Down to the Auge Neighbourhood
This district, absorbed into the city as early as the 1160s, is the oldest in Fribourg outside the Zahringens' original fortress (which stood on the site of the current Hotel de Ville). It's full of atmosphere, with its cobbled streets and crumbling old Gothic houses and inns still very much lived-in; the sense of community surviving in such ancient surroundings is what really marks Fribourg out as being special.
Built in 1899, it links the neighbourhood of la Neuveville to the city centre. It is the only transport system in Europe that runs on the city's waste-water.
Mo. to Sa.: 7 -8.15 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Su. and free days: 9.30 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Rythm of the journey: when needed every 6 minutes
Time of the journey: 2 minutes
The journey single way costs CHF 1.60
The Gotteron Gate
The Gotteron Gate was part of the first fortification built in the thirteenth century and its present structure dates from the fifteenth century and 1627. Fourteen metres high, it barred access to the Gotteron Gorge, where the mills and forges of Fribourg's old town were once found.
The Bern Gate
Built between 1270 and 1290, the Bern Gate was heightened in the 1380s and shortly after 1400. It is 24 metres high, square, and has a shell structure (i.e. open in the back). The doors' leafs and parts of the drawbridge have been preserved.
The Good samaritan Woman fountain
The Fountain of the Samaritan Woman is located on the street with the same name. Originally made of wood, it was restored between 1402 and 1404. In its present style, it is a typical Renaissance work (1550-1551). Its rectangular limestone basin is the work of the sixteenth century. The base of the column made of Jura limestone is deeply fluted and twisted and the fountain's spouts are from the eighteenth century. The upper half of the column made of stone from Neuchâtel and also fluted is a frieze on which there is St. Nicholas of Flue's bust and a gnome with tanners' tools-the guild's headquarters was located in the neighbourhood. The Corinthian capital is decorated with beautiful acanthi and scrolls. The sculpture represents Christ and the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well, a circular well above which there is asemicircular arch richly decorated with representations of the original sin and the lamb of God. St. John's sermon is sculpted brilliantly.
Le Tilleul de Morat
Found on City hall Square, it is the true sap descendant of the old limetree planted after the Battle of Murten.
June 21, 1476 took place with Murten a famous battle between Charles Le Téméraire and the Swiss. Benefitting from a gloomy weather, the Swiss have surprised the army of Charles Le Téméraire and obtained a brilliant victory over its armies. A messenger carrying a branch of limetree ran to Freiburg to announce the good news, the victory. The legend tells that he died of exhaustion on arrival.
The St. George fountain
The St. George Fountain was erected in front of Fribourg's Town Hall between 1522 and 1524. It replaced a fountain that had probably supplied water for the Zaehringen Castle, which would explain the choice of the fountain's figure. The fountain as it stands today has a column in the middle surmounted by a sculpture (1524-1525) representing St. George on horseback killing the dragon, the only stone sculpture made by Hans Geiler. Of St. Triphon marble from Aigle, this work of excellent quality marks the transition between the Gothic and Renaissance styles. The sculpture was originally gilded. The octagonal basin of Solothurn limestone was renovated by Master Joseph Ducrest and, at the same time, the fountain's spouts were melted down by Deleseve. The twisted column and the composite capital in stone from Neuchatel were sculpted by Joseph Tschupphauer and regilded by Gottfried Locher (1759-1761).
The Town Hall
L'Hotel de Ville ("Town Hall") is a late-Gothic structure. Originally conceived as a granary, the building, prominently situated in Fribourg's Old Town, was begun by Master Hermann in 1501 and completed by Hans Felder in 1522. Today, it is the seat of the cantonal parliament and court.
Fribourg's highlight is the towering, High Gothic Cathedrale St-Nicolas, just off Place Notre-Dame. Take a moment to absorb the breathtaking, soaring, buttressed tower, exposed to view for its entire 73m height clear to the ring of feathery spires on top. Built over a church dating from the city's foundation in 1157, the present building was begun in 1283, and took two centuries to complete. Traffic swishes past the elaborate main portal, featuring a tympanum with the Last Judgement. The vast interior is immediately impressive, its mustiness and gloominess redolent with old incense. The pulpit (1516) and, opposite it, the octagonal font (1499) are both particularly ornate and beautiful, and the tracery choir screen (1466) is dazzlingly intricate. Virtually all the stained glass in the cathedral is modern Art Nouveau. Don't miss the tiny Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, to the left of the door as you head out, beside a plaque commemorating the mass celebrated here by Pope John Paul II in 1984: inside you'll find a group of 13 figures, sculpted from sandstone in about 1430. Christ is being laid in the tomb by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea; behind, Mary is supported by John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, two other women and two angels, while in front are three sleeping soldiers. The life-sized ensemble, drenched in a blueish submarine light from modern stained-glass windows, is extraordinarily moving, every stony figure conveying an intense emotion that effortlessly spans the six centuries it has stood here.
To see the visit of the inside of this Cathedral, follow this link : Inside the St-Nicolas Cathedral
Opening hours :
Mon - Sat : 7.30am to 7pm
Sun : 8.30am to 9.30pm
Fribourg's Neighbourhoods (part III)
La Neuveville is a neighbourhood that had water-intensive tanning and textile industries and was surrounded in the thirteenth century by a pallisade that was replaced by a wall in the fourteenth century. The Bourguillon and Maigrauge Gates have survived, as well as a part of the wall; the gates to the street called Rue de la Neuveville have not.
The highlight of this neighbourhoods is probably the waste water funecular.
Fribourg's Neighbourhoods (part II)
The neighbourhood that goes by the name of L'Auge became part of the city and was fortified shortly after the founding of the city; the street called Rue des Forgerons, on the other side of the Sarine River, was taken into the city's defenses only later. As defenses, the Middle Bridge (Pont du Milieu) had a gate and, until 1838, the Bern Bridge had the Muggan ("Mosquito") Tower. The first wall ran between the Bern Bridge and the Augustinian Friary through what later became a row of houses on the west side of the street called Rue d'Or and the second wall ran directly along the river.
In this neighbourhood, you can see some great gothic facades buildings and some beautiful fountain (Samaritaine and Sainte-Anne). But the highlight is probably the Bern Bridge.
Fribourg's Neighbourhoods (part I)
Le Bourg corresponds to what the Zaehringen neighbourgood was in 1157, the year in which Fribourg was founded. Owing to the cliffs, there was little need for fortification. The Stalden could be reached through a gate on the eastern flank and and on the western flank through two gates preceded by bridges that spanned a natural trough filled in the fifteenth century.
The emblematic symbol of this neighbourhood is the St-Nicolas Cathedral.
Saint-Nicolas Cathedral - Interior.
Inside see the altar and the iron railings, as well as 15th century benches decorated with carved figures of the apostles. The main altar is done in neo-Gothic style (to match the church, presumably) and was completed in 19th century. The organ dates back to 1834.
In one of the side chapels there's a fine sculpture depcting Christ being put into the coffin. It's an amusing sight to see how the multi-colored lights from the stained glass play on the sculpture.
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.
Art and History Museum
You'll find a rich collection of art and objects of historical importance that date from Fribourg's origins to the present day in the museum. Three distinct sections make up a beautiful architectural grouping – the Ratze Mansion , the old slaughter house and the building designed for temporary exhibitions. The Ratze Mansion houses the biggest Swiss collection of sculptures from the first half of the 16th C. In the former slaughterhouse, you'll find work by Delacroix, Courbet, Marcello, Hodler, Crotti, and Tinguely. Adults: CHF 6 Tue – Wed, Fri – Sun 11 – 18, Thu 11 – 20.
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel