For 47 years after the Second World War the French army maintained a large base in Freiburg, three kilometers south of the city center. When the last French troops left the site in 1993 it was bought by the city of Freiburg for the development of a "Sustainable Model District Vauban", a new district for more than 5000 inhabitants and 600 jobs.
The new district was intended to use renewable energy resources and was planned for the needs of people, not automobiles. About 40 % of the households agreed to live without having their own cars, and the rest park mainly on the outskirts, so the residential areas are not cluttered with automobiles. None of the houses has a garage, but nearly all of them have sheds for bicycle parking.
Second photo: Painting on the side of a building at the entrance to the Vauban District. The text reads: "We are re-making the world -- the way we like it."
Third photo: A street in Vauban, with covered bicycle stands in front of the houses.
Fourth photo: Bicycles in Vauban.
Bicycle Loop Trail: Seepark
Towards the end of the Loop Trail, in the western part of the city, it goes through the Seepark (Lake Park) in the Mooswald district.
This is a popular place for strolling, jogging and swimming, and is also the site of the Freiburg Ecology Station.
Second photo: My rental bike at Seepark.
Play streets in Vauban
All German cities and towns have the option of declaring some of their streets to be "traffic-calmed streets" or "play streets", providing they are willing incur the wrath of the powerful automobile lobbies.
The unusual thing about Vauban is that nearly all the streets in the district have this status. Theoretically anyone with a driver's license is expected to know what this means, but just to make sure there are several signs in Vauban explaining the rules:
--Walking speed must not be exceeded.
--Pedestrians are allowed to use the entire width of the street.
--Children are allowed to play everywhere.
--Parking only in designated areas.
--A high degree of mutual consideration on the part of all road users is necessary.
Second photo: One of the signs listing the rules of a traffic-calmed street.
Third photo: A traffic-calmed street in Vauban. As the photo shows, Vauban is not entirely free of automobiles, since several are parked on this street.
Fourth photo: A young couple on bicycles in Vauban.
Fifth photo: Pedestrians in Vauban.
Along the Bodensee coast
I choose B31 (E54) road because we dreamed to see the Bodensee. We planned to make a short stop at its shore in Lindau or Freidrichshafen but it was heavy raining and we had to refuse our purpose.
Nevertheless the famous lake was well seen out of our car window. We even saw its opposite coast in Switzerland.
You can watch my 2 min 56 sec Video Hohenschwangau-Freiburg im Breisgau by car out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
- Road Trip
Streets in Vauban
The zoning regulations in Vauban forbid the construction of free-standing one-family houses, because the intention is to create a viable urban neighborhood that is easily accessible by bicycle and public transport, not a suburban sprawl that would be dependent on automobile traffic.
Private ownership and development of the buildings is encouraged, however, so there is considerable variety in the appearance of the buildings.
Additional photos: More streets in Vauban.
C-Punkt - Information and Film about Münster
Here you can just relax after your trip through town, buying some souvenirs connected to the M?nster or just take a quick cup of coffee or tea.
This place was originally the "M?nsterbauh?tte", where craftmen and artists built things to repair the M?nster. Today it is used as a place where you can watch a film about the M?nster (history, art, function) or book M?nster guided trips in small groups (special wishes accepted) or the regular ones (see "must see tip" M?nster).
In addition you can read and buy books about Christianity here or just have a talk with nice people about what bothers you.
I like this place, and I enjoy buying postcards there :)
C-Punkt is "left behind" M?nster seen from M?nster main entrance (behind the Wine tasting house) .
Film: 30 mins, shown Mon to Fri 15:30 ... groups with more than eight reserve in advance: 0,50 EUR kids, 1 EUR adults
General opening hours: Mon to Fri 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00-14:00
- Arts and Culture
Archive of the Archdiocese
The archive of the archdiocese moved into its new building in 2002. This ugly box has won several prizes for its architecture. From the point of view of a user, however, I heartily disagree with those juries. The reading hall is below the magazines on the first floor with windows facing North (good) but not enough daylight. It is rather shadowy and you sit and work in that mix of natural and artificial light which overstrains the eyes quickly. Besides it is too small for the average number of users and the chairs are terribly uncomfortable. The readerprinter workplaces are in the big lobby where any noise echoes and everyone runs along.
Practical hints for archive users and genealogy research: The archive preserves the documents of the archdiocese and its precedessors and also microfilm copies of (close to) all 1200 parishes in the archdiocese, thus is the place to go for genealogy research. The parishes are instructed not to allow insight into the original church registers any more but to send researchers to Freiburg, in order to protect the sensitive originals.
