Fribourg / Freiburg
Drinking a cup of coffee in a leisurely fashion, admiring the old facades and beautiful fountains, listening to two local languages or gazing from the 74-meter spire of the Cathedral far into the countryside - this is an experience enjoyed in Fribourg (Freiburg).
Freiburg, nestled on a rock promontory, is surrounded on three sides by the Saane River. It is one of the largest medieval towns in Üechtland. Over 200 unique Gothic facades from the 15th century impart incomparable medieval charm to the Old Town.
Ramparts that are over two kilometers long used to protect the city in the past. Remnants of the walls, turrets and bastions are still preserved. Most impressive, however, is the Cathedral of Freiburg with its extraordinarily beautiful stained-glass windows. Construction started in 1283 and continued in several stages. Dedicated to St. Nicholas, it boasts a 74-meter-high tower that offers a fantastic panoramic view.
Another good viewpoint is the Italian-style early Baroque Loreto Chapel. From the Neuveville district (in the Lower Town), a funicular railway takes you up to the pedestrianised area of the Upper Town. Fribourg is a lively university town, with many students from all over the world, making this a cosmopolitan, multi-faceted mini-metropolis. In the narrow alleyways are tightly packed rows of little boutiques, antique shops, student cafés and restaurants, offering local and foreign specialities.
One of the favourite destinations for art-lovers is the "Espace Jean Tinguely et Niki de Saint Phalle", housed in a former tram depot. More works by the two artists can be found on the Sculpture Trail through the town centre. Modern art is on display in the Fri-Art Gallery. Children will love the Puppet Museum or the highly educational Natural History Museum.
It is worth making an excursion to Hauterive Abbey, a Cistercian abbey founded in 1137, and once a stopping place on the pilgrims' route to Santiago de Compostela.
Summer / Winter
Between the Latin and Germanic cultures, as well as between the French and German languages, Fribourg builds bridges. Bridges also dominate the urban landscape: no less than 15 span the river Sarine.
- Fribourg Old Town – Gothic facades, pretty fountains, cosy cafés and inns, full of the charm of bygone days.
- Espace Jean Tinguely et Niki de Saint Phalle – this museum is dedicated to the sculptor Jean Tinguely and his wife, the artist Niki de Saint Phalle.
- St. Nicolas Cathedral – started according to German construction plans and finished to meet French wishes, with magnificent stained glass windows.
- Funicular of Fribourg - The line was opened in 1899 and links the town centre to the Basse-Ville (the lower area of the town).
- Gruyères/Greyerz – not far from Fribourg is the village of Gruyères /Greyerz, where you can see the famous cheese of the same name being produced in a show cheesery.
- Murten – this little medieval town on the south-east bank of Lake Murten has a complete town wall and a pleasant promenade beside the lake, where there is a wide range of water sports available.