Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Continuing the Fairytale in Freiburg

Though Stuttgart was cold, rainy, and gloomy, we found the Germany we'd been looking for in Freiburg, known for being Germany's sunniest town.  It looked like a medieval fairytale- rustic old buildings, charming turrets and towers, and these cute little mini-streams along the sides of the roads. We loved it! 

The beauty of Freiburg was in the details. 

Founded in 1120 as a free market town, it held on to it's medieval charm through multiple occupations and air raids. Though parts were destroyed during World War II, when it was rebuilt, the original plan was stuck to, allowing the city to maintain its character. Upon entering the old town, you're greeted by the most lovely gate tower. This is actually the oldest surviving tower from the original city wall, dating from all the way back to the 13th century! What's slightly disappointing is that once you make it through the gate, you realize that it's now being used to house a McDonalds... oh, consumerism...

Pink, green, bright red, and baby blue building line the streets, along with bächle, which are the narrow canals running along the roads.

As a slightly clumsy person, I had to be extra careful around these, as the legend is that if you fall in, you need to marry a Freiburgian (I'm sure that's not the actual word for 'Freiburg citizen'). We found ourselves watching our feet not only because of the bächle, but also because of the rock patterns in the streets. Stones in the sidewalks were placed in designs that showed what the shops had once been used for. We found cats, fish, pretzels, and beer tankards, as well as Freiburg towers. 

At some point during our strolls we ran into the Freiburg Cathedral, which was somehow built in just 130 years (finished in 1330). It was an unbelievable example of Gothic architecture, and, as Swiss historian Jacob Burckhard put it, the 116-meter tower, "will forever remain the most beautiful spire on Earth." As I mentioned earlier, Freiburg was damaged during WWII, but somehow the cathedral remained completely intact, despite homes directly next to the cathedral being completely destroyed. I read once that cathedrals were avoided during bombings so that they could be used as landmarks from the air, which must be why Milan's Duomo is still so beautifully whole even though Milan was one of Italy's most heavily bombed city.

Right next to the cathedral was a market full of mustard- sighhhhh we love mustard!

Speaking of food, Germany must just be the capital of comfort food because everything was just so tasty and cozy! As I said in my Stuttgart post, I loved the Swabian ravioli (especially in broth!), but we also had a ton of spätzle (a thick, homemade egg noodle), brägele (sautéed potatoes), and schnitzel (thin breaded meat). Yum, yum, yum. 

Overall, we had a nice, relaxing day in Freiburg as a bridge between Stuttgart and Colmar.


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