Fribourg Journals

Fribourg: The Best of Both Worlds

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A May 2009 trip to Fribourg by phileasfogg

Cathédrale St-Nicholas Photo, Fribourg, Switzerland More Photos
Quote: Fribourg—Freiburg in German—sits at the ‘border’ between French Switzerland and German Switzerland. This is a small, unusual and interesting town that manages effectively to (as its official tourist brochure proudly proclaims) "live up the differences".

Wandering through Fribourg

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Story/Tip

The Samson Fountain Photo, Fribourg, Switzerland
Quote:
Our ten-day sojourn in Switzerland was from a base at Lausanne, where we stayed with relatives. Some research into towns, cities and other interesting places in close proximity to Lausanne revealed Fribourg (pronounced somewhat like `free-boorg’ if you’re speaking French, but ‘fry-buhrg’ if you’re speaking German; the equivalent spelling in German is Freiburg). Fribourg/Freiburg forms the bridge between French-speaking Switzerland and German-speaking Switzerland, a sort of Helvetian Alsace, with street names and monuments, labels and instructions spelt out in both languages.Two train trips between Lausanne and Bern showed us just how easy it was to get to Fribourg: every Lausanne-Bern train stops a...Read More

Art and History Museum (Musee d'Art et d'Histoire)

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Attraction | "Madonnas, Saints and Dandified Skeletons!"

Art and History Museum (Musee d'Art et d'Histoire) Photo, Fribourg, Switzerland
Quote:
After emerging from one church only to plunge into the next, we’d gotten a bit bored with stained glass and carved stone, so the next attraction on our itinerary, the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (the Museum of Art and History) was greeted with sighs of relief. Ah, here was where we’d get to see something other than religion.But art and history in Fribourg, it seems, are inextricably tied up with religion. The museum, which is housed in a large stone building known as the Hôtel Ratzé, is full of very emphatically Christian art. We didn’t get an inkling of this as we strolled past a low mossy wall with tiny blue wildflowers sprouting from a cranny. We didn’t realise it even after we’d gone through the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 10, 2009

Art and History Museum (Musee d'Art et d'Histoire)
Rue De Morat 12
Fribourg, Switzerland

Eglise des Cordeliers

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Attraction | "Oh, What a Pretty Church!"

Eglise des Cordeliers Photo, Fribourg, Switzerland
Quote:
The Franciscan Church and Monastery—which is the full appellation of this church—is described puzzlingly in the official Fribourg tourist guide: "The church has a medieval interior of very high standing, Carnation-Master Altar 15th century": not precisely lucid, but we guessed it meant the high altar was carved with carnations...? So we decided to visit l’Eglise des Cordeliers, if for nothing else than to satisfy our own curiosity.We’d already visited the Cathédrale St Nicholas and the Basilique Nôtre Dame next door to the Franciscan Church, both impressive enough in their own right, and this one looked unprepossessing in comparison. On the outside, it was nothing exceptional: a large buildi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 10, 2009

Eglise des Cordeliers
6, Rue de Morat
Fribourg, Switzerland

Basilique Notre Dame

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Attraction | "Great Stained Glass - but We Couldn't See Much Else!"

Basilique Notre Dame Photo, Fribourg, Switzerland
Quote:
The best thing about Fribourg is that so many of its major sights are so close together. We stepped out of the Cathédrale St Nicholas, and there was the Basilique Nôtre Dame. Unlike the cathedral, the basilica didn’t look like a church at first glance: six pairs of grey columns support a façade with three tall stained glass windows (though from the outside, in bright sunshine, we didn’t realise that it was stained glass). There’s a red tiled roof, and towards the back, an unassuming little spire with a crucifix atop it. If it hadn’t been for the crucifix, this could just have been another smartish mansion from the 1800’s or so.As it was, our explorations around the outside of the basilica brought u...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 10, 2009

Basilique Notre Dame
1, Place Notre Dame
Fribourg, Switzerland

Cathédrale St-Nicholas

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Attraction | "Fribourg's Piece de Resistance: the Cathedral"

Cathédrale St-Nicholas Photo, Fribourg, Switzerland
Quote:
The Cathédrale St Nicholas is, understandably, the pride and joy of Fribourg: an imposing old cathedral whose ornate square tower and sloping red roof can be seen from far away. The nearer we got to it, the more games it seemed to want to play with us: we’d suddenly get a tantalising glimpse of the tower from between two buildings, and then, when we’d turn a lane (trying to follow our map faithfully) it would vanish, obscured by the surrounding roofs around us.Therefore, when we finally arrived at the cathedral, it was with a gasp of amazement: the spire was one of the impressive we’d seen. Not highly carved, like those on Strasbourg’s cathedral, but just so huge and so striking. The cathedr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 10, 2009

Cathédrale St-Nicholas
The Old Town
Fribourg, Switzerland