works of art: 14th C. stained glass in the aisles; on the high altar a famous altarpiece (1512-16) by Hans Baldung Grien, his finest work; an altarpiece in the University Chapel by Hans Holbein the Younger (c. 1521). From the platform of the delicately articulated tower (ca. 1320-30; 116 m/381ft high) there are magnificent views.
In the Münsterplatz in Freiburg im Breisgau a number of fine old buildings have been preserved. On the south side (No. 10) is the red Merchants' Hall (Kaufhaus; 1532), with arcading and stepped gables, flanked by oriel windows with pointed roofs. At No. 30 is the Wenzingerhaus (rebuilt 1761), and on the north side is the 15th C. Kornhaus, rebuilt in 1969-71.
In Salzstrasse in Freiburg im Breisgau, occupying an old house of Augustinian Hermits, is the Augustinian Museum, with the artistic and historical collections of the city and the Upper Rhine region (including Matthias Grünewald's "Miracle of the Snow", stained glass and sculpture from the Minster, pictures by Baden painters and glassware).
At the end of Salzstrasse in Freiburg im Breisgau rises the 13th C. Schwabentor (wall paintings and dioramas with tin figures).
Natural History Museum
West of Freiburg im Breisgau's Schwabentor, in the Gerberau, is the Adelshauser Kloster, an old convent now occupied by the Natural History Museum, with departments of geology (precious stones, with demonstrations of fluorescence), botany and zoology (native fauna, beekeeping). Here too is the Museum of Ethnography (Museum für Völkerkunde; East Asia, Egypt, Africa, North American Indians, Australia, South Seas).
In the western part of Freiburg im Breisgau's old town lies Rathausplatz, with a statue of Berthold Schwarz, a Franciscan friar who is said to have invented gunpowder in 1359.On the west side of the square can be seen the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus; carillon at noon) and the Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus; 16th C.). On the north side is the Gothic St Martin's Church, with a beautifully restored interior and cloister.
House of the Whale
In Freiburg im Breisgau's Franziskanerstrasse is the Haus zum Walfisch, a Late Gothic burgher's house with a beautiful oriel window, said to have been built in 1516 as a residence for Emperor Maximilian in his old age.
In Bertholdstrasse in Freiburg im Breisgau are the Old University (Alte) and the University Church (17th C.; restored). Farther west, on the Ring, are the Municipal Theater (Stadttheater; 1910; exterior rebuilt 1963), the new University Library and the University, with buildings of various periods ranged round a courtyard. To the south, on an old bastion, is the Mensa (students' refectory; 1963).
On the Schlossberg (460 m/1,510ft; cableway and lift) above Freiburg im Breisgau, once crowned by the stronghold of the Dukes of Zähringen, are the remains of three old castles and a column in honor of Bismarck. From the Kanonenplatz (on an old bastion) there is a fine view of the city and the Minster.
Freiburg-Donauschlingen - Scenic Rail Trip
This scenic rail route runs through the heart of the Black Forest and features beautiful mountain scenery.
21km/13mi south rises Freiburg im Breisgau's own mountain, Schauinsland (1,284 m/4,213ft). There is a cableway to the summit at Horben. The road up the hill was formerly a well-known car-racing track.
Northwest of Freiburg im Breisgau, rising directly out of the Rhine plain, is the Kaiserstuhl (557 m/1,828ft), a hill of volcanic origin. It is worth a visit for the sake of the scenery, the rich flora and fauna.
Southwest of the Kaiserstuhl, on a steep-sided crag above the Rhine, lies the little town of Breisach. The 14th C. Minster (St Stephan) has an imposing high altar of 1526 and a magnificent wall painting by Martin Schongauer, who died in Breisach in 1491.
Map of Freiburg im Breisgau Attractions