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View Photos of Historic Freiburg, Germany: The Impressions of a One-Day Visit

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Freiburg, Germany

Freiburg, Germany

Freiburg, Germany

In May of 1997, my German girlfriend and her brother took me on a one-day sightseeing tour. One of the towns that they wanted me to see was Freiburg in the southwest part of Germany. This town is in an area bordered by France and Switzerland.

On our way to that destination, we enjoyed beautiful scenery consisting of traveling through some of the Black Forest areas, which have many dense stands of trees. Some of them seen from a distance almost look black and thus the name.

The Kaiserstuhl area of Germany is a rolling hill area thickly planted with grapevines. It is beautiful. Many people earn their living, growing and harvesting grapes, and winemaking is the result. Vineyards are almost everywhere surrounding the town of Freiburg.

Kaiserstuhl terrain

Kaiserstuhl terrain

Capitol of the Black Forest

Freiburg is called the capital of the Black Forest area. Wine connoisseurs and gourmets like to visit this area and absorb the culinary delights of the region. Thirty-five different trade fairs are held in this town during the year, primarily because of its mild climate.

It is a university town and has become a cultural center in this part of Germany. It sports a concert hall, a jazz house, and other theater venues. Music festivals, wine festivals, and carnivals are there at various times of the calendar year.

The Old Quarter has cobblestoned streets, and only foot traffic is allowed. There are racks of bicycles, and many people in this town choose that mode of transportation. What a pleasure it is to walk without the noise and danger of contending with motorized vehicles.

Numerous stores are in this old section, including department stores, specialty shops, bookstores, etc. They even have a Mcdonald's. But the outside blends beautifully with the architectural styles of the other buildings. No golden arches here!

Freiburg has a sizable number of museums for a town that size. They have a Natural History Museum, a museum dedicated to mining, another featuring archeology, and even a Tin Figures Collection that showcases 8,000 handpainted tin figures recreating scenes from the history of that town and region.

We did not have enough time to visit any of these museums. We spent time walking among the twisting lanes and streets of the Old Quarter, absorbing the beauty of the place.

Department Store Mishap!

At one point, I decided that I was running short of film for the day. My friend suggested going into a department store to purchase more that would work for my camera. I was surprised (coming from the United States) to see dogs accompanying "their people" inside the store. I had already gotten used to seeing dogs (and even cats) in restaurants. One does not see that in the United States.

Searching for more film in that department store, we experienced something no one would relish. We got stuck in an elevator!

My friend's brother had remained outside and was probably wondering what could be taking us so long. Fortunately, it was only about 15 minutes before the elevator started to make its way back down to the ground floor. But 15 minutes can seem like an eternity to be stuck in an elevator, I can assure you! We were both happy to see the light of day again outside.

Open Air Market

We happened to be there on a Saturday. Lucky for us, because although there is a fresh open-air market most weekdays, additional vendors come to present their offerings each Saturday, making it a special day to be in attendance.

We got to see flowers and herbs, baked loaves of bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, and potted plants. One can find vendors that offer all types of handmade goodies, such as hand-carved wooden toys, ceramic bowls, and all kinds of pottery. You name it, and it is here and for sale. Musicians perform live concerts in the streets, making this a delight for all the senses.

Shoppers carry an array of containers to collect their purchases. They reuse them each time they go shopping. It is a much greener approach than most people still do over here in the United States, sad to say! We should all learn how to be better caretakers of our small planet.

Tents and tables, and chairs were set up on the streets so that people could sit down and enjoy a snack if they wished. Time seems slower and somehow more enjoyable when one can feast one's eyes on the very colorful array of offerings and savor each moment in a 12th-century town such as Freiburg.

A picnic lunch had been packed for us, which we later enjoyed at a roadside table overlooking a vineyard, so we only purchased a banana at one of the stalls that day. We also enjoyed an ice cream cone.

Market days become opportunities for the local people to gather together and visit with one's friends. What a delightful way to live!

Open air market in Freiburg, Germany

Open air market in Freiburg, Germany

Spargel Time

The absolute vegetable highlight of the year and one celebrated by locals in their own homes and by chefs in all the restaurants is the "King of Vegetables." During April and May, it is spargel time, otherwise known as asparagus season. Thick as a man's thumb and white, spargel is in all types of gustatory creations. It is grown below ground in rounded mounds of earth. Sunlight hitting it would turn it green.

