Cultural Freiburg

BaechleBecause of its scenic beauty, relatively warm and sunny climate and easy access to the Black Forest, Freiburg is a hub for regional tourism. The longest cable car run in Germany, which is 3.6 km, or about 2.25 miles (3.62 km) long runs from Günterstal up to a nearby mountain called Schauinsland.

The city has an unusual system of gutters (called Bächle) that run throughout its centre. These Bächle, once used to provide water to fight fires and feed livestock, are constantly flowing with water diverted from the Dreisam. These Bächle were never used for sewage, as such usage could lead to harsh penalties, even in the Middle Ages. During the summer, the running water provides natural cooling of the air, and offers a pleasant, gurgling sound. It is said that if you fall or step accidentally into a Bächle, you will marry a Freiburger, or 'Bobbele'

The Augustinerplatz is one of the central squares in the old city. Formerly the location of an Augustine monastery which became the Augustiner Museum in 1921, it is now a popular social space for Freiburg's younger residents. It has a number of restaurants and bars, including the local brewery 'Feierling', which has a Biergarten. On warm summer nights, hundreds of students gather here.

At the centre of the old city is the Münsterplatz or Cathedral Square, Freiburg's largest square. A farmers' market takes place here every day except Sundays. This is the site of Freiburg's Münster, a gothic minster cathedral constructed of red sandstone, built between 1200 and 1530. The Freiburg Münster is noted for its towering spire.

Historisches KaufhausThe Historisches Kaufhaus, or Historical Merchants Hall, is a Late Gothic building on the south side of Freiburg's Münsterplatz. Constructed between 1520 and 1530, it was once the center of the financial life of the region. Its façade is decorated with statues and the coat of arms of four Habsburg emperors.

The Altes Rathaus, or old city hall, was completed in 1559 and has a painted façade. The Platz der alten Synagoge "Old Synagogue Square" is one of the more important squares on the outskirts of the historic old city. The square was the location of a synagogue until it was destroyed on the Kristallnacht in 1938. Zum Roten Bären, the oldest hotel in Germany, is located along Oberlinden near the Schwabian Gate.

To the east of the city centre, the Schlossberg hill provides extensive views over the city and surrounding region. The castle (Schloss) from which the hill takes its name was demolished in the 1740s, and only ruins remain. However Schlossberg retained its importance to the city, and 150 years ago the city fathers opened up walks and views to make the mountain available to the public. Today, the Schlossbergbahn funicular railway connects the city centre to the hill.

Saint George is the Patron Saint of Freiburg.

Badische Zeitung is the main local daily paper, covering the Black Forest region.

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