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I’ll admit when it comes to travel, Germany is not my first port of call, and I’ve never fancied visiting until my sister moved there, even so, it took me well over ten years to pop over for baby sitting weekend with my niece and nephew. Freiburg is one of those unusual boarder towns that leads you to everywhere, you fly into Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg airport that serves Germany, Switzerland and France, are one hour from Switzerland and Salzburg either way, and about a fifty minute drive from Paris. Its the best of all worlds especially for those who love to travel. Its the second warmest province in Germany, filled with vineyards and surrounded by the Black Forest, and is also a half hour from the most beautiful town I have ever seen, Eguisheim in Colmar, where Beauty and The Beast is based on. I kid you not.
When I travel I make a habit of visiting churches and museums, museums for obvious reasons, but churches because I am often fascinated by the buildings, and the history- Churches tend to have a lot of that. The Freiburg Münster is one of such churches that fascinates me- it was built on top of the remains of another church that previous stop there in 1120. Construction began around 1200 and was completed in 1330, it is the only gothic cathedral in Germany completed in the middle ages . The town was bombed in the second world war, but the chruch was the only thing that remained standing, and was a source of refuge for the inhabitants. The tower has sixteen bells, the oldest of which is Hosanna from 1258. The triumph remains one of the most remarkable work, if not the most remarkable I have ever seen, adorned with miniature statues each telling a biblical story and different stages of Christ’s life and inside the church to the left side is a life size creation of the last supper.
The stained windows are the real gem here, every window was donated by a guild and other persons, with the symbol of their craft of trade displayed on them, a pretzel indicates a baker donated the window, a barrel- a beer maker, a thimble- a tailor, and so on. Although a cathedral, the church itself is not owned by the Catholic church but by the people of Freiburg who appoint a custodian to look after the church. During WWII most the buildings surrounding the church were destroyed but the church, the windows were removed to prevent them being destroyed.
Much of the black forest is warm right up until the beginning of November the climate is perfect for a late getaway and if you fancy a little bit of history walk around, the town is brimming with it. Far from the run mill tourist trap, and happens to have the best Black Forest Gateau- if you cannot eat a black forest gateau in the black forest then where can you? You’ll likely never try one elsewhere when you eat it here. I should know.