Thursday, August 20, 2009

May 16, 2009 - Freiburg, Germany

Approximately translated as Free Borough, Freiburg was founded in 1120 as a free market town, by Konrad and Duke Bertold III of Zähringen. Straddling the Dreisam river, Freiburg has access to the rivers Rhine and Danube as well as overland routes to the North Sea and the Mediterranean.
Silver mines in the area helped make Freiburg one of the richest cities in Europe, and in 1327 the city even minted its own coin, the Rappenpfennig.
Along the way, Freiburg evolved from a mining centric town into a cultural center for the arts and sciences through the development of its university.The city was bombed twice during WWII, first by friendly fire in May 1940, when the Luftwaffe mistakenly dropped 60 or so bombs near the train station and killed more than fifty people and later, by 300 bombers of RAF Bomber Command in November 1944. The second attack destroyed much of the city center although, after the war, the city was rebuilt along the lines of the original medieval layout. At the centre of the old city is the Münsterplatz, the largest square in town, where a farmers' market is held every day except Sundays. The city has an extensive pedestrian zone where automobiles are banned and also has an effective public transit system, operated by the city. Great place for a walkabout. See more pictures here.

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