Historical Facts of Freiburg Germany

Back to Freiburg Home Page 1 | 2

The History of Freiburg Germany already started in the 11th century.

After the House of Zähringen built a castle on Schloßberg in 1091, the small settlement on the site of today’s southern old town and Oberlinden was chartered as a free market town by Konrad and Duke Bertold III in 1120.

The market rights, the favourable location and the silver mines in the Black Forest soon led Freiburg Germany to grow into a prosperous and influential city. In 1200, Bertold V initiated the construction of a new, large parish church, Freiburg Cathedral. The citizens of Freiburg later took on the financial responsibility for building the Cathedral, which was completed as early as 1513 - making it the only German cathedral to be completed in the Gothic style.

After the last of the Dukes of Zähringen, Bertold V, had died in 1218, he was succeeded by his nephew, Egino, Count of Urach, who assumed the title of Count of Freiburg. The 150-year rule of the Counts of Freiburg was mainly characterized by wars with other rulers and disputes with the town’s inhabitants, which is why, in 1368, the wealthy citizens bought their independence by paying him 15,000 silver Marks and submitted to the rule of the House of Habsburg.

Freiburg Germany in 1910 [Photo: alt-freiburg.de]
Freiburg in 1910

After an initial decline, the city grew and prospered and became Reichsstadt from 1415 to 1427. Archduke Albert founded the university in 1457, which was taken over by the Jesuits in 1620.

The city had to survive many sieges during the Thirty Years’ War, which reduced the population to 2,000 and largely destroyed the suburbs. This wave of destruction and change culminated in the taking of Freiburg by the French troops in 1677. On the orders of Louis XIV, Vauban completed the fortifications which the Austrians had begun, had the city walls razed to the ground and built a fortress with eight bastions around the old town. He had three forts built above one another on Schloßberg, on the site where the old castle had been.

After 1697, Freiburg Germany went from French to Austrian control and back again several times, until it finally came under Austrian rule again in 1745. Before leaving, the French razed all the fortifications to the ground.

In 1805, Napoleon incorporated Freiburg in the newly established grand Duchy of Baden, which was involved in the wars of liberation of 1813-14.

In subsequent years, the city evolved into an economic and political centre on the Eastern bank of the Upper Rhine. In 1821, the Bishop’s seat was moved from Constance to Freiburg, and in 1845 the first train ran from the newly opened Freiburg train station to Offenburg.

During the revolution of 1848-49, Freiburg Germany saw fights between revolutionaries and government troops. The liberal politicians Carl von Rotteck and Carl Theodor Welcker taught at Freiburg University.

In the second half of the 19th century, Freiburg Germany experienced strong growth and the emergence of completely new suburbs, Wiehre and Stühlinger. In 1899, Freiburg University was the first German university to accept a female student; in 1910 the municipal theatre was inaugurated; and in 1911 new university buildings were finished.

In 1920 and 1921 respectively, two Freiburgers, Konstantin Fehrenbach and Joseph Wirth were appointed Chancellor of the Republic by the Reichspräsident. In 1938, Freiburg’s synagogue was burnt down. On 27th November 1944, large parts of the city were destroyed during an air raid, the Cathedral largely escaping destruction. In April 1945, Freiburg was occupied by French troops, who established a government and administration for Baden in 1946. Since the merger with Württemberg in 1952, Freiburg has been the seat of the district’s administrative offices.

Today, the city has around 200,000 inhabitants, among them 30,000 students at the university, polytechnical colleges and the teaching college. Many research institutions also benefit from the proximity of the university.

Freiburg Germany ’s prosperity is mainly based on the many small- and medium-sized companies in the service industry, medical technology, pharmaceuticals, solar energy, bio-technology and electronics.

That was it about Freiburg. I'll add more information in the future. But for now, let's pick another incredible German city...


Back to Freiburg Home Page 1 | 2

Hotel Search

Find Smart Priced Hotels In Germany Using The Extended Hotel Search (New Window)

Find the hotel of your dreams right here. The prices are so low!

Number of rooms/guests:

Special Tip!

Special Tip!

What's the best way to learn German? Be born to it. Native speakers learn their first languages easily and eagerly. Somehow, as if by magic, we're speaking fluently before we ever attend school. And what's the best way to learn a NEW language such as German? The way we learned our native language.

Rosetta Stone's award- winning method uses more than 8,000 real-life images, written text and voices of native speakers to teach you like a native learner. Each lesson taps your intuitive ability to connect words and meanings "from the inside." You learn to speak, read and write the German language quickly, naturally and easily. Your benefits? No translation. No memorization. No drills. Awesome!

"Linguistically comprehensive, pedagogically sound, and well-integrated set of materials." -- Nancy H. Ph.D. of U. of Texas. [more...]