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Fribourg, Switzerland

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Fribourg, SwitzerlandFribourg, Switzerland
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authorshipNorbert Aepli, Switzerland
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Fribourg (German: Freiburg im Üechtland, Italian: Friburgo) is the capital of Fribourg canton in Switzerland. It straddles the River Sarine (German: Saane) in the district of Sarine, on the Swiss plateau, about 610 m (2,001 ft) above sea level. The city is 28 km (17 mi) to the southwest of Bern.

Old houses of Fribourg beside the River SarineOld houses of Fribourg beside the River Sarine
photo source
authorshipNorbert Aepli, Switzerland
photo licensing

The Fribourg Old Town is one of the prettiest in Switzerland. It sits on a rocky hillock, with steep cobblestone streets flowing down the fill, passing immaculately preserved houses and fountains. Fribourg covers 9.32 sq km (3.60 sq mi) and has a population of 35,000 people (2011 estimate).

Most of the people in Fribourg speak French (63.6%) followed by German (21.2%). They are mostly Roman Catholics (69%). The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century did not have that much impact on Fribourg as it did other Swiss cities, and has become a bastion for Catholicism.

Fribourg industrialized late compared to other cities in Switzerland, not until the railway line reached it in the 19th century. Today the service sector accounts for the bulk of employment in the city.

Another view of River Sarine in FribourgAnother view of River Sarine in Fribourg
photo source
authorshipNorbert Aepli, Switzerland
photo licensing

The area around Fribourg has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. The city was founded in 1157. The oldest part of town is by the River Sarine, on a former peninsula faced by cliffs on three sides. It became a Free Imperial City in 1478 and joined the Swiss Confederation in 1481.

Visiting Fribourg

There are train services linking Fribourg with Geneva, Geneva Airport, Thun, Lausanne, St Gallen, Bern and Zürich.

Cathédrale St-Nicolas, FribourgCathédrale St-Nicolas, Fribourg
photo source
authorshipNorbert Aepli, Switzerland
photo licensing

Sights & Attractions in Fribourg

  1. Basilique Notre-Dame
    18th century church built on the site of an earlier Romanesque church of the 12th century.
  2. Cathédrale St-Nicolas
    Located in the heart of the city, the Gothic cathedral dates to 1283. It holds numerous works of art. Within the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre are life-size statues depicting the Entombment of Christ. These were created in the 15th century.
  3. Église des Cordeliers
    Franciscan church from the late 13th century with an ornate interior.
  4. Espace Jean Tinguely-Niki de Saint-Phalle
    Art gallery devoted to works by 20th century artists.
  5. Gutenberg Museum
    Museum celebrating the history of printing. It occupies a restored 16th century granary.
  6. Hôtel de Ville
    Town hall built in 1522. It has a clock tower. In the forecourt is a fountain with the sculpture, dating from 1525, depicting St George slaying the dragon.
  7. Maison de Ville
    Baroque-style townhouse built in 1730.
  8. Musée d'Art et d'Histoire
    Museum showcasing local art and history from the Middle Ages until present times.
  9. Pont de Berne
    Bridge connecting the Fribourg peninsula with the southern bank of the River Sarine.

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