Freiburg im Breisgau

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Freiburg im Breisgau
Friburg im Brisgau (Alemannic)
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Location of Freiburg im Breisgau
Freiburg im Breisgau
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Freiburg im Breisgau
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Freiburg im Breisgau
Coordinates: 47°59′42″N07°51′00″E / 47.99500°N 7.85000°E / 47.99500; 7.85000
Country Germany
State Baden-Württemberg
Admin. region Freiburg
District Stadtkreis
Subdivisions41 districts
   Lord mayor (201826) Martin Horn [1] (Ind.)
   City 153.07 km2 (59.10 sq mi)
278 m (912 ft)
 (2022-12-31) [2]
   City 236,140
  Density1,500/km2 (4,000/sq mi)
656,753 Oberrhein
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes 0761, 07664, 07665
Vehicle registration FR

Freiburg im Breisgau (German: [ˈfʁaɪbʊʁkʔɪmˈbʁaɪsɡaʊ] ; Alemannic: Friburg im Brisgau; French : Fribourg-en-Brisgau; lit.Freecastle in the [lower-alpha 1] Breisgau ; mostly called simply Freiburg) is the fourth-largest city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg after Stuttgart, Mannheim and Karlsruhe. With around 236,000 inhabitants, it is Germany's 33rd-largest city. Its built-up area has a population of about 355,000 (2021) [3] while the greater Freiburg metropolitan area ("Einzugsgebiet") has about 660,000 (2018). [4]


Freiburg is located in Baden, at the southwestern foothills of the Black Forest, on the Dreisam River, a tributary of the Elz. It is Germany's southwestern- and southernmost city with a population exceeding 100,000. It lies in the Breisgau, one of Germany's warmest regions, in the south of the Upper Rhine Plain. Its city limits reach from the Schauinsland summit (1,284 metres (4,213 ft)) in the Black Forest to 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) east of the French border, while Switzerland is 42 kilometres (26 mi) to the south. The city is situated in the major wine-growing region of Baden and, together with Offenburg, serves as a tourist entry-point to the scenic Black Forest. According to meteorological statistics, Freiburg held the all-time German temperature record of 40.2 °C (104.4 °F) from 2003 to 2015. [5] [6]

An old university town and archiepiscopal seat, it was incorporated in the early 12th century and soon became a commercial, intellectual and ecclesiastical center for the Upper Rhine region. The University of Freiburg (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg), founded in 1457, is one of Germany's oldest universities. Freiburg's main landmark is the Freiburg Minster (Freiburger Münster), which was built between c. 1200 and 1513 and has been described as "Gothic architectural masterpiece".

The old town is traversed by an extensive system of runnels called Bächle (lit.small streams), that are fed with water from the Dreisam and run on the side and sometimes in the middle of almost all streets and alleys, giving the city a unique touch. Freiburg has a high standard of living, and is known for its advanced environmental practices, which is embodied by projects like the creation of the sustainable district of Vauban.

The dialect spoken in Freiburg is classified as (Upper Rhenish) Low Alemannic, and therefore most closely related to the other dialects of Baden north of Markgräflerland and south of Karlsruhe, to most dialects historically spoken in Alsace (Alsatian), and to Basel German.


Freiburg was founded by Konrad and Duke Berthold III of the House of Zähringen in 1120 as a free market town; [7] hence its name, which translates to "free (or independent) town". Frei means "free", and Burg, like the modern English word "borough", was used in those days for an incorporated city or town, usually one with some degree of autonomy. [8] The German word Burg also means "a fortified town", as in Hamburg. Thus, it is likely that the name of this place means a "fortified town of free citizens".

This town was strategically located at a junction of trade routes between the Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea regions, and the Rhine and Danube rivers. In 1200, Freiburg's population numbered approximately 6,000 people. At about that time, under the rule of Bertold V, the last duke of Zähringen, the city began construction of its Freiburg Minster cathedral on the site of an older parish church. [7] Begun in the Romanesque style, it was continued and completed 1513 for the most part as a Gothic edifice. In 1218, when Bertold V died, then Egino V von Urach, the count of Urach assumed the title of Freiburg's count as Egino I von Freiburg. [7] The city council did not trust the new nobles and wrote down its established rights in a document. At the end of the thirteenth century there was a feud between the citizens of Freiburg and their lord, Count Egino II of Freiburg. Egino II raised taxes and sought to limit the citizens' freedom, after which the Freiburgers used catapults to destroy the count's castle atop the Schloßberg, a hill that overlooks the city center. The furious count called on his brother-in-law the Prince-Bishopric of Strasbourg, Conrad of Lichtenberg, for help. The bishop responded by marching with his army to Freiburg.

