"Fribourg - a hidden treasure" Top 5 Page for this destination Fribourg by Tolik

Fribourg Travel Guide: 106 reviews and 308 photos

Fribourg’s Old Town is one of Switzerland’s best-kept secrets. It remains a mystery for me - how the town that is considered one of the finest remnants of mediaeval architecture in Europe, remains almost unknown among the travelers.

Fribourg preserved its character as a medieval town thanks to a fantastic collection of more than two hundred Gothic facades of the 15th century. The fortifications of Fribourg are the most representative of medieval military architecture in Switzerland. The visitors will find St-Nicolas cathedral with single 73m buttressed tower, more than two kilometers of ramparts, 14 towers and 11 historical fountains that date from the Middle Ages. Its steep, cobbled streets, lovely fountains and ornate inn signs, are picturesque and character-full. The Sarine River, which carves a path through the town, is the local defining line of the Röstigraben: Fribourg is split roughly 70:30 between French speakers, who call their town Fribourg (pronounced free-boor) and are a majority on the western bank; and Swiss-German speakers, to whom the place is Freiburg (fry-berg). Six bridges, from medieval wooden fords to lofty modern valley spans, provide woodcut-pretty views back across the town of the old houses piled up together on the steep slopes.

Since its foundation, Fribourg has achieved a perfect alliance of tradition and modernity. All it started in 1157, when Bertold IV of Zähringen founded the town as part of his consolidation of regional power, which also saw the establishment of Bern, Burgdorf, Thun and Murten. After 1218, the Zähringens were succeeded by the Counts of Kyburg, who were themselves bought out by the Austrian Habsburgs in 1277. In 1452, Savoy house took over, but in the Burgundian Wars shortly afterwards Fribourg supported the Swiss against Savoy, and became a free city. In 1481, it joined the Swiss Confederation. Jews were allowed to return to Fribourg in 1866 after almost 400 years of banishment from the city.

  • Last visit to Fribourg: May 2003
  • Intro Written Jun 10, 2003
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Tolik

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