Fribourg Things to Do Tips by Tolik Top 5 Page for this destination
Fribourg Things to Do: 64 reviews and 128 photos
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.
Address: Rue de Morat 12
Cityscape from Rue des Alpes,
From Planche-Supérieure, passing St-John the Baptist church, the triple-arched Pont de St-Jean leads you up into Neuveville e.g. the New Town (well, it started to build up in the 17th century). After the bridge, you will find another lively fountain on your right and amazing antique store on your left (fantastic selection and unbelievably low prices). Neuveville is one of the most peaceful and picturesque area of the city.
From the Neuveville the ancient cobbled Rue de la Grand-Fontaine heads sharply up towards the Hôtel de Ville. Catch your breath and turn left here. Rue des Alpes, supported on pillars above Neuveville, leads you back to Place Python; its valley-side railings offer wonderful views of the river.
Fribourg is definitely a walking city, but if the hills are too steep for you (or you ran out of time) than you may want to take advantage of bus No. 4; it runs every 15 minutes or so, starting at the train station, running down all the way through the Old Town to Place du Petit-St-Jean, then over the Pont de Berne to beneath the Pont de Zaehringen, before turning round and crossing the Pont de Berne and Pont de Milieu to the Planche- Supérieure and the Pont de St-Jean, and running through Neuveville on its way back up to the station again.
The Loyalty Fountain
Return back to the Loyalty Fountain. Rue des Forgerons heads east into the Gottéron gorge, beneath the immensely graceful modern Pont de Gottéron some 60m up. On the south side of the stream, a footpath leads up to the minuscule Chapel de St-Beat hugging the rocky walls of the gorge, but the road itself leads along the northern bank of the stream. If you have enough time than you can follow it into the forest for as long as you like, past old mills and cottages; the romantic riverside trail is well marked and maintained.
Now let’s return back to the Place du Petit-St-Jean. The Pont de Milieu leads southwest to the Planche-Supérieure, below the mighty precipices cut by the Sarine River. A fountain statue of John the Baptist (1547) overlooks the square. Dominating the square is picturesque old granary (1708). Cafés on the square offer incredible panoramas across the valley to the backs of the Grand’Rue mansions. Stepped paths from the square climb south up to the ridge-side Porte de Bourguillon and, beside it on a lofty terrace, the Loretto Chapel, an ornate little building built in 1648 that offers spectacular vistas out over the whole city.
View from the terrace near the Pont de Zaehringen
Walk around the cathedral (there is a fountain behind it) and follow the Grand’Rue towards the Pont de Zaehringen. To the right from the bridge, there is another terrace with fantastic view over the Sarine river, the ramparts and the bridges. It’s a great place for picnic (you should buy a sandwich or a pastry at Le Coop or Le Migros on your way here).
Returning from the terrace, follow the steep Rue de la Lenda down to the lower quarter of the Lower Town, known as Auge. This district, absorbed into the city as early as the 1160s, is the oldest in Fribourg outside the Zähringens’ original fortress. It’s full of atmosphere, with its cobbled streets and old Gothic houses and inns; the sense of community surviving in such ancient surroundings is what really marks Fribourg out as being special. On your left at Rue des Augustins, is the Église des Augustins, part of a monastery founded in the mid-thirteenth century, with impressive later Baroque decoration.
Following along the Rue de la Samaritane, you pass the Samaritaine Fountain, and arrive at the Place du Petit-St-Jean. The square is the local hub, ringed by cafés overlooked from the fountain by St Anne, the patron saint of the tanners who used to live here.
Northeast from the Place du Petit-St-Jean is the picturesque covered wooden bridge - Pont de Berne, leading to the ancient Rue des Forgerons (Street of the Blacksmiths) on the east bank of the river. The little bridgehead square, one of Fribourg’s prettiest, holds the celebrated Loyalty Fountain (1553). To the left is the Porte de Berne, a city gate dating from 1270 that has somehow clung on to its original doors. Behind the gate, turn right and follow up the ancient covered steps along the ramparts to the Tours des Chais – view from the tower area is breathtaking.
Visiting Cathédrale St-Nicolas
Friendly Fribourg's tourist office is beside the station – turn right as you come out. Here you can find the city maps, plenty of booklets and souvenirs. Walk along Ave de la Gare from the train station leaving the Romanesque church on your left and 3 minutes later you will reach the grassy open Grands-Places. Here you can see one of Jean Tinguely’s famous fountains (1984). The St-Pierre street leads east to the busy Place Python passing Le Migros supermarket on St-Pierre 2, and Le Coop on St-Pierre 6 (both open Mon – Wed 8 – 19, Thu 8 – 21, Sat 8 – 16). From here turn left along steeply rising Rue St-Michel up to the atmospheric medieval Collège St-Michel (now part of the Fribourg University). Behind the collage you will find a terrace from where you can look out over the city. University sport complex on you left has free public washrooms. From the right part of the terrace ancient covered steps, the Escaliers du Collège, lead down to join the lower end of Rue de Lausanne and Place de Nova-Friburgo. It is the Bourg , the Old Town’s most historically important and prestigious district, home to the cathedral, numerous churches, the town hall and an array of mansions.
Cross the square and walk down towards the late-Gothic Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall), a beautiful building dating from 1501–22, whose double exterior staircase was added in 1663. St George spears the dragon on a fountain statue dating from 1525 in the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville square in front of the Town Hall.
Fribourg’s landmark is the towering, High Gothic Cathédrale St-Nicolas, just off Place Notre-Dame. Unlike many other famous cathedrals, it has only one tower but an awesome one. 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. On the main portal you will see the scenes from the Last Judgement. Don’t miss the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, to the right of the door as you come in.
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