Historical population
source: [9] [ circular reference ]
Freiburg City Hall (Rathaus) Neues Rathaus (Freiburg) 4029.jpg
Freiburg City Hall (Rathaus)

According to an old Freiburg legend, a butcher named Hauri stabbed the Bishop of Strasbourg to death on 29 July 1299. It was a Pyrrhic victory, since henceforth the citizens of Freiburg had to pay an annual expiation of 300 marks in silver to the count of Freiburg until 1368. In 1366 the counts of Freiburg made another failed attempt to occupy the city during a night raid. Eventually the citizens were fed up with their lords, and in 1368 Freiburg purchased its independence from them. The city turned itself over to the protection of the Habsburgs, who allowed the city to retain a large measure of freedom. Most of the nobles of the city died in the battle of Sempach (1386). The patrician family Schnewlin took control of the city until the guildsmen revolted. The guilds became more powerful than the patricians by 1389.

The silver mines in Mount Schauinsland provided an important source of capital for Freiburg. This silver made Freiburg one of the richest cities in Europe, and in 1327 Freiburg minted its own coin, the Rappenpfennig. In 1377 the cities of Freiburg, Basel, Colmar, and Breisach entered into a monetary alliance known as the Genossenschaft des Rappenpfennigs (Rappenpfennig Collective). This alliance facilitated commerce among the cities and lasted until the end of the sixteenth century. There were 8,000–9,000 people living in Freiburg between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and 30 churches and monasteries. At the end of the fourteenth century the veins of silver were dwindling, and by 1460 only approximately 6,000 people still lived within Freiburg's city walls.

A university city, Freiburg evolved from its focus on mining to become a cultural centre for the arts and sciences. It was also a commercial center. The end of the Middle Ages and the dawn of the Renaissance was a time of both advances and tragedy for Freiburg.

In 1457, Albrecht VI, Regent of Further Austria, established Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, one of Germany's oldest universities. In 1498, Emperor Maximilian I held a Reichstag in Freiburg. In 1520, the city ratified a set of legal reforms, widely considered the most progressive of the time. The aim was to find a balance between city traditions and old Roman Law. The reforms were well received, especially the sections dealing with civil process law, punishment, and the city's constitution.

Freiburg Munster medieval cathedral Freiburg from above.jpg
Freiburg Münster medieval cathedral

In 1520, Freiburg decided not to take part in the Reformation and became an important centre for Catholicism on the Upper Rhine. Erasmus moved here after Basel accepted the Reformation. In 1536, a strong and persistent belief in witchcraft led to the city's first witch-hunt. The need to find a scapegoat for calamities such as the Black Plague, which claimed 2,000 area residents (25% of the city population) in 1564, led to an escalation in witch-hunting that reached its peak in 1599. A plaque on the old city wall marks the spot where burnings were carried out.

The seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries were turbulent times for Freiburg. At the beginning of the Thirty Years' War in 1618, its population numbered between 10,000 to 14,000; when it ended in 1648, only 2,000 remained. [10] In August 1644, it was the site of the Battle of Freiburg, said to be the bloodiest battle of the war in times of percentage casualties. [11]

Between 1648 and 1805, when the city was not under French occupation it was the administrative headquarters of Further Austria, the Habsburg territories in the southwest of Germany. In 1805, the city, together with the Breisgau and Ortenau areas, became part of Baden. In 1827, when the Archdiocese of Freiburg was founded, Freiburg became the seat of a Catholic archbishop.

The Martinstor, one of the former city gates in Freiburg Martinstor (Freiburg im Breisgau) jm10177.jpg
The Martinstor, one of the former city gates in Freiburg

Freiburg was heavily bombed during World War II. In May 1940, aircraft of the Luftwaffe mistakenly dropped approximately 60 bombs on Freiburg near the railway station, killing 57 people, most of them civilians and including 22 children. [12] This was reported by the official German news agency as an attack by the Western Allies, and retaliation against them was threatened. The Freiburg police commander subsequently established that the bombs were German, but the full story was not published until many years later. [13] On 27 November 1944, a raid by more than 300 bombers of RAF Bomber Command (Operation Tigerfish) destroyed a large portion of the city centre, with the notable exception of the Münster, which was only lightly damaged. After the war, the city was rebuilt on its medieval plan.

On 22 October 1940, the Nazi Gauleiter of Baden, Robert Heinrich Wagner, ordered the deportation of all of Baden's and 350 of Freiburg's Jewish population. They were deported to Camp Gurs in the south of France, where many died. On 18 July 1942, the remaining Baden and Freiburg Jews were transferred to Auschwitz in German-occupied Poland, where almost all were murdered. [14] A living memorial has been created in the form of the 'footprint' in marble on the site of the city's original synagogue, which was burned down on 9 November 1938, during the pogrom known as Kristallnacht . The memorial is a fountain and contains a bronze plaque commemorating the original building and the Jewish community which perished. The pavements of Freiburg carry memorials to individual victims, in the form of brass plates outside their former residences. There was a camp for Sinti and Romani people (see Romani Holocaust ) in the city. [15]

It was occupied by the French Army on 21 April 1945, and Freiburg was soon allotted to the French Zone of Occupation. In December 1945 Freiburg became the seat of government for the German state of Baden, which was merged into Baden-Württemberg in 1952. The French Army maintained a presence in Freiburg until 1991, when the last French Army division left the city, and left Germany.

