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This past August we took a family vacation to visit friends in Freiberg, Germany. Nestled in the Black Forest, Freiburg is one of the greenest cities in the world thanks to its tram system, cycle paths, solar paneled rooftops, wind turbines and the shared commitment of its citizens to live eco-friendly lives. With over 2000 hours of sunshine per year Freiburg is the warmest and sunniest city in Germany.
Freiburg is a walkable city   

Founded in 1120 Freiburg was strategically located on the trade route between the Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea and The Rhine and Danube rivers.By the 1300’s silver mines in Mount Schauinsland made it one of the richest cities in Germany.

During the Middle Ages Count Egino II increased taxes and reduced freedoms to which the citizens responded by knocking down his castle with a catapult. In 1457 the University of Freiberg,was established making it one of the oldest Universities in Germany.

Progressive legal reforms were ratified during a Reichstag held in Freiburgh under Emperor Maximillian I. In the 1500’s Freiburg decided not to take part in the Reformation and remained Catholic.

The Black Plague claimed 25% of the cities population. Belief in Witchcraft leads to witch hunts and burnings.
During the Thirty Years War Freiburg belonged to the Austrians, the French, The Swedish and the Spanish before once again returning to the German Confederacy.

 In 1940 the Nazis order the deportation of 350 Jewish citizens of Freiburg most of whom died in Auschwitz. In 1940 the Luftwaffe mistakenly bombed Freiburg and then in 1944 The British Royal Air Force finished the job. The City was rebuilt according to its original plan.

Today Freiburg is know for its university, green technology, high tech companies, tourism and wine making. The surrounding Black Forests offer excellent skiing, hiking and mountain biking.

View of Cathedral Square from the top of the Munster   

 No trip to Freiburg is complete without a visit to the Munster in the center of town. Construction of
the cathedral was begun around 1200 in Romanesque style then in 1230 continued in the Gothic style and was completed in 1330. Miraculously the cathedral survived the bombings of World War II. You can climb to the top or the 116 meter tower. The accent can be crowded and at times claustrophobic but the view from the top is worth it. After your safely back on the ground stroll the open air market where you can buy food, wine and crafts.

Many thanks to our gracious hosts Marlene, Stephan, Louis and Maureen for not only opening their home to us but for acting as travel agents, tour guides and interpreters. We hope you see you all again Soon!