The city of Freiburg is known as a university town with technological and renewable energy industries as its’ focus. It is designated as a green city complete with sustainable development, enviro-friendly hotels, and traffic restrictions which limit vehicle access to the city centre on predetermined dates.
1. The recently constructed, access-friendly university library, with its uncompromising stance juxtaposing and inserting its dominance over the surrounding buildings (gothic to emerging architectures), is a not to be missed tourist stop. The Freiburg University dates back to 1497. This newest structure (Cut Diamond) represents a point cut, frozen in time as if waiting to bend to the will of any artisan’s architectural whim. It’s brilliant geometric end points, always in the viewers focus, mirrors an overcast day with panels kissed by the windswept clouds from above, while those below caress the hectic spirit of the nearby traffic, tourists, inquisitive scholars, and near by theatre goers.
Adjacent to the library are newly constructed walkways with an abundance of wayfinding adaptations at crossing points including Braille dots, high contrasting stripes and curb cuts set into level (non-cobblestone) sidewalks.
2. Freiburg’s Minster Cathedral (founded in the 12th century) and the adjacent market square featuring daily artisans plying their locally produced wares is an event well worth the time. The Cathedral dominates the main square and is the major attraction and a must see. Freiburg’s daily markets, entertainment and seasonal festivals, located around the Cathedral, offers a welcome distraction from shopping or museum visits. Dip your toes or splash in the water trough (Bachle) punctuating the perimeter of the cobblestoned cathedral square. The Bachle is supplied by headwaters from the Dreisam River. As you stroll along the quarters, take time to notice the mosaic emblems of pharmacies or bakeries embedded in the cobblestone sidewalks. Cobblestone is aplenty in this ancient area of the town but some have been filled in over the years, which produces a much less bumpy ride.
Museums abound in Freiburg, some notables are: The Augustiner Museum with the original stone figures of the nearby Cathedral, wooden sculptures and exceptional glass panels; Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Natural History and the Archeological Museum.
3. At the main train station we were pleasantly made aware of the additional virtual, live chat ticket wicket which offers an access service point for anyone wishing to interact over video. A wayfinding and emergency signposting bay is located adjacent to the train arrival and departure map boards.
Receptive in-bound accessible service providers are welcoming to able-bodied or persons with a disability. Freiburg also has specific signage containing the universal accessibility symbol to identify accessible buses / trams. The access-friendly tram and bus routes are indicated on the bus route maps.
4. Strategically located next to the main train station, hotels like the Park Hotel Post (whilst not access-enabled) offers a welcome change from the daily grind; with its accommodating staff, well balanced breakfast, complementary welcome fruit or soft drinks, and the overall steady operating hands of Conny and Kerstin. Located close to the University, it is a favourite haunt of academics and writers.
The Inter-City Hotel is adjacent to the main train station and boasts accessible rooms and features.
Freiburg’s Green City Hotel Vauban is an excellent access-enabled accommodation for slow walkers and persons with a disability, featuring full accessibility including powered windows and drapes. It is carefully administered and staffed by persons with a disability.
5. Stroll/wheel along the Old Quarters under the imposing ecclesiastical shadows of the majestic 116 m. tall Cathedral. Gaze with amazement at the red coloured exterior and the prominent architectural end points of the Merchants Hall, which dates back to 1532; The Augustinian Abbey; The Municipal History Museum (1761); The Town Hall (present and past); the fountain containing the famous Monk statue (Berthold Schwartz) – all within easy walking distance in the Old Quarters.
6. While in Freiburg, do take the time to visit Germany’s longest cable car (length of 3600 m. with a change in altitude of 746 m.) which has been made access-friendly to persons with a disability. Schauinslandbahn. www.schauinslandbahn.com. It is reachable by local, accessible public transportation. Climbing Freiburg’s mountain by aerial tram in an eco-friendly way is a must do for any visitor to the Black Forest region. Enjoy an unmatched view of the nearby Rhine Valley and adjacent communities including the Vosges mountain range. The aerial tram operates almost continuously. The aerial tram was opened to the public in the summer of 1930. At that time it was heralded as Germany’s first perpetual cable car. Modifications were done to the aerial tram in the late eighties. It was adapted to be self-propelled (no conductor on board) with an abundance of useable seating per car.
Freiburg is Germany’s most southern University town, located in one of the key areas of the enchanted sun-drenched Black Forest, with an abundance of wineries. It is easy to be wined and dined in an access friendly way. Freiburg is strategically positioned on route to neighbouring destinations such as Basel, Switzerland, and Colmar, Mulhouse and Strasbourg, France.