"Walking the Old City..." Top 5 Page for this destination Fribourg by Greggor58
Fribourg Travel Guide: 105 reviews and 299 photos
Fribourg is a beautiful small city built along the banks of the Sarine River only a half hour drive from the Swiss Capital city, Bern. The geographic area that Fribourg occupies has been “home” to people since the Neolithic Period, modern day Fribourg comprises a bilingual population of about 35 000 people, speaking both French and German languages.
This beautiful little city is the Capital City of the Canton that bears the same name, Fribourg.
The city is a favorite stopover for me when I visit Switzerland; I have friends that live close by. . Modern day Fribourg features a really well preserved historical area that is mostly a functional neighborhood referred to as the “Basse Ville” or simply the Old Town. This is what attracts me time and time again to this small but lively city. It’s a simple pleasure to stroll these streets that are so full of life and yet so connected to some really interesting European history.
The Old Town of Fribourg, is considered to be among the finest examples of medieval architecture in Europe.
Built upwards from the banks of the river and over the hills that the city has overtaken, the streets INTO and OUT of the Old Town can be a little bit steep and a challenge for some to walk, but this is a part of the charm of the city and hopefully not a deterrent to you in your decision to visit here.
Wonderful old structures cling to the hill sides and there’s an assortment of interesting bridges (some very old) crossing the river at various places, and , similar to what you’ll find in Bern, there are many old fountains scattered throughout the city, all of them designed with beautiful sculptures as they’re focal points..
Settlement commenced along a bend in the river, similar to Bern, a setting that was easy to defend; the city was founded by one of the Zahringen clan, Berchtold the 4th who established the foundations of the city in about 1157.
If you are familiar with some Swiss history you’ll recognize the Zahringen name. Berchtold the 5th who is associated with the founding of Bern and Thun some years later is a part of the same lineage and Berchtold the 4th himself was instrumental in the founding of Murten, another near by city with a medieval history. The Zahringen family was an old German speaking family of Nobility that was connected to the Hapsburgs. In the era of fortified city states the development of cities such as Fribourg, Bern, Murten, and Thun by the Zahringens was simply a “consolidation of power in the geographic region between the Rivers Aare and the Sarine” and this aided economic and military stability.
Fribourg has been the seat of the Diocese of Lausanne,Geneva and Fribourg since about 1613 and has been a center of religious culture since early in its history. During the era of the Reformation Fribourg maintained its connection to the Catholic Church in spite of it being surrounded by Protestantism, still today you will find a large assortment of beautiful churches and monasteries that date as far back as the 11th century that you simply have to investigate when you’re visiting here. All of them contain a variety of stained glass, paintings, sculptures and other works of art that are unique and easily worth a look see.
Fribourg is known in many circles as the setting of the St. Nicholas Cathedral, a beautiful Gothic structure possessing an incomplete seventy six meter tower that took more than two hundred years to construct. More often than not if you receive a postcard from Fribourg chances are pretty good that you will see the Cathedral tower included in the skyline of the city.
Some regard Fribourg as simply a “day trip” destination while visiting nearby Bern however the presence of amazing churches, museums, beautiful fountains, and an incredibly beautiful Old Town to explore it’s hardly fair to say that you know Fribourg by just rushing through it in a day. I’ve visited many times, and unfortunately I’ve not been able to give it its proper attention due to time constraints and social obligations while Im in the area. Im only now just getting to know the city a little. I enjoy it here and I will definitely return another time when I am able to.
If you have an opportunity to visit here than please take advantage of the possibility, reward yourself with a glimpse into some old historical architecture of medieval Europe and enjoy the beauty that Fribourg has to offer to you.
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