You may see only two gates of Freiburg im Breisgau that have been preserved since medieval times. Both gates, - the Martinstor and the Schwabentor, - are located in the city centre and well seen from the tower of the Minster.
The Martinstor (or Martin's Gate) is located on Kaiser-Joseph-Straße.
The Freiburg Minster is famous by its beautiful tower which is one of the most beautiful towers in Germany. It was built from 1230 till 1330. It's spire is almost fantastic.
You can watch my 6 min 08 sec Video Freiburg im Breisgau Minster out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
Freiburg's 11th-century Münster is a very impressive red sandstone structure that dominates the skyline of the city and the heart of the active commercial and market district. The exterior is a myriad of columns, angles, sculptures and topped by an intricately decorated spire standing about 380 feet above the platz . We didn’t climb to the top, but you can and I am sure the views would be breathtaking. There is a grand portal with still more sculpture, in this case splendid polychrome figures. Even though there is a protective (from birds) wire netting which does diminish the viewing, you can still see it well enough to drop your jaw.
The interior is equally rich in wonderful art: 13-14th Century richly colored and kaleidoscopic stained glass windows, a colorful and stunning Hans Baldung high altar triptych dedicated mainly to the Virgin, statues everywhere. Some of them are done in polychrome so are very colorful. The stained glass was donated by local guilds and most, if not all, of them have the guild symbol or sign included. One of the photos I have here is obviously from the tailors guild as denoted by the large scissors in it. Look for others with pretzels, pots, etc. I found this to be a little-known, at least to me, delightful treasure among cathedrals.
These banners on the front of the theater are all quotations from a resolution passed by the Freiburg City Assembly on January 30, 2007, asserting that Freiburg understands itself as a cultural city and intends to further develop itself as a city of the arts.
The reason for displaying these quotations is that a mere two months later the city council has proposed drastic budget cuts for all cultural institutions in Freiburg, including all the museums and the theater.
At the end of the performance of Massenet's Werther, the baritone Matthias Flohr interrupted the final applause to read out a statement urging people to sign a petition opposing these budget cuts, which many audience members did on the way out.
Freiburg is so far the only large German city to have elected a member of the Green Party as its mayor. Without going into the details of local politics, I think it would be fair to say that having a Green mayor is highly beneficial for the central issues of city planning, transportation policy, pollution control, ecology and regenerative energy use -- but apparently not so beneficial for the city's embattled cultural institutions.
Update: Several other German cities have since elected Green mayors -- including Stuttgart, where Fritz Kühn was elected in 2012.
Second photo: Another quotation, affirming the need for motivating conditions for the arts and artists.
Third photo: A third quotation, in which the City of Freiburg commits itself to preserving its central cultural achievements, offerings and institutions.
People coming to Town Hall Square can see the monument to Berthold Schwarz, the famous monk and the inventor of gunpowder.
On the pavement in front of the town hall you can see nine coats-of-arms of the twin-cities of Freiburg.
I was surprised and pleased to see the coat-of-arms of Lviv, a Ukrainian city, among them.
These are the biggest sights here: Rathaus - the historic Town Hall - where the newly married couples can be seen. It's an old wedding tradition to register the marriage here.
Rathausplatz - Town Hall Square - is in front of the Town Hall.
You can see a stream flowing through the square to the river.
It flows through downtown Freiburg.
We were first of all attracted by Muensterplatz.
The building of Muenster, an old cathedral, is about 500 years old.
We admired its unique glass windows, the magnificent front door, sculptures, the high altar and, of course, its height - 116 meters.
I just couldn't take pictures of the entire cathedral with my feeble camera.
This is what I got.
You can climb the tower of the cathedral and gain a splendid view of the city and the neighboring hills of the Black Forest.
Muenster tower is open on Sundays.
Inviting paths go along the Dreisam River for those who like to walk. The paths themselves are stroller-friendly, though you might have to negotiate stairs or rough paths to get down to them. We enjoyed a few strolls, including a rather long walk out of town in the direction of Umkirch. While Mommy and Daddy were doing just fine, we were a bit concerned Minifrosch might be getting a bit too much sun, so we didn't go all the way to the next town.
The buskers I saw in the Marketplatz in Freiburg im Breisgau were an absolute delight. These were definitely not your everyday run of the mill buskers. These were extremely talented young classically trained musicians, who were a joy to stand and listen to. I took this photo when these two girls were playing by themselves as a duo. After walking around the markets and visiting the Muenster, I came back and the group had added another three musicians. They all played strings of different kinds and were just wonderful. By this time, I had my hands full munching on my Bratwurst Roll so I didn't take another pic. Wish I had now.
The university was founded in 1457, and today has more than 22,000 students, including over 3,000 from foreign countries. The liberal arts faculties are still in the city center.
The building in the photo, known as KG I, has a strange motto engraved across the top of the façade: Dem ewigen Deutschtum, "To the eternal Germanness". This slogan, which sounds as ridiculous in German as it does in English translation, was added during the Nazi period when the façade was renovated after a fire.
Second photo: The same building has another motto around on the other side, facing the library: Die Wahrheit wird euch frei machen, "The truth will set you free" -- a biblical quotation (John 8:32), which was put there when the building was first built in the early 20th century.
Third photo: More university buildings.
Fourth photo: An outdoor café near the university.
Fifth photo: The Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, in another part of the city.
The Freiburg University of Music was founded in 1946. The current building, on the east side of the city, has been in use since 1984.
This is a good place to go for free or very low-priced concerts of classical music. Admission to most of the concerts costs all of six euros, and just half of that for students.
Second and third photos: Statues in front of the Music University.
The interior of Maria Hilfekirche is really stunning. It is teeming with lavish statuary and fittings in the Baroque style. As I said before, I can find no history of this wonderful church, so I can only bring you some of my favourite pictures and recommend that you go and see it for yourself. I was fortunate enough to be the only person there at the time and this made it extra special for me.
I came across this little park on my way from the Train/Tram station into the City.
It is dedicated to the Grape Vine and has every type of Wine Grapes that go into making their fine wines. There is also a recreational area and plenty of places to sit.
It was always a stopping off place on our way into Freiburg, time for our son to have a play and us to take a rest.
Vauban is an Eco Village, you'll find it just to the south of Freiburg, built on what was once the site of the old French barracks .
The aim of the project, is to meet the ecological, economic, social and cultural requirements.
The streets are vehicle friendly, cars are kept outside the Village. There are plenty of safe child friendly play areas, made of natural materials.
It is still being developed, and apartments are still springing up.
I noticed the school children out side, in a what looked like a wigwam, made of wood and greenery, sitting inside having their school lessons.
It is well worth a visit and the number 3 tram will take you there.
The streets are named after people who apposed the Nazi regime, with photos telling you about the people they are named after.
This fascinating building used to be the trading and customs center of Freiburg. Nowadays, it serves as a large meeting hall for business conventions. The structure itself is striking, as are the tiles and carvings. I've been told the place is painted red because that was the traditional color of tax collection points during the Middle Ages. I wonder if the US Internal Revenue Service ever considered painting its buildings red.