On the site of the former French Army base, a new neighborhood for 5,000 people, Vauban, began in the late 1990s as a "sustainable model district".[ citation needed ] Solar power provides electricity to many of the households in this small community.

Points of interest

Because of its scenic beauty, relatively warm and sunny climate, and easy access to the Black Forest, Freiburg is a hub for regional tourism. In 2010, Freiburg was voted as the Academy of Urbanism's European City of the Year in recognition of the exemplary sustainable urbanism it has implemented over the past several decades.

The longest cable car run in Germany, which is 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long, runs from Günterstal up to a nearby mountain called Schauinsland .

The city has an unusual system of gutters (called Freiburg Bächle ) that run throughout its centre. These Bächle, once used to provide water to fight fires and feed livestock, are constantly flowing with water diverted from the Dreisam. They were never intended to be used for sewage, and even in the Middle Ages such use could lead to harsh penalties. During the summer, the running water provides natural cooling of the air, and offers a pleasant gurgling sound. It is said that if one accidentally falls or steps into a Bächle, they will marry a Freiburger, or 'Bobbele'.

Bachle Friburgo Ruscelli nel Centro -- Freiburg with the city center streams.jpg

The Augustinerplatz is one of the central squares in the old city. Formerly the location of an Augustinian monastery that became the Augustiner Museum in 1921, it is now a popular social space for Freiburg's younger residents. It has a number of restaurants and bars, including the local brewery 'Feierling', which has a Biergarten. On warm summer nights, hundreds of students gather here.

At the centre of the old city is the Münsterplatz or Cathedral Square, Freiburg's largest square. A farmers' market is held here every day except Sundays. This is the site of Freiburg's Münster, a gothic minster cathedral constructed of red sandstone, built between 1200 and 1530 and noted for its towering spire.

The Historical Merchants' Hall of 1520-21 Historisches Kaufhaus Freiburg.jpg
The Historical Merchants' Hall of 1520–21

The Historical Merchants' Hall (Historisches Kaufhaus), is a Late Gothic building on the south side of Freiburg's Münsterplatz. Built between 1520 and 1530, it was once the center of the financial life of the region. Its façade is decorated with statues and the coat of arms of four Habsburg emperors.

The Altes Rathaus, or old city hall, was completed in 1559 and has a painted façade. The Platz der alten Synagoge "Old Synagogue Square" is one of the more important squares on the outskirts of the historic old city. The square was the location of a synagogue until it was destroyed on Kristallnacht in 1938. Zum Roten Bären, the oldest hotel in Germany, is located along Oberlinden near the Swabian Gate.

The Siegesdenkmal , or victory monument, is a monument to the German victory in the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. It is situated at the northern edge of the historic city center of Freiburg and was built by Karl Friedrich Moest. In everyday language of people living in Freiburg, it serves as an orientation marker or as a meeting place.

To the east of the city centre, the Schlossberg hill provides extensive views over the city and surrounding region. The castle (Schloss) from which the hill takes its name was demolished in the 1740s, and only ruins remain. Schlossberg retained its importance to the city, however, and 150 years ago the city leaders opened up walks and views to make the mountain available to the public. Today, the Schlossbergbahn funicular railway connects the city centre to the hill. [16]

Other museums in the city include the Archaeology Colombischlössle Museum.


Freiburg Schlossbergturm Panorama 2010.jpg
Panoramic view of Freiburg, seen from Schlossberg. Freiburg Münster can be seen just right of centre.

Freiburg is bordered by the Black Forest mountains Rosskopf and Bromberg to the east, Schönberg and Tuniberg to the south, with the Kaiserstuhl hill region to the west.


The Köppen climate classification classifies Freiburg's climate as temperate oceanic climate (Cfb). Thus, July and August are, along with Karlsruhe, the warmest within Germany. Winters are moderate but usually with some frosts at night. More year-round rain occurs here than in the Rhine plateau. The city is close to the Kaiserstuhl, a range of hills of volcanic origin located a few miles away, which is one of the warmest places in Germany and therefore considered as a viticultural area.

