Freiburg, the Solar City / Our Solar Region
Freiburg is the southernmost city in Germany, and thanks to its 1,800 hours of sun per year, it enjoys not only a Mediterranean flair, but also offers optimal conditions for the use of solar energy. No other German city has such a relative density of research and practical applications in solar energy as the "Solar City" of Freiburg.
Even before the Freiburg town council approved an energy plan in 1986 in which the use of renewable energies and the phasing out of nuclear energy played a central role, the city has focused on this forward-looking form of energy.
The International Solar Energy Society, ISES, moved its main office to Freiburg in 1995, and with it a center and network of know-how for solar technology. Freiburg also has many scientific institutions, such as the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems and the Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics, and associations and companies involved in solar energy.
Sightseeing in Freiburg
Before taking a walk through the center of Freiburg, we recommend you to enjoy a view of the whole old town area centered around the medieval Münster (cathedral) from the Schlossberg (Castle Mountain). Both the Kanonenplatz (Cannon Square) and the lookout tower at the top of the mountain afford wonderful views of the city.
2) Münsterplatz (Cathedral Square) with Münster, Historic Merchants’ Hall, Kornhaus
© Hartmut910 / PIXELIO
Famous for its unique, filigree tower, the cathedral (the only one built and completed within the Gothic period) is home to a large collection of medieval art including altars, stained glass and sculptures. The Münster has managed to survive numerous wars, including both 20th century World Wars. Building began on the “new” cathedral in 1200, around the older church on the site.
The cathedral square is also home to other historic buildings: The Historic Merchants’ Hall was built in the 16th century for the municipal trade association. The Kornhaus was a dance and festival hall beginning in 1498, then later a theater. Its most recent municipal purpose was that of a granary, where grain was bought and sold. It can be found on the northwest corner of Cathedral Square.
The traditional farmers’ and crafts market takes place on Cathedral Square every morning except Sundays. Here one can find all of the local specialties from fruit and vegetables to cheese, meat and fish, as well as more exotic foodstuffs and crafts.
3) Old City with Bächle (little streams)
From the Cathedral you can walk in a southwesterly direction, through the Old City with its picturesque houses. Don’t forget to watch out for the Bächle, which used to be mostly a source of water for domestic use. Freiburg legend has it that anyone who falls into a Bächle will have to marry a Freiburger.
4) Enjoy the specialties of Baden…
... in numerous restaurants, bars and cafes, including Martinsbräu, located at the end of the „Markthalle“, which has its own microbrewery (address: Kaiser-Joseph-Strasse 237). Kolbencafe is another beloved meeting point with cult status. Here you can find excellent coffee and delicious sandwiches and pastries (address: Kaiser-Joseph-Strasse 233, under the old city gate, directly across from McDonald’s).
Excursions around Freiburg
Eugen Keidel Bad
Freiburg’s mineral thermal baths have it all, from outdoor swimming area and saunas to indoor pools with water jets and much more. Directions: From Freiburg take the tram (=Strassenbahn) line 3 until the end of the line Munzinger Straße. From there take bus number 35 E until the station Eugen Keidel Bad.
© A. Rausch / PIXELIO
Schauinsland is a popular outing spot nearby in the Black Forest. On a clear day, you can see the Alps from the 1284 meter (4213 foot) high mountaintop. The first large cabin cable car in the world has carried tourists and hikers to the top station since 1930.
Directions to the valley station: Take tram line 2 in the direction of Günterstal until the end of the line, then take bus number 21 directly to the lower station where you can take the cable car.
For more information please visit: www.bergwelt-schauinsland.de.
© Stefan Zoller / PIXELIO
The Titisee was born from an ice age glacier and is located approximately 30km east of Freiburg. Visitors can reach this popular tourist site with the traditional "Höllentalbahn" (Hell Valley train), which takes you on one of the steepest tracks in Germany through the beautiful Black Forest. Titisee offers many leisure activities, such as swimming, surfing, sailing, paddle-boats, lake cruises and shopping and walks around the lake.
Directions: Take the Höllentalbahn from Freiburg’s main train station in the direction of Titisee. The train ride is approx. 40 min.