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Favorite thing: I don’t how to classify a tip about the weather, but as we were leaving Freiburg, it began to snow. I was a bit nervous and kept my eye on the temperature as we drove. It never got more than a degree below freezing, and it was October so the ground and highway had not yet taken on winter’s cold. As it turned out, we had a marvelous drive through the mountains of the Black Forest in the snow. Just cold enough for the snow to fall and stick onto the ground, trees and houses, but not cold enough for the road conditions to be hazardous. My wife observed that it was like driving through Christmas picture postcards. I suppose the caution here would be that it can indeed snow as early as October, although I understand that is earlier than the norm.
Written Apr 14, 2013
Fondest memory: Kaiser-Joseph Street is the central shopping street here.
We began our acquaintance of the city with this street.
The city has a special layout with two main streets connecting the town gates and intersecting at a right angle in the middle.
The streets form a pedestrian presinct in the heart of the city.
Updated Jul 11, 2011
Favorite thing: This looks at first glance like a perfectly normal yellow road sign, such as you might find on any regional highway in Germany. But wait! These signs don't normally point to places over a thousand kilometers away. And who ever heard of a place called Gurs, anyhow?
Gurs is a city in the southwest corner of France. It was the site of a concentration camp that was used by the Nazi collaborators of the Vichy government to intern Jews and other people considered undesirable by the Nazis.
Within a few hours on October 22, 1940, the Nazis rounded up 6504 Jewish men, women and children from the regions of Baden and the Pfalz, including some 300 Jewish citizens of Freiburg, and deported them to Gurs. Many died there of hunger or illness, and in 1942 the rest were sent east to Auschwitz or Maidanek, where they were murdered.
On the 60th anniversary of the deportation, in October 2000, Freiburg citizens erected a plaque explaining what had happened. The text on the plaque concludes: "Too many people looked away back then, too few resisted. This must not and will not happen again."
Update: There is now a similar yellow sign in front of the main railroad station in Mannheim, but with a different number: "Gurs 1170 km".
Second photo: Square of the Old Synagogue. This is where the main Freiburg Synagogue used to be, until it was destroyed by the Nazis in 1938.
Updated May 22, 2008
Favorite thing: "If one person dies, it's a tragedy. If a million people die, it's a statistic." This cynical statement was attributed to the late Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin (1879-1953). It was quoted to me by a Russian orchestra conductor who spent his childhood in Moscow under Stalin's rule.
Like many other German cities, Freiburg is trying translate the statistic of six million Jews murdered by the Nazis back into the tragedy of individual people dragged from their homes and put to death. They do this by setting little squares of metal into the street or sidewalk in front of the houses where the people used to live. The two in the photo are embedded in the street in front of my hotel in the Rathausgasse in Freiburg. The one on the left reads:
and the one on the right:
Murdered 1942 in
These little squares of metal are known as "stumbling blocks" (Stolpersteine), but you can stumble over them only in a figurative sense, meaning you are made aware that these two murdered people used to live right here, so they aren't just statistics, but real people.
The "stumbling blocks" are an initiative of the artist Gunter Demnig, born 1947 in Berlin.
Updated Apr 13, 2007
Favorite thing: Tourist Office
- Tel.: +49 (0)761 3881-880
- Fax: +49 (0)761 37003
- www.freiburg.de (different languages)
- www.alemania-turismo.com/pages_ms/freiburg_esp.htm (spanish)
- E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Written Oct 7, 2005
Favorite thing: You really must explore the Black Forest surrounding Freiburg. Shown here is the part of the forest right next to Triberg Waterfalls.
See more in my black forest travelogue.
Updated Aug 20, 2005
Favorite thing: For all those who are interested in culture, museums, art collections the regional museums pass (Oberrheinischer Museumspass) is a great deal.
The Museums Pass covers more than 150 museums in the region, including Germany, France and Switzerland and such famous museums like the Art Museum in Basel and the Unterlinden museum in Colmar.
In Freiburg it covers e.g. the Augustinermuseum.
I purchased the short-time version, valid four days within one month. It costs 25 Euro.
www.museumspass.com (in German and French only)
Tel. CH: 061-205 00 40
Tel. D: 0761-707 83 82
Tel. F: 03 89 33 96 29
Written Jul 24, 2004
Favorite thing: Freiburg's old town was destroyed in WWII in large parts. Although it has been restored mostly in historical style you will not find an unspoilt ensemble anymore.
It is, however, still charming. Narrow cobbled alleys and especially the Baechle are picturesque and provide an atmosphere of the past.
Fondest memory: My favourite walk was early in the morning. I started about 7.30 on a Monday morning when the town was seemingly sleeping. Later, especially in the afternoon, the streets became more and more filled with crowds.
Written Jul 24, 2004
Favorite thing: One thing you will notice in Freiburg are the tiny canals on the streets called "Baechle". They are the remains of the medieval canals for the water supply of the people who lived and worked in the old town.
There is a saying in Freiburg that these foreign singles who step in the "Baechle" will marry a local soon ... so be careful (or not :-))!
Written Jul 24, 2004
Favorite thing: My favorite place in Freiburg is the Biergarten on top of the Schlossberg (castle hill). Next to the Schwabentor, there's a charming wooden pedestrian bridge leading over to the hill side. Just follow the small path up the mountain, or take the elevator at the end of the "cave tunnel", up to the Greiffenegg Schlössle restaurant, where you exit through the hallway of the restaurant. (Of course it's also possible to stay and have some drinks at the restaurant, but in the summer, it's definitely nicer to sit outside in the Biergarten). Order your drinks at the bar (when the weather is nice, it's usually crowded and it takes quite long until the waiter gets to you), and try to get a table at the very edge. From there you'll have beautiful panorama views of the part of town called 'Die Wiehre', and in the horizon the Black Forest. On the steep hillside, you'll also notice that they're growing wine.
For even better views of Freiburg and surroundings; pass the Biergarten and continue the path up until you reach the view platform.
Visit the restaurant's homepage to get an impression of the Schlossberg! http://www.greiffenegg.de
Fondest memory: When I studied in Freiburg, we used to visit the Biergarten quite often, to enjoy the sun, the view and chat away over a couple of beers...
Updated Apr 12, 2004
1 Review and 57 Opinions This was a good hotel, in a location as central as possible in Freiburg, right next to Münsterplatz....
1 Review and 66 Opinions The hotel is very good, however it is recommend to whom as a car, because it is around 3 km away...
2 Reviews and 95 Opinions very beautiful design, good breakfast, very big room, nice staff, free internet before reception