A Friend and the Minster of Freiburg

I do have a longtime friend in Freiburg in Germany who worked with me for a few years as a tourist guide in Ischia/Italy. So in the last years I dropped over to see her a few times. I’ve been there the first time with an Irish friend of mine and we three of us had a nice time together. It was before Christmas and freezing cold but very suggestive.

Another time I went to see her alone in autumn as we wanted to go together to Ischia in Italy. So there was more possibility to see the city and walk around with warmer weather. And so we did although the weather was not sunny as I hoped.

The inner city of Freiburg is a knot of small streets and I got lost here once because nothing is signed out in a proper way – or at least not for me. I don’t know why in Germany I always get lost. Maybe I am more used to a different way of road-signs I believe.

Anyway, this time I was with my friend and we parked very comfortable in a park-house right in the center. So we could walk easily around and have a look also at the hill from where we had a beautiful view on the roof-tops of Freiburg.

We walked in the streets, had a look into the shops, gone into nice handcraft-shops, tiny little shops in the small streets. I was very impressed by the minster of Freiburg. It is situated in the Münsterplatz (Minster Place) and the houses all around are really suggestive. I liked the red one with arches and a very interesting book flea market. It is the museum of history and has a beautiful decorated facade and two towers with colored roofs.

The minster itself is so much decorated that nearly every angle has a lot of photogenic items. The blue sky and the afternoon sun gave it a really nice coloring.

My friend pointed me to a very strange ‘sculpture’: a roof gutter or better a water sprout. I noticed that in the Middle Age they had a funny way to built them. Grotesque figures sometimes. Like the one I saw here at the minster.

The Freiburg Minster was built in 1200 by the duke of Zähringen in Romanesque style. In 1230 it was continued in Gothic style. Before in the same place there was already a church built just 80 years earlier. The minster in spite of its beauty and magnitude became only in 1827 seat of the Catholic archbishop of Freiburg and cathedral. The tower is some 116 m high and has a really impressive spire. Half of the tower is a square base and then it becomes octagonal. On the top there is the spire. It’s the only Gothic church tower in the country. Curious: during a 1944 bombing raid nearly all the surroundings of the minster were destroyed, the church standing straight and perfect.

The tower with its 16 bells hosts one bell from 1258 with a weight of nearly 3.300 kg. Who wants to listen to the bells: every Thursday and Saturday evenings, on Friday at 11 am and on 27 November they can be heart in the whole city.

Unfortunately I haven’s seen its interior as the minster was closed then. I believe the windows, donated once by the guilds, are marvelous. They have the symbols of the guilds featured. A very interesting fact is that the Freiburg minster has never been owned by the Roman Catholic Church but always by the people of the city. Today the ”Freiburg Association for the Structure of the Minster” is the one taking care of the maintenance.

I enjoyed out afternoon in the city and was really pleased with the old architecture and the at least dry weather. It was for sure not my last visit at my friends house and Freiburg.

Freiburg, Baden-Würtemberg/Germany:

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For further information:
The Freiburg website
About the Minster of Freiburg (in German)

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