If you plan to use the archive for your own research, contact them first by letter or e-mail and describe your project. Address: Address data here. Writing in English ought to work, although their website is in German only. For genealogy research you need to make a reservation since there are only five readerprinter workplaces and lots of request. The website states you have to make reservations 4-6 weeks in advance. I recommend planning at least two months in advance.
Location: Schoferstraße 3, at the foot of Schlossberg, same street as the Ordinariat, east of the Münster choir
- Study Abroad
- Historical Travel
Museum of Medieval Torture
Don't mind the admission of 3.50 € because the museum really worth the money.
The Museum of Medieval Torture provides you with tips how to free yourself from your rival. :-) Just kidding. No, it showes you how cruel human beings were in the Middle Age.
Address: Münsterplatz 12
Take a look on my travelogue for more info
Bicycle Loop Trail: Exhibition hall
At the end of Harbuckweg, at the edge of the woods, you unexpectedly come across this exhibition hall belonging to the Foundation for Concrete Art (Stiftung für konkrete Kunst).
This foundation was started in 1997 by a man named Roland Phelps, who practiced as a neurologist and psychiatrist in Freiburg for many years, and who is also a sculptor. The exhibition hall was completed in 1999, and is used for changing exhibitions of art works by the founder and other invited artists (24 of them so far).
Second photo: The hall is closed most of the time (opens by appointment) but that is no problem since most of the art works on display can easily be seen through the glass wall at the front.
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
Freiburg Bicycle Loop Trail
The Freiburg Radrundweg (Bicycle Loop Trail) begins and ends at the mobile, where you can rent a bicycle, and winds around for 29 kilometers through several districts of Freiburg. It does not go to Vauban, however, so you'll have to find your way there on your own.
If you take the loop trail counter-clockwise, as they suggest, you first go through parts of the Old Town and then a slight ways up on the Winterer Straße, to go along the side of some of the first hills at the edge of the Black Forest, but still within the Freiburg city limits.
Second photo: Looking down towards Freiburg from Wintererstraße.
Third and fourth photos: At the end of the Winterer Straße you come to a street called Eichhalde, where there are views like this.
Sonnenhof construction site in Vauban
Since Vauban tends to attract mainly young middle class families with children, various projects are underway to provide housing for other groups, including this new building to provide communal living arrangements for the elderly.
Like all the other buildings in Vauban, this one will be a low-energy building using regenerative energy sources.
This is the only street in Vauban which is not named after someone who opposed the Nazis. It is the main street, Vauban-Allee, where the tram line number 3 now runs. This street, like the entire district, was named after the French military engineer Sebastian le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707), who designed and built the fortifications on the Schloßberg from 1679 to 1687.
Second photo: Vauban-Allee.
Third photo: In 2006 the tram line number 3 was extended into Vauban, where there are now three stops along the Vauban-Allee.
Street names in Vauban
Most of the streets in Vauban (all but one, actually) are named after people who opposed the Nazis in one way or another.
This street, for instance, is named after the writer Kurt Tucholsky (1890-1935), who had to emigrate to Sweden as soon as the Nazis seized power in Germany.
Second photo: This street is named after Harriet Straub (1872-1945), a physician and author who was not allowed to write during the period of Nazi rule.
Third photo: There is even a street named after Georg Elser (1903-1945), who attempted unsuccessfully to assassinate the dictator Adolf Hitler in 1939.
Fourth photo: This central square is named after Alfred Döblin (1878-1957), another German author who went into exile as soon as the Nazis came into power.
Fifth photo: This new meeting place, called Café Süden, is on Alfred-Döblin-Platz.
visit smaller towns in the Black Forest
Staufen im Breisgau is a short train ride from Freiburg. So is Muenstertal. The old town
of Staufen is a cobblestoned village that has a very special character, very much worth
visiting. Dine at the Restaurant - Hotel zum Hirschen, located next to the house where
Dr. Faustus was murdered (or perished in an accident -- no one really knows). The food,
wine, and service at the Hirschen are all excellent. Also visit Cafe Decker, for an
amazing selection of superior quality desserts, candies, ices, baked goods, and coffees.
The Schladerer distillery, famous for its Kirschwasser, is also worth visiting. The village of
Muenstertal has several excellent restaurants, and is a good base for walking and hiking in
the Black Forest.
A SMALL VILLAGE
This is part of a small village located around Freiburg,also on Black Forest area.Really this is a nice and paceful place to be for a few days!.
Another nice place to see around if you have time enough,is go to see the Rhin Waterfalls,they are located at Schaffhausen just crossing the border with Switzerland and close to this region.I'll make a future page with some photos taken there aswell.