Climate data for Freiburg 1991–2020, sunshine 2018–2022, extremes 1949–present
Record high °C (°F)20.8
Mean daily maximum °C (°F)5.6
Daily mean °C (°F)3.1
Mean daily minimum °C (°F)0.5
Record low °C (°F)−16.7
Average precipitation mm (inches)42.8
Average snowfall cm (inches)1.0
Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm)14.813.314.213.315.114.213.813.611.814.715.216.2170.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 6211516120723926530026121412380712,098
Mean daily sunshine hours
Average ultraviolet index 1235688765315
Source:, [17], [18] weather-atlas, [19] and wetterdienst [20]
Largest groups of foreigners by country of origin [21]
NationalityPopulation (2022)
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 3,211
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 2,825
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 2,603
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 1,992
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 1,761
Flag of Syria.svg  Syria 1,652
Flag of France.svg  France 1,574
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia 1,382
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 1,235
Flag of Kosovo.svg  Kosovo 1,124


Freiburg is known as an "eco-city". In June 1995, the Freiburg city council adopted a resolution that it would permit construction only of "low-energy buildings" on municipal land, and all new buildings must comply with certain low energy specifications. The neighbourhoods of Vauban and Rieselfeld were developed and built in the late 1990s in accordance with the principles of sustainability. The city is also home to a branch of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, as well as solar industry and research. The citizens of Freiburg are known in Germany for their love of cycling and recycling. [22] Freiburg is host to a number of international organisations, in particular, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, International Solar Energy Society, and the City Mayors Foundation. [23] Politically, it is a longtime stronghold of the Alliance 90/The Greens, who have seen consistent success since the 1990s and have been the largest party on the city council since 2004. For many years, they performed more strongly in Freiburg than any other major city: former mayor Dieter Salomon, who served from 2002 to 2018, was the first member of the Greens to hold such an office in a city of over 100,000 people.


Martin Horn, Mayor of Freiburg Martin Horn (Politiker) (ZMF2018) jm66787.jpg
Martin Horn, Mayor of Freiburg
Results of the second round of the 2018 mayoral election 2018 Freiburg im Breisgau mayoral election (2nd round).svg
Results of the second round of the 2018 mayoral election

The current mayor of Freiburg is Martin Horn since 2018. He was previously a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) but left before running for mayor. In the election, he was supported by the SPD and the Free Democratic Party (FDP). [24] The most recent mayoral election was held on 22 April 2018, with a runoff held on 6 May, and the results were as follows:

CandidatePartyFirst roundSecond round
Votes %Votes %
Martin Horn Independent (SPD, FDP)30,06734.738,90744.2
Dieter Salomon Alliance 90/The Greens 27,09431.327,01430.7
Monika SteinGreen Alternative Freiburg (LiSSt/Junges/UFF)22,72626.221,23724.1
Anton Behringer Independent 3,2443.77960.9
Stephan Wermter Independent 2,2522.6Withdrew
Manfred Kröber Independent (Green)1,2401.4Withdrew
Valid votes86,69399.587,99999.8
Invalid votes4250.51950.2
Electorate/voter turnout170,79351.0170,41951.8
Source: City of Freiburg (1st round, 2nd round)

City council

Results of the 2019 city council election 2019 Freiburg im Breisgau City Council election.svg
Results of the 2019 city council election

The Freiburg city council governs the city alongside the Mayor. The most recent city council election was held on 26 May 2019, and the results were as follows:

PartyVotes %+/-Seats+/-
Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne)1,232,19826.5Increase2.svg 2.213Increase2.svg 2
Social Democratic Party (SPD)591,60312.7Decrease2.svg 4.06Decrease2.svg 2
Christian Democratic Union (CDU)550,57211.8Decrease2.svg 6.56Decrease2.svg 3
Left List – Solidary City (LiSSt)322,7616.9Decrease2.svg 1.73Decrease2.svg 1
Green Alternative Freiburg (GAF)302,2786.5Increase2.svg 3.33Increase2.svg 2
Free Voters Baden-Württemberg (FW)257,4585.5Decrease2.svg 0.43±0
Livable Freiburg (FL)210,1734.5Decrease2.svg 1.12Decrease2.svg 1
Young Freiburg (Junges)178,2573.8Increase2.svg 0.42±0
Free Democratic Party (FDP)175,1733.8Decrease2.svg 1.02±0
Alternative for Germany (AfD)168,1203.6New2New
Urban Freiburg (Urbanes)139,0113.0New1New
Die PARTEI 126,7902.7Increase2.svg 1.21Increase2.svg 1
Culture List Freiburg (KULT)103,1822.2Decrease2.svg 1.91Decrease2.svg 1
Independent Women Freiburg (UFF)88,1751.9Decrease2.svg 0.51±0
Citizens for Freiburg (BFF)87,2911.9New1New
List for Participation and Inclusion (LTI)63,8221.4New1New
For Freiburg – Politics of Christian Perpective (Für Freiburg)48,1451.0New0New
necessary intellectually charging tendency (NICHT)8,2860.2New0New
Total votes4,652,295100.0
Total ballots107,404100.048±0
Electorate/voter turnout170,96462.8Increase2.svg 11.4
Source: City of Freiburg


Albert-Ludwigs University Universitat Freiburg Kollegiengebaude I (Altbau).jpg
Albert-Ludwigs University

Freiburg is a center of academia and research, in which numerous intellectual figures and Nobel Laureates have lived, worked, and taught.

