Hotel-Restaurant Du Musee
Rue Pierre-Aeby 11, Fribourg, 1700, Switzerland
More about Fribourg
Approach to Bern Gate,Fribourg,Switzerland.
Middle bridge,Old Town Fribourg,Switzerland.
Travel Tips for Fribourg
St. Nicholas Story
When December’s night falls, St. Nicholas, the patron saint of Fribourg, rides a donkey through the streets of the Old City leading a procession towards the platform erected under the portico of the cathedral. From the tribune, the student playing the role of the saint addresses the large crowd assembled in the square. This traditional celebration of St. Nicholas Day, which was revived at the beginning of the 20th century, dates back to an ancient custom celebrated in Fribourg in the 18th century - the miracle performed by St. Nicholas. Legend has it that St. Nicholas brought 3 children back to life after they had been cut up by a butcher and put in the salting tub.
This story, which is depicted on the cathedral portico in Fribourg, has established St. Nicholas as the tutelary saint of boys.
The local girls are not particularly concerned - St. Catherine is the guardian angel for girls. St. Catherine’s Day, November 25, used to be celebrated in similar fashion in Fribourg.
The building works on the Cathedral begun at the outset of 13th century and were concluded in 1490. This is the best example of the flamboyant Gothic I saw in Switzerland. It 74-meter tower carries 13 bells, which are the oldest in the country. The main entrance is decorated with finely done statues of the Apostles (unfortunately, they are only copies of the 15th century originals) and with the statue of the patron saint of the Cathedral, St. Nicolas. This latter was done in 17th century.
Other entrances are decorated with St. Nicolas sculptures, Madonna and the Child and some other figures.
Sculpted and Historic Fountains
Although Fribourg is not revered for its beautiful fountains like other cities such as Rome or Paris or even Bern you may be surprised to know that here in Fribourg you’ll find a wide variety of them, many of them created in the 1500’s and all of them designed with wonderful sculpted center pieces set atop artsy columns of stone situated in the center of a large water basin.
If you have picked up the city brochure from the Tourist Information Center you can easily locate them scattered throughout the city center and Old Town areas of the city.
The days that I last visited in July of 2010 were quite warm and the waters of the fountains are cool and refreshing if you want to use them to cool off…I didn’t drink from them but it certainly was tempting.
Many of these wonderful sculptures are the works of a Hans Gieng, a Swiss Renaissance sculptor that is also responsible for many of the fountain sculptures found in the nearby capital city of Bern. He is thought to have originated from Swabia but is recorded as becoming a citizen of Fribourg and a member of the Traders Guild in 1527.
In this era of European history the term Swabia was mean to include geographical areas now known as Baden, the country of Liechtenstein, the modern German speaking areas of Switzerland, and the area now known as Alsace in France.
The light brown stone of the sculptures is likely to have come from the Jura Mountains, not too far away as the crow flies, just a little bit north and west of Fribourg.
Some of my favorites included the “Fountaine de la Vaillance” sculpted between the years 1549 and 1550 and is of a man in amour with a lion at his feet This can be seen next to the Choir of the Cathedral of St.Nicholas.
Another interesting fountain is the “Fountaine de St Jean”, another work belonging to Hans Gieng and located just outside of the compound housing the Headquarters and Church of the Knights St Johns Hospitaller..its the centerpiece of the large square that you’ll find here.
The “Founaine de St Pierre” was sculpted in 1592 by a Stephan Ammann and is located in front of the Civic Hospital. Not to be too irreverent but I LOVE the sparkle or aura that surrounds his head….reminds me of “A GOOD IDEA” kind of symbolism.
The “Fountain of the Samaritan Woman” is another Gieng sculpture and was completed in about 1551…the depiction is of Christ and the Samaritan woman speaking at the well of “Jacob”. This fountain is located in the Old Town on rue de Semaritane.
There are many more available to see, most of them similar in design and all of them wonderful works of art to be seen and appreciated without cost! Take a look for them.
These fountains are certainly a cultural feature of the city that is unique!.
Taste une moitié-moitié
Fribourg is well known and appreciete for its cheese quality as the Gruyère, my favorite since I have teeth ;-), and the Vacherin, for example.
Do not miss the occasion to taste these local delight by eating a Fondue moitié-moitié (half Gruyère-half Vacherin).
Here you will find the secret Swiss recipe to make your own Fondue or just go to a traditional Swiss restaurant...
You need a special pot called a "caquelon" to prepare a fondue. Once the fondue is ready, the caquelon is set up on the table on a small burner. Keep the fondue on a constant heat, but make sure it does not overheat. We use special forks with long handles to dip the bread in the molten cheese.
Ingredients (for 4 cheese amateurs):
* 1 clove of garlic
* 800g of cheese mixture (400g Gruyere and 400g Emmantaler, for the classic “moitie-moitie” (half and half) fondue.) You may also vary the mixture of cheese depending on your taste.
* Dry white wine, such as Fendant du Valais
* Freshly ground pepper
* Flour, maizena or potato starch
* Bicarbonate of soda
* Kirsch Liqueur
* French bread cubes, about 1 inch in size with crust on at least 1 side.
Preparation & Service
1) Rub a clove of garlic against a fondue dish (you can leave the garlic in the fondue dish).
2) Add 4 dl of dry white wine and let it warm at a low temperature. When the wine boils, put 800g of grated cheese and mix it continuously at a medium-high temperature until it reaches boiling point.
3) Let this mixture cook for another minute or two and then add the binding agent (see below).
4) Season with pepper and serve as soon as possible. Be sure that the cheese is kept warm at a low temperature while serving.
To bind the fondue:
1) Mix the following ingredients in a glass: 4 or 5 teaspoons of maizena, potato starch or flour.
2) Add one teaspoon of Kirsch (1 teaspoon = 1 person) and a pinch of bicarbonate of soda.
Once the cheese mixture is finally mixed and melted, pour it slowly into the fondue pot and serve.
Bon appetit !
FREE ART on Display... LOOK Upwards !!
Try to keep in mind if you’re walking about to look upwards…you’re bound to see on the sides of buildings sculptures that have been incorporated into the architecture of the structures.
I noticed three in the short time that I had available to me on my last visit to Fribourg in July of 2010
The first one that I noticed was on a house on the Rue De Semaritaine , you’ll see this in the first photo attached here..
The second is not too far from the Cathedral heading back towards the Train Station area where we had parked, the specific address I can’t tell you…and the third is located on a Government building on Ruelle de Saint Nicholas.
The third photo is of a sculpture found on the corner of a Government building just downt he street from 55 Grands Rue.
Finally the fourth photo is of the façade of a former Patricians house, located at 55 Grands Rue, you can see the Coat of Arms of the de Castella Family that once lived here, a family that has been connected to Fribourg since the mid 1500’s.
So…seems trivial perhaps but if you watch for them you can see some interesting sights if you look for them…often in the places where we’d least expect to see them.
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