One traditional way of serving it in Germany is by having it steamed and served along with boiled potatoes. Browned butter is the accompaniment. My friend ordered that dish in a restaurant one day while I picked the spargel risotto to eat.

Chefs try and come up with new and different ways to serve it each year. It becomes a feast on tables throughout Germany once grown and harvested each spring. We saw bunches of spargel for sale at the market.

White asparagus called spargel in Germany

White asparagus called spargel in Germany

Munsterplatz

The location of the Old Quarter is around the Munsterplatz. The focal point of all of Freiburg is to be found right in the center of this. Called The Minster, this Gothic-designed church with its towering spire that is 116 meters tall dominates the landscape both up close and viewed from a distance.

It has intricate carvings on the outside of the building, and like all Gothic architecture, its soaring interior makes one feel very small. Colorful stained glass windows and a beautifully painted fresco high above the altar at the front add to the high columned interior.

Bächle

A little stream of water runs through many of the streets in the Old Quarter. It is clear-looking water that is between the sidewalks and the cobblestone streets. One often sees the children walking barefoot, stepping in and out of the water. In the summertime, it probably helps to cool them off and would feel quite refreshing. The little streams are known as "Bächle."

Rainwater runoff runs through channels in the streets of Freiburg.

Rainwater runoff runs through channels in the streets of Freiburg.

My friends said that we had to move along after about 2 1/2 hours spent in Freiburg as they had much more to show me that day. This town is a place where one could enjoy spending more time.

One could leisurely take in some of the cultural attractions as well as hiking into the countryside. The many restaurants offering good food and wine would encourage some people to linger. If one happened to be there during one of the festivals or carnivals, that would add extra excitement.

Would I go back to this part of Germany and enjoy seeing more? In a heartbeat, my answer would be a resounding "yes!" Would I recommend it to others? Again yes!
I hope you picked up a little flavor of the day spent in Freiburg, Germany, and enjoyed seeing some photos of that attractive town.

Sources:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 13, 2021:

Hi MG,

I am glad that you learned a bit about the charming Freiburg in Germany. It was a delight to visit and get to see some of it with my friends.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on March 12, 2021:

Excellent travel article. Haven't been there but you brought the place alive.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 12, 2021:

Hi Larry,

Yes, international travel is definitely enlightening. Freiburg is a charming town. As to the white asparagus (spargel), I had several restaurant meals where the spargel was the main component. It was a treat.

Larry on March 12, 2021:

Did you see any elves in the Black Forest? Just kidding. The spargel dish looks very appetizing. International travel is so enlightening.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 11, 2016:

Hi Robert,

In many of the small towns in Germany people do not speak English...so my friend was the translator. On our rail trip to Switzerland the tour guide was speaking German...so once again my friend was there to do some translating. It certainly made the trip even more enjoyable.

Robert Sacchi on May 10, 2016:

Yes, traveling to a foreign country with a native is a big advantage.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 10, 2016:

Hi Robert,

It was certainly a thrill of a lifetime seeing Freiburg and other parts of Germany as well as Switzerland with my long time German friend.

Robert Sacchi on May 06, 2016:

Great photos. Freiburg looks like a storybook place. It must have been a wonder walking through this ancent city.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 01, 2013:

Hi Indian Chef,

I was so fortunate to have a friend who lives in Germany introduce me to places like Freiburg and other places. It was a trip of a lifetime for me. Hope you get to travel to your desired places in Europe and Australia someday. Traveling is so much fun as well as educational. Thanks for your 5 star rating and the share on FB.

Indian Chef from New Delhi India on May 01, 2013:

Peggy like always your pictures are outstanding and make me feel like visiting this place too. Germany has always been on my list of places I want to visit..Infact there are many places in Europe and Australia I would love to visit. Rated 5 star and sharing on FB

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 03, 2012:

Hi vox vocis,

What a small world...the fact of your husband originally coming from Freiburg, Germany! I also liked that McDonald's sign on that pretty house as compared to the Golden Arches which are iconic and typical. Certainly blends in better! Enjoy your Octoberfest activities with your visiting brother. Many German restaurants celebrate Octoberfest over here all during the month of October. Thanks for your comment.

Jasmine on October 03, 2012:

I'd certainly like to visit Freiburg one day. My hubbie was born there but he moved with his family to a small place near Frankfurt when he was just a little boy. Frankfurt is not that nice compared to Freiburg. We'll probably go to München this weekend to visit his sister because my brother is here and we were planning to show him around the city and go to the Octoberfest (you must have heard about it).