The city houses one of the oldest and most renowned of German universities, the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, as well as its medical center. Home to some of the greatest minds of the West, including such eminent figures as Johann Eck, Max Weber, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, and Friedrich Hayek, it is one of Europe's top research and teaching institutions.

Freiburg also plays host to various other educational and research institutes, such as the Freiburg University of Education, the Protestant University for Applied Sciences Freiburg, Freiburg Music Academy, the Catholic University of Applied Sciences Freiburg, the International University of Cooperative Education IUCE, three Max Planck institutes, five Fraunhofer institutes, and one Leibniz institute.

The city is home to the IES Abroad European Union program, which allows students to study the development and activities of the EU. [25] [26] This is in addition to an Environmental Science and Sustainability program focused on Freiburg's famed green lifestyle and infrastructure. [27] IES Abroad also offers a German Language and Area Studies program where visiting students get to take classes at the University of Freiburg. [28]

The DFG / LFA Freiburg, a French-German high school established by the 1963 Élysée Treaty, is in the city. UWC Robert Bosch College is among the newest members of the United World Colleges (UWC) movement, one of its eighteen colleges around the world, having started accepting students in September 2014.



Freiburg belonged to Austria until 1805 and remained Catholic, although surrounding villages like Haslach, Opfingen, Tiengen, and the surrounding land ruled by the Margrave of Baden became Protestant as a result of the Reformation. The city was part of the Diocese of Konstanz until 1821. That same year, Freiburg became an episcopal see of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Freiburg. Due to a dispute between the government of Baden and the Holy See, the archbishop officially took office in 1827.

The Freiburger Minster: one of Freiburg's most famous landmarks Freiburger-muenster.png
The Freiburger Minster: one of Freiburg's most famous landmarks

The borders of the archdiocese correspond with the borders of the former province of Baden and the former Margraviate of Hohenzollern. The cathedral, in which the bishop resides, is Freiburg Minster. Also, part of the ecclesiastical province of Freiburg are the suffragan dioceses of Mainz and Rottenburg-Stuttgart.

Until 1929, the dioceses of Limburg and Fulda also belonged to this ecclesiastical province. The Archbishop of Freiburg holds the title of metropolitan and the German headquarters of the link to Caritas Germany is in Freiburg.

Saint George (the flag of Freiburg has the cross of George), Lambert of Maastricht and the catacomb saint, Alexander, are the patron saints of Freiburg. Many works of art depicting these saints are in the Freiburg Minster, on the Minster square, just as in the museums and archives of the city, including some by Hans Baldung Grien, Hans Holbein the Younger and Gregorius Sickinger.

In 1805, with the attack of Breisgau on the Grand Duchy of Baden by a Catholic ruler, many Protestants moved into the city. Since 2007, any Protestants who are not part of a 'free church' belong to the newly founded deanery of Freiburg as part of the parish of Südbaden which in itself is a part of the Landeskirche Baden.

The seat of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Baden, a free Lutheran church, is situated in Freiburg. There are multiple other free Protestant churches: e.g., the Calvary Chapel or Chrischona International. An old congregation has existed in Freiburg since the late 1900s, which utilises the old monastery church of the Ursulines in the black monastery at the border of the old city center. The Catholic Church of St. Maria Schutz has been made available for Masses by Greek, Serbian, Russian and Rumanian Orthodox congregations.


Jews are said to have lived in the city before 1230, but it was only after 1230 that they supposedly founded an official community in the Webergasse (a small street within the town center). The counts of Freiburg bought the lucrative Schutzjude, which means that all personal information on Jews living in Freiburg was directly sent to Konrad II and his co-reigning son Friedrich. The two issued a comprising letter promising safety and liberty to all local Jews on 12 October 1338. It lost all value shortly after, however, on 1 January 1349. Although the plague had not yet broken out in the city, Jews were accused of having spread it and taken into custody. All Jews except pregnant women were burned alive on 31 January 1349. The remaining children were forced to be baptised. This pogrom left Jews very hesitant to resettle in the city. In 1401, the city council decreed a regulation banning all Jews from Freiburg (orig. Middle High German dialect: “daz dekein Jude ze Friburg niemmerme sin sol” [27]. This was officially reaffirmed by King Sigismund with a ban for life (orig. German: “Ewige Vertreibung”) in 1424. Not until 1809 were Jews again allowed permanent residence within the city. They subsequently founded a Jewish community in 1836.

At the Kristallnacht in 1938, the synagogue, built in 1870, was set afire. Numerous shops and apartments of Jewish citizens of Freiburg were devastated and plundered by National Socialists without the intervention of police or fire department. Male, wealthy, Jewish citizens were kidnapped and taken to concentration camps (in Buchenwald and Dachau) where they were subjected to forced labor or executed and their money and property stolen.

