The Cathedral closes between noon and 2.00pm
Just a note to say, check the opening times for any of the places you wish to visit, from churches to museums.
This is more important as the season comes to a close, many places do not expect the tourist to visit and so close completely or have very retsricted opening hours.
This was true in my case the Cathedral was closed from Noon to 2.00pm, there was notice outside the main doors, which I cropped off the photos when I edited it.
Fribourg's Neighbourhoods (part II)
The neighbourhood that goes by the name of L'Auge became part of the city and was fortified shortly after the founding of the city; the street called Rue des Forgerons, on the other side of the Sarine River, was taken into the city's defenses only later. As defenses, the Middle Bridge (Pont du Milieu) had a gate and, until 1838, the Bern Bridge had the Muggan ("Mosquito") Tower. The first wall ran between the Bern Bridge and the Augustinian Friary through what later became a row of houses on the west side of the street called Rue d'Or and the second wall ran directly along the river.
In this neighbourhood, you can see some great gothic facades buildings and some beautiful fountain (Samaritaine and Sainte-Anne). But the highlight is probably the Bern Bridge.
Fribourg Walking Tour - Part Three
Return back to the Loyalty Fountain. Rue des Forgerons heads east into the Gottéron gorge, beneath the immensely graceful modern Pont de Gottéron some 60m up. On the south side of the stream, a footpath leads up to the minuscule Chapel de St-Beat hugging the rocky walls of the gorge, but the road itself leads along the northern bank of the stream. If you have enough time than you can follow it into the forest for as long as you like, past old mills and cottages; the romantic riverside trail is well marked and maintained.
Now let’s return back to the Place du Petit-St-Jean. The Pont de Milieu leads southwest to the Planche-Supérieure, below the mighty precipices cut by the Sarine River. A fountain statue of John the Baptist (1547) overlooks the square. Dominating the square is picturesque old granary (1708). Cafés on the square offer incredible panoramas across the valley to the backs of the Grand’Rue mansions. Stepped paths from the square climb south up to the ridge-side Porte de Bourguillon and, beside it on a lofty terrace, the Loretto Chapel, an ornate little building built in 1648 that offers spectacular vistas out over the whole city.
End of Historic Journey, return to Fribourg today.
The funicular journey gets you to the top without effort and when on top allows for a view , indeed a Bird's eye view of where one has just been.
Photo 1 is of the river bottom and is the best Bird's Eye view. It is the section between Middle Bridge and St John's Bridge. In the background are the cliffs I mentioned near the Power Generation Building. Above the cliffs can be seen one of the Towers along the ramparts.
Photo 2 shows the Old Town and Cathedral, but also shows the newer areas of Fribourg with apartment buildings at a level higher than the Old Town.
Photo 3 is of the high level Guteron Bridge, and parts of the Old Town of Fribourg.
Photo 4 is of the Guteron Bridge, the Bern bridge ( the covered bridge at the bottom right hand side) and in the dark area to the left is one of the old Town gates, Guteron Gate.
Photo 5, needs no further introduction.
Lower Town Bridges…Baroque Era Technology....
On your walkabout in the Lower Town you are probably going to cross the river on three separate and distinctly unique bridges, Middle Bridge, the St. Jean Bridge, and the Bern Bridge.
All three traverse the River Saane or Sarine at different places. Two of the bridges, the Middle Bridge and the St Jean Bridge are presently constructed of stone, and the third; the Bern Bridge is constructed of wood. Its is thought that the St. Jean Bridge and the Middle Bridge at one time were also constructed of wood and both are thought to have been covered as well. When they were re-constructed in the 1700’s the design was modified and they were both rebuilt using stone.
The Bern Bridge is the most appealing and photogenic, likely because of the wooden construction, and also as it is a covered bridge, similar in design to what we see here in Canada in some places, I think this is my favorite “style” of bridge found here.
This “incarnation” of the Bern Bridge that you see here today is a design that originates from the Baroque era, a truss and heavy wooden beam construction, named the Bern Bridge simply because it was a component of the roadway or track that lead out of the city, through the Bern Gate and onwards to the city of Bern.
It’s the only covered bridge that exists today still in Fribourg, and as I’ve mentioned previously all of the bridges that crossed the River Saane or Sarine were probably covered and likely fortified along both sides. In this modern era during the summer months, the Bern Bridge is decorated with…you guessed it…geraniums; the contrast with the aging wood is always an appealing look.
There is speculation that the first Bern Bridge to exist here at this location was likely not built until about 1253, probably a delayed construction beyond the original settlement date because in this era most bridges were a technological challenge and very expensive to build.
Since then the bridge has undergone a few documented refits and renovations and what stands before you today is from a reconstruction carried out in 1853.
In the first photo attached here you can see the pilings in the center of the bridge, this dates from a reconstruction carried out in the 1600’s comprised of a type of rock, Tufa, found nearby in a river side deposit., Tufa is a type of Limestone which is relatively soft and porous.
Take a close look at the Bern Bridge; I think you’ll appreciate the craftsmanship that’s required to build such a fine structure as this is. No matter how many times I venture into the Lower town I always end up here to enjoy this setting.