Freiburg im Breisgau - Architecture meets technology
Location: The California of Germany
Nestled between the Black Forest and the Rhine River in the far south-west of Germany, it has been labelled the unofficial capital of the Black Forest. Like California, its namesake, the city produces some fine wines from the many vineyards within its boundaries. There is no other town in Germany with as many wine producers as Freiburg. The city has a huge network of trams, buses, and urban railways; you don't even need a car to get around. Over a third of the population don't own a car because of this, and the main transport vehicle of choice for many is a bicycle. Situated just a few kilometres from the borders of both France and Switzerland makes the city very accessible from a number of routes as well as the nearest airport at Basel-Mülhausen (EAP).
Business: The ecological hub of Germany
As a city that has embraced renewable technology with a vigour, Freiburg is one of the Green Capitals of not just Germany, but the world. It has a fully elected Green mayor and council that support the many businesses and agencies in their campaigns for a cleaner, renewable fuel. Many homes and business buildings are covered in photovoltaic panels, and even the roof of SC Freiburg's football stadium has been covered by them. If you are looking for a place to hold a convention, exhibition, or trade fair, then you will be catered for here. With three major convention and exhibition centres (Messe Freiburg, The Konzerthaus, and The Historical Store), large enough for thousands of visitors, plus the hotel and transport infrastructure to support your clients, it truly has it all in terms of business.
Culture: Mini canals and minster cathedrals
Dominating the city is the red sandstone, medieval cathedral with its towering spire. Built between 1200 and 1530, it is one of just a few surviving original buildings. Most of the city centre architecture was lost during heavy bombing in World War II, and the new city was built using the old planning maps after the war. Running through the streets are a series of mini canals called Bächle. These are not old sewage gutters, as many people think, but were used as a means of providing water from the Dreisam River to the city and to aid fire fighters. Be careful around them though, it is said that a careless visitor who places a foot in them, will never leave the city. A mention of Freiburg is not complete without mentioning Zum Roten Bären (The Red Bear), the oldest hotel in Germany, which is well worth a visit as its foundations predate the city itself. The Augustiner Museum was once the site of an Augustine Monastery and holds an extensive art collection. A second museum at Colombischlössle hosts an impressive archaeological display of the Palaeolithic Era up to the Middle Ages.
Activities: Relaxation or invigoration, it's your choice
Spend a relaxing day at the Eugen Keidal Thermal Spa and take advantage of their mineral thermal baths, saunas, Turkish steam baths, and massages in beautiful surroundings on the outskirts of the city. For the adrenaline seekers, take the longest loop cable car ride in Germany as it travels the 3.6 km ascending 1,200 m up to the summit of Schauinsland. Why not take a mountain bike down for a true rush on one of the guided bike tours, or hike down at a more leisurely pace through the Freiburg Forest. For those visiting with children or just the young at heart, there are two theme parks (EuropaPark and the Steinwasen) within a short distance, full of hair-raising rides and family fun. Don't think those of you who enjoy a bit of retail therapy will miss out, Freiburg has a host of fashion boutiques, small perfumeries, a shopping mall, and weekly markets to tempt you into making that 'must-have' purchase.