Bavarian Journey Leg 4: Freiburg to Gengenbach.
The old university town of Freiburg was unusually quiet, since it was a sleepy Sunday. The shopping streets were empty. The tram-lines were deserted. The students were gone.
In fact, only the old city’s Münsterplatz (Cathedral Square) seemed active. A farmers market is held here every day, except Sunday. Looks like we missed the action.
As the name implies, Freiburg’s largest square is home to Freiburg’s largest cathedral; Münster.
This gothic minster cathedral was built between 1200 and 1530 from an aesthetically pleasing red sandstone. Its towering spire was under restoration, but we got the idea.
While we explored the empty streets, we couldn’t help but notice (and nearly fall into) the bizarre open water channels that criss-crossed the pavements. These bächle were once used to divert water from the river to provide flowing water to fight fires and feed livestock. It is said that if one accidentally falls or steps into a bächle, they will marry a Freiburger! Watch your step!
Just one of many quirky traits this city has to stumble on!
Back on the road again, we passed another castle.
Only in castle-land.
On the edge of the famous Black Forest, is the popular tourist town of Gengenbach. This very traditional, medieval town has a lovely town centre (Altstadt).
At Christmas time, its 18th century town hall becomes the world’s biggest advent calendar! 24 windows represent 24 days.
It would look something like this:
But not this time of year. Instead, the sun was shining and the locals love to decorate their traditional half-timbered houses with colourful blooms. And shopfronts too!We think this sign sums up Gengenbach’s desire to remain traditional pretty well.
Gengenbach Abbey was founded in 727 and still has nice stained-glass windows inside.
Overlooking the town is a steep hill with a tiny church surrounded by vineyards.
A quiet couple of days after some serious castle-bashing.
Visited 28th & 29th September 2014.