Next to the central bus station, only 2 minutes outside the old town, is at Wernerplatz square the former mine named "Kuhschacht". It was in operation until 1830. You can still see the old Huthaus, built 1750. "Huthaus" is the name for a house where the miners gathered before they started their shift in the underground, prayed, and got their tools for work. This one is a very typical Huthaus, single-storey with a big tiled roof and dormer window. Nowadays it's a tax accountant's office.
There are also monuments commemorating the mine "Kuhschacht" (pic 2) and the last chief officer of the mine, Johann Carl Freiesleben (pic 4) at Wernerplatz.
In 1986, on occasion of the 800th anniversary of Freiberg, the so called Fortuna fountain was erected on Petersstraße, one of the main pedestrian/shopping streets in Freiberg. It was created by Prof. Bernd Göbel, a local.
A boy watches scenes and famous people from Freiberg's history, reaching from Margrave Otto the Wealthy founding the city, the physician and mayor Ulrich Rülein von Calw, sculptor Hans Witten (tulip pulpit!), organ builder Gottfried Silbermann, scientists Abraham Gottlob Werner and Clemens Winkler. On top of the fountain is the figure of goddess Fortuna.
The catholic church St. Johannis was erected 1659-61 using structures of the previous Gothic church there - the Gothic windows on the western facade are preserved - was in pretty bad shape after WWII and was reconstructed (quite basic) in 1958. The construction is a wide Baroque hall, bright and without much decoration (probably a result of the simplistic reconstruction). Remarkable is the late Gothic wood-carved altar from Altenburg, 16th century.
Right next to the church is the Johannis hospital, built 1811 and restored 1982-84. It has a beautiful classicistic facade and main portal.
Hospitalweg 2, 09599 Freiberg
Directions: West of the old town, walk along Chemnitzer Str., only 2 minutes from Albert park.
If you want to have the best overview of Freiberg then climb the tower of St. Petri church. The views alone are worth the effort - old town with the churches, town hall, mines, but also the newer districts, and the view of the Erzgebirge mountains in the background - but it's more than that.
Ascents are possible daily, on Wed and Sat operated by the Fremdenverkehrsverein (Tourist association), on the other days by the congregation of St. Petri church, usually on the full hour, but you can make an appointment with the lady that supervises the open church. I went on Thursday, thus had a guide of the congregation. He was very knowledgeable, told us about the history of the church and the town, the architecture, all in great detail. And he also told stories that had happened in the last 500 years, related to the watchmen that lived up on the tower.
The first part of the ascent is on very small stairs within the Romanesque walls of the tower, until you reach a first larger room where you can see models of the church from various centuries. Then the guide opened a door to the interior of the huge roof, we saw the amazing wooden framework. We continued on wooden stairs from the Baroque era, built in 1728 after the big fire. We finally arrived on the upper floors, saw the apartment of the watchmen, walked out on the balcony and enjoyed the views. Calculate about 45 - 60 minutes for the tour. The guide asked for a donation of 2 Euro per person, well worth it.
With its three spires - each of different height - St. Peter dominates the silhouette of the city.
The so called Petri tower is the tallest of the three preserved towers. All of them were built 1215 - 30 in Romanesque style, but later modified. The Baroque orb on top of Petri tower was added in the 18th century. In medieval times a watchman lived in a small chamber high in the tower.
The interior is a mixture of late-gothic architecture, Baroque decoration and some modern elements. Somehow strange. Very beautiful is the pulpit (a work of J. Chr. Feiger 1733). In the choir, which is separated from the nave by a transparent wall of plain glass, they use to have art exhibits from time to time.
Open during the day, free organ play on Wed at noon in summer. Ascent to Petri tower possible with a guide, see separate tip.
Whether you need new glasses or not, a visit in the optician shop "Brillenbar" at Obermarkt 8 is a good idea. The shop is in one of the most beautiful townhouses in Freiberg that goes back to the 15th century. During opening hours you're free to see the upstairs rooms (fake interest or ask nicely) with painted wooden ceilings from the 1490s and frescoes on the walls. There is also a large hall accessible from the stairwell that is similar to those in Görlitz's merchant houses.
I visited on European Heritage Day. The shop owner had some historic optician instruments on display, quite interesting but don't know if it was just temporary.
The first church at this place was built 1185 -1190. Beautiful Romanesque details at the ground floor of the western part of the church are still visible. The nave and choir of the church were rebuilt in Gothic style in 14/15th centuries. Finally well-known architect Knöffel from nearby Dresden directed the interior reconstruction in Baroque style 1750 - 53. The sacristy north of the choir was left in Gothic style from 1513-16, though (pic 5).
The interior is quite beautiful, impressive is the main altar by Gottfried Knöffler (1752) with a painting of C. W. E. Dietrich.
Nowadays the church is also used for concerts (excellent accoustics!) and exhibits.
This church figures on the "Off the beaten path" list for solely one reason - it's not open on a regular basis, you have to ask at the vicarage behind the church for the key, and that's not everyone's cup of tea plus the office hours there are not really convenient for visiting. I visited on European Heritage Day.
The current church was built 1890-92 on the grounds of the previous St. Jakobi church which was actually the oldest church in Freiberg (about 1160). Architect of the new church was Theodor Quentin, quite popular in his days for his Neo-Gothic style. The 57 m tall steeple on an important crossroad just outside the city walls is one of the landmarks of Freiberg.
Some remarkable pieces of excellent quality were kept for or transfered to the new church: The organ (1716/17) is one of Gottfried Silbermann's earliest works, the baptismal font is a wonderful early Renaissance piece by Hans Walther from Dresden (1555), the pulpit was created by local Andreas Lorenz in 1564. One of the most beautiful works of the late Renaissance/Manierism in Saxony is the woodcarved altar from 1610, a donation by Elector Duke Christian II and his wife Hedwig von Denmark. Easily overlooked is a marvellous small crucifixus (ivory corpus), maybe a work of Balthasar Permoser (1710).
This cemetery has several sections, the oldest going back to 1521, the youngest being the addition from 1927/28. Thus you can see quite a number of different styles here. I particularly liked the oldest section which looks like an English park with monuments all over.
Despite some interesting and beautiful old graves of sculpted sandstone (see pics) I found the graves for the victims of the World Wars most impressive and touching.
The walk over the cemetery is the quickest and most enjoyable route from the old town (Donat tower and gate) to the mining pit and museum Alte Elisabeth.
The University's collections were founded in 1765 together with the Mining Academy to ensure that the students are well trained and possess a readily applicable knowledge. The most interesting exhibits are IMO in the Werner-building of the University (Brennhausgasse 14, east of Schloss Freudenstein, northern part of the old town). There you find the Mineralogical Collection, Ore Deposit Collection and Petrological Collection.
Admission fee is 2.50 Euro (though you can see quite a bit in the freely accessible floors of the building). The main exhibit is on the 2nd floor.
Opening hours: Tue - Thur 9-12/13-16 h
The old town is surrounded by a circle of gardens - one of them (maybe the most beautiful) is Albert Park. A walk here is very enjoyable and relaxing after some sightseeing.
There are a couple of small monuments in the park, like e.g. the Distance column, the monuments for the battle against the Swedish troops in the 17th century, a so called Torture Column from 1484 etc.
You find that park in the western part of the city, at the end of Peterstrasse.