P.S. I find the McDonalds sign on that fairy tale looking house so cute :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 10, 2011:

Hello Wooden Toys for Children,

Hope by now you have gotten to visit the very scenic town of Freiburg in Germany. The surrounding area of the Black Forest is also so beautiful. Sorry for the late response. For some reason this went into the spam folder and was not discovered until today. Thanks for your comment.

Wooden Toys for Children on July 24, 2010:

Hi Peggy, I stumbled upon your page when looking for Freiburg's Disease how funny, it is not a serious condition so don't worry! This is a great feature I have never visited Germany despite living so near in the UK! This place looks lovely, I have always liked the idea of Germany but never got round to it, I am now inspired to visit Freiburg and the surrounding Black Forest area.

Thanks

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 16, 2010:

Hello Nieceofafreiburger,

Oh you are so fortunate to have an aunt and uncle living in that beautiful city of Freiburg, Germany! They can undoubtedly lead you to where these pictures were taken as it was pretty much the center of town. Enjoy your visit and thanks for the nice comment.

Nieceofafreiburger on March 16, 2010:

Thank you for this travel log! I'll be visiting my aunt and uncle who live in Freiburg in May 2010, and although I've been there twice before, it has been about 15 years since my last visit. I'll certainly use a lot of your tips on places and things to see while I'm there. Thanks again -- this was lovely!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 21, 2010:

Hello LRobbins,

Visiting Freiburg, Germany was definitely a dream come true for me and especially being there as a tourist with a German friend and her brother. Glad you liked this. Hope you get to see it in person some day for yourself.

Laurel from Germany on February 21, 2010:

It looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing your time there. I would definitely love to go.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 25, 2009:

Hi loveroflife,

I agree that if one cannot be there in person to visit cities like Freiburg, Germany, then seeing pictures of it and seeing what it is like through others efforts in portraying the flavor of it through their eyes is second best. Thanks for taking this journey and leaving a comment.

lopveroflife on October 24, 2009:

Historic European cities like Freiburg are always a pleasure to visit even if it is only a virtual tour through your hub. Thanks.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 29, 2009:

Hi Melody, Glad that you liked this hub regarding Freiburg. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Melody Lagrimas from Philippines on April 29, 2009:

Hi Peggy, thanks for this very informative and entertaining hub. I have never been to Germany or any other country except my own for that matter.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 15, 2009:

Hi Amy, Yes I have been to Rothenburg and I intend to write a hub about that some day. It is gorgeous and what makes it unique is that it was one area that escaped the bombing done during the war. My friend and I also did some walking on the wall. Great views!

If Germany is your second favorite country, what is your first?

Amy G on February 15, 2009:

Hi Peggy - My husband has taken me to Germany twice. I didn't visit this town but was in the area. I wondered if you had ever been to Rothenburg. It's similar in it's beauty and historic value, but completely surrounded by a tall stone wall. It's awesome... And after reading your story I want to go back ASAP! Thanks for the memories of my 2nd favorite country!

Amy

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 14, 2009:

Agreed! They tend to eat what is in season and celebrate it.

Scott757200 from Somewhere New Everyday! on February 14, 2009:

I agree with you so much about our food over here. On a scale of 1 to 10 its about a 4. I especially like the markets you can find all over Europe on the weekends for fresh produce. You just can't beat it!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 14, 2009:

Yes Scott, I definitely had spargel......several times in fact. And you are correct about the great bread. Makes most of what we eat over here pale in comparison. Thanks for visiting!

Scott757200 from Somewhere New Everyday! on February 14, 2009:

Isn't Germany great? I really like the smaller towns like Freiburg. Did you have some fresh spargel? Man its good! The Germans are GREAT bakers too......I'm getting hungry....love the pictures!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 04, 2009:

So happy that this brought back good memories for you Judi.

Judi Orrson on February 04, 2009:

What a great description of a place I'd visited many, many years ago during my "good ol' airline days." We started in Amsterdam and drove along the dike then through Germany, south to Fussan (spelled incorrectly, I'm sure) by Lake Catherine, then up to Munich for Oktoberfest. I still have the miniature schnauzer statue that I bought in Freiberg on my bookcase shelf. Thanks for the memory!!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 04, 2009:

Hello Renate,

Considering that you grew up in Germany...that compliment means even more to me. Thanks for commenting.

Renate Newman on February 04, 2009:

Peggy, very nicely put together, enjoyed it very much.

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