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.
Fribourg, nestled on a rock promontory, is surrounded on three sides by the Sarine river. It is one of the largest medieval towns in Switzerland. Over 200 unique Gothic facades from the 15th century impart incomparable medieval charm to the Old Town.
Town walls 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 St. Nicholas Cathedral 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 Old Town), a funicular railway takes you up to the pedestrianised area of the town centre. 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 - 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.
Especially worth seeing: alone or with a city guide, discover some of the 11 historic fountains with their beautiful columns. Faithfulness, strength, bravery are some of the fountain names that can be found in Freiburg. Eleven historical fountains from different centuries adorn the city.