On 22 October 1940, the remaining Jews of Baden and Pfalz were deported to Camp de Gurs in southern France. One among many collecting points was Annaplatz. So-called 'Stolpersteine', tiles with names and dates on them, commemorate the victims of the prosecution of Jews during the Nazi-Era in the city's cobble. Journalist Käthe Vordtriede of the Volkswacht even received two Stolpersteine to commemorate her life. The first one was inserted into the ground in front of the Vordtriede-Haus Freiburg in 2006 and the second one in front of the Basler Hof, the regional authorities, in spring 2013. This was also the seat of the Gestapo until 1941, where unrelenting people were cruelly interrogated, held prisoner or deported. The only solutions were flight or emigration. The Vordtriede family managed to escape in time.


Freiburg VAG tram Combino Freiburg.jpg
Freiburg VAG tram

Freiburg has an extensive pedestrian zone in the city centre where no motor cars are allowed. Freiburg also has an excellent public transport system, operated by the city-owned VAG Freiburg. The backbone of the system is the Freiburg tramway network, supplemented by feeder buses. The tram network is very popular as the low fares allow for unlimited transport in the city and surrounding area. Furthermore, any ticket for a concert, sports or other event is also valid for use on public transport. The tram network is so vast that 70% of the population live within 500m of a tram stop with a tram every 7–8 mins.

Freiburg is on the main Frankfurt am Main – Basel railway line, with frequent and fast long-distance passenger services from the Freiburg Hauptbahnhof to major German and other European cities. Other railway lines run east into the Black Forest and west to Breisach and are served by the Breisgau S-Bahn. The line to Breisach is the remaining stub of the Freiburg–Colmar international railway, severed in 1945 when the railway bridge over the Rhine at Breisach was destroyed, and was never replaced.

The city also is served by the A5 Frankfurt am MainBasel motorway.

Freiburg is served by EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg in France, close to the borders of both Germany and Switzerland, 70 km (43 mi) south of Freiburg. Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport is approximately 100 km (62 mi) north of Freiburg and is also served by several airlines. The nearest larger international airports include Zurich (130 km (81 mi)), Stuttgart (200 km (120 mi)), and Frankfurt/Main (260 km (160 mi)). The nearby Flugplatz Freiburg ( IATA : QFB, ICAO : EDTF), a small airfield in the Messe, Freiburg district, lacks commercial service but is used for private aviation.

Car share websites such as BlaBlaCar are commonly used among Freiburg residents, since they are considered relatively safe.

The investment in transport has resulted in a large increase in both cycle, pedestrian and public transport usage with projections of car journeys accounting for 29% of journey times.


Schwarzwald-Stadion is the former home ground of Bundesliga club SC Freiburg. Badenova-Stadion 2011.jpg
Schwarzwald-Stadion is the former home ground of Bundesliga club SC Freiburg.

The Freiburger FC won the 1907 German football championship. Afterwards, the city experienced a 115-year drought where no sports team won a national championship again. In 2022, the drought was finally ended by the Eisvögel USC Freiburg who won the 1. Damen-Basketball-Bundesliga title. [29]

Freiburg is home to football teams SC Freiburg, which plays at the Europa-Park Stadion and is represented in the 1. or 2. Bundesliga since 1978, and Freiburger FC. In 2016, SC Freiburg got promoted to the highest league for the fifth time in its club history. The club became generally known in Germany for its steady staffing policy. Achim Stocker was president of the club from 1972 until his death in 2009. Longtime coach was Volker Finke (1991–2007), to whose initiative the football school of the club goes back. In 2004, SC Freiburg celebrated its 100th anniversary. Since December 2011, the coach is Christian Streich. The women's team of SC Freiburg plays in the first Women's Bundesliga.

Freiburg is represented in the first women's basketball league by the Eisvögel (Kingfisher) USC Freiburg. In the season 2005/2006, the Kingfishers took second place after the end of the second round, in the season 2006/2007 it was the fourth place. The men's team of the USC played in the 2009/10 season in the ProA (2nd Bundesliga). The Freiburg men's team played their last first-division season in 1998/1999. Currently, season 2018/19, the men's team plays in the Oberliga and the women's team in the regional league.

Freiburg also has the EHC Freiburg ice hockey team, which plays at the Franz-Siegel Halle. In the season 2003/2004 the EHC Freiburg (the wolves) played in the DEL, the highest German ice hockey league. Currently, season 2018/19, they play in the second league (DEL2).

Additionally, there is the RC Freiburg Rugby union team, which competes in the second Bundesliga South (Baden Württemberg). The home ground of the club, the only rugby sports field in the wider area, is located in March-Hugstetten.

Then, there is the volleyball men's team of the FT 1844 Freiburg, which plays in the second Bundesliga since 2001 and the handball women's team of the HSG Freiburg, which plays in the 3rd Women's Handball League.

From 1925 to 1984, the Schauinsland Races took place on an old logging track. The course is still used periodically for European Hill Climb Championships.


The Union for Aromanian Language and Culture, an Aromanian cultural organization, was founded in 1985 in Freiburg by the Aromanian professor Vasile Barba  [ bg ]. [30]


Badische Zeitung is the main local daily paper, covering the Black Forest region.

