History of Freiburg
Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History
[ source: Wikipedia]
Located on the edge of the beloved Black Forest, Freiburg is one of the oldest university cities in Germany. The history of Freiburg begins in 1120, when it was founded at a strategic juncture of trade routes between the Mediterranean and North seas and between the Rhine and Danube rivers. In the thirteenth century, conflict arose between the citizens of Freiburg and the city's ruling duke. The Freiburgers openly expressed their displeasure by bombarding and destroying the count's castle with catapults. After a series of events which included the murder of the count's brother (who was also the Bishop of Strasbourg), the Freiburgers purchased their freedom from the count in 1368 for 15,000 silver marks. This payment is significant since it reflects the wealth of the city, which was built on the income generated by the local silver mining industry. After purchasing its independence, the city aligned itself with the House of Habsberg, which accorded Freiburg a fair amount of freedom.
The history of Freiburg shifts significantly in 1457, when Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet was established by the Habsbergs, becoming the second university founded in the Austrian-Habsberg territory and Germany's fifth oldest university. In 1620, the university was given to the Jesuits to counteract any Reformation-inspired tendencies that might appear in the faculty. In 1899, the university became noteworthy as the first Germany university to allow the matriculation of a female students.
Besides the university, other events also shaped the history of Freiburg during this period. In 1520, the city ratified a new set of legal reforms, which were considered the most progressive reforms of that era. The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) also had a huge impact on the city, whose population was reduced from 10,000 - 14,000 to 2,000. After 1697, the city changed hands numerous times between France and Austria, reflecting the contended nature of the land in this part of the German lands. During World War II, the city was heavily bombed by both the Luftwaffe (accidentally) in 1940 and the RAF (purposely) in 1944.
Prominent residents of Freiburg have included Martin Heidegger, Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt, and Wolfgang Schaeuble.
[ source: wikipedia.org ]
About this Article
This travel guide has been written by Rachel Hildebrandt.
Starting with her first trip to Germany at the age of 16, Rachel has traveled, worked, and studied in Germany extensively. Although her first encounter with German culture was in Lower Saxony, since that time the focus of her subsequent work as a freelance historian and translator has shifted eastward. Building on her graduate studies in Dresden, Rachel has worked for a variety of German foundations as a historian and translator, and is currently pursuing research pertaining to the Sorbs in Lusatia (eastern Saxony).
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