Twin towns – sister cities

Freiburg im Breisgau is twinned with: [31]

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's controversial comments, which included questioning the dimension of the Holocaust, have sparked discussions concerning Freiburg's relationship with Isfahan. Immediately following the comments, Freiburg mayor Salomon postponed a trip to Isfahan, but most people involved, especially those in the Alliance '90/The Greens party, were opposed to cancelling the relationship. [32]


Seal of Freiburg Stadtsiegel-freiburg.jpg
Seal of Freiburg

The city's coat of arms is Argent a cross Gules, the St George's Cross. Saint George is the city's patron saint. The cross also appears on the city's flag, which dates from about 1368, and is identical to that of England, which has the same patron.

The city also has a seal that can be seen in a few places in the inner city. It is a stylised depiction of the façade of the Wasserschlössle, a castle-like waterworks facility built into a hill that overlooks the residential district of Wiehre. The seal depicts a three-towered red castle on a white background, with green-clad trumpeters atop the two outer towers. Beneath the castle is a gold fleur-de-lis.

Notable people

Portraint of Erasmus by Holbein, 1523 Holbein-erasmus.jpg
Portraint of Erasmus by Holbein, 1523
Karl von Rotteck Karl von Rotteck Badische Bahnen.jpg
Karl von Rotteck
Martin Heidegger, 1960 Heidegger 4 (1960) cropped.jpg
Martin Heidegger, 1960
Friedrich Hayek Friedrich Hayek portrait.jpg
Friedrich Hayek

Pre-18th century

18th century

19th century

Portrait of Karl Rahner Karl Rahner by Letizia Mancino Cremer.jpg
Portrait of Karl Rahner
Hannah Arendt, 1975 Hannah Arendt 1975.jpg
Hannah Arendt, 1975
Wolfgang Schauble, 2014 4th EPP St Gery Dialogue; Jan. 2014 (12189287345) (cropped).jpg
Wolfgang Schäuble, 2014
Stephan Burger, 2014 Stephan Burger.jpg
Stephan Burger, 2014

20th century

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Breisgau</span> Area in southwest Germany

The Breisgau is an area in southwest Germany extending along the Rhine River and enveloping portions of the Black Forest. Part of the state of Baden-Württemberg, it centers on the city of Freiburg im Breisgau. The district of Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald, which partly consists of the Breisgau, is named after the Black Forest area. Parts of the Breisgau are also situated in the political districts of Freiburg im Breisgau and Emmendingen.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wiehre</span>

Wiehre is a residential district at the edge of Freiburg im Breisgau, located southwards and across the River Dreisam from the Old City. It is a desirable district, with comparatively quiet streets and many well-preserved commercial and residential buildings dating from the 18th century and earlier. Housing there is expensive relative to the rest of the city. The Wiehre is bordered on the west by the Rheintalbahn Karlsruhe-Basel, on the north by the Dreisam, on the east by the Waldsee, and on the south by a wood known as the Sternwald am Bromberg and the village of Günterstal. The Günterstal Landstrasse, which begins at the St. Martin's Gate in the ancient town wall, bisects the Wiehre.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Freiburg Hauptbahnhof</span> German railway station

Freiburg Hauptbahnhof is the central railway station of the German city of Freiburg im Breisgau. The Rhine Valley Railway (Mannheim–Basel), Höllentalbahn and the Breisach Railway (Breisach–Freiburg) meet here.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Schlossberg (Freiburg)</span>

The Schlossberg is a tree-covered hill of 456 metres (1,496 ft) located in the area of the city of Freiburg im Breisgau. It is directly to the east of Freiburg's Old Town and is part of the Black Forest. The main geological fault is at the western edge of the Schlossberg, towards the Upper Rhine Graben.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Freiburg Castle</span>

Freiburg Castle is a vanished castle. When it existed it was usually called the Burghaldenschloss.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Operation Tigerfish</span>

Operation Tigerfish was the military code name in World War II for the air raid on Freiburg in the evening of 27 November 1944 by the Royal Air Force with about 2,800 dead.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trams in Freiburg im Breisgau</span> German network of tramways

The Freiburg im Breisgau tramway network is a network of tramways that forms part of the public transport system in Freiburg im Breisgau, a city in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Established in 1901, the network has been operated since its foundation by the company now known as Freiburger Verkehrs, and powered by electricity. The tramway network currently has five lines. The expansion of the tram network since 1980 has served as an example of the "renaissance of the trams" in Germany. As of 2023, 73 trams were available for regular use: 2 of these were high-floored, 36 partial and 35 low-floored. Almost the entirety of the network is located within Freiburg's urban area; only a few metres of the balloon loop at Gundelfinger Straße are located outside the boundary of Gundelfingen to the north of Freiburg. In total, the trams serve 20 out of the 28 districts in Freiburg.


The Kaiser-Joseph-Straße in Freiburg im Breisgau is a shopping street of about 900 meters, which runs through the center of Freiburg's historic downtown from north to south. It is one of the most expensive locations in Germany.


The Bertoldsbrunnen is a monument in the historic city of Freiburg im Breisgau. It is situated at the crossing of the Salz- and Bertoldsstraße with the Kaiser-Joseph-Straße. The fountain is one of the central locations of the city. A tram station with the same name is situated at the Bertoldsbrunnen where four of the five tramways of the Freiburger Verkehrs AG stop.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Freiburg</span>

The History of Freiburg im Breisgau can be traced back 900 years. Around 100 years after Freiburg was founded in 1120 by the Zähringer, until their family died out. The unloved Counts of Freiburg followed as the town lords, who then sold it onto the Habsburgers. At the start of the 19th century, the (catholic) Austrian ownership of the town ended, when Napoleon, after having invaded the town, decreed the town and Breisgau to be a part of the Grand Duchy of Baden in 1806. Until 1918, Freiburg belonged to the Grand Duchy, until 1933 to the Weimar Republic and Gau Baden in Nazi Germany. After the Second World War, the town was the state capital of (South) Baden from 1949 until 1952. Today, Freiburg is the fourth-largest city in Baden-Württemberg.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stadtgarten Freiburg</span>

The Stadtgarten of Freiburg is a 2.6 ha park within the Neuburg district. It has an old tree grove and a large rose garden, and lies between the Leopoldring, Jackob Burckhardt, Ludwig and Mozart streets near Freiburg's city centre. It is connected to Karlsplatz via the Karlssteg footbridge, which is made from pre-stressed concrete. Since 2008 the Schlossberg Tram, an inclined elevator, leads up to Schlossberg. It replaced the Schlossberg Cable Car built in 1968.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the Jews in Freiburg im Breisgau</span>

The History of the Jews in Freiburg dates back to the Late Middle Ages when, at the site of today's Wasserstraße and Weberstraße, there was reference to a ghetto. In 1328, a synagogue was located at 6 Weberstraße.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Old City of Freiburg</span> Stadtteil of Freiburg im Breisgau in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

The Old City of Freiburg is part of the city and business centres of Freiburg im Breisgau and is the core of the original city. It is divided into the two districts 111 Altstadt-Mitte and 112 Altstadt-Ring. The Altstadt-Mitte district was the city's build-up area at the time of its foundation and therefore formed the old city. The district Altstadt-Ring is connected westwards to the railway line and south to the Dreisam.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Johanneskirche</span>

The Johanneskirche is a Roman Catholic church located in Freiburg im Breisgau. It was first opened in 1899 and is currently located in the Wiehre district. Around the church, further historic buildings were built. On the western side is the presbytery of the community next to a vocational school and to the north is the Lessingschule. At the same time as the Johanneskirche was being completed, the Protestant Christians built their own church near to Johanneskirche, the Christuskirche.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Platz der Alten Synagoge</span>

The Platz der Alten Synagoge is a square in Freiburg, Germany. With a size of 130 square metres, it is the second largest square in the city after Minster Square. The square is named after the old synagogue, which was destroyed during the Kristallnacht in 1938. The synagogue had been built in 1869/1870 to the southwest of today's location of the square.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Neuburg (Freiburg im Breisgau)</span> Quarter of Freiburg in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Neuburg is a quarter of the German city Freiburg im Breisgau. The district is located directly north of the old town with its numerous sights and includes the Schlossberg which is situated east of the city's historic center. Neuburg adjoins the district Oberau on wooded Schlossberg, as well as it adjoins Herdern in the north. On its western side, the district is cut off from Stühlinger by the tracks of the Rheintalbahn running from Mannheim to Basel.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Breisach station</span>

Breisach station is a station in Breisach in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is now the starting point of the Breisach Railway to Freiburg and the Kaiserstuhl Railway (Kaiserstuhlbahn) to Riegel. The Breisach Railway crossed the Upper Rhine, running from Breisach to Colmar in France, until the destruction of the Breisach rail bridge in 1945.

Matthias Untermann is a German art historian and medieval archaeologist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Siege of Freiburg (1677)</span>

The siege of Freiburg took place between 9 and 16 November 1677, as part of the Franco-Dutch War, and ended with the conquest of the city by the French.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Günterstal</span> District in Baden-Württemberg, Freiburg im Breisgau

The village Günterstal is the southernmost district of Freiburg im Breisgau. It is located in the so-called Bohrer-Tal area at the foot of the 1284 metre-high Schauinsland in the Günterstal district of the Black Forest. Due to this, Freiburg prides itself on being Germany's highest city. Günterstal has more than 2,000 inhabitants and is separated from Freiburg by a two-kilometre-wide meadow, the "Wonnhaldewiesen". The village was incorporated into Freiburg in 1890. The southern neighbouring municipality is Horben.


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Further reading

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