General Information

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Freiburg im Breisgau is the gateway to the Black Forest in the southwestern part of Germany and lies close to France and Switzerland and near to the Rhine river which is only 3 km away from the town's western limit. The climate of the area is very mild and has turned Freiburg into a centre of wine production. Famous are the vineyards on the slopes of Mount Kaiserstuhl. Freiburg is also a tourist and conference center, and also a major trading center for timber. The city has a population of about 200.000 inhabitants. Freiburg is among the most popular university (founded 1457) towns in Germany and thus has a large student population of 24,000.

Freiburg was founded in 1120 and passed, with the rest of the Breisgau, to the Habsburgs in 1368. In the Thirty Years War (1618–48) the Bavarians and Austrians were defeated there (1644) by the French under Turenne and Louis II de Condé. The French held Freiburg from 1677 to 1697 and again (1744–48) during the War of the Austrian Succession. In 1805 the city passed to Baden.

Freiburg is famous as a cultural center and presents a number of fascinating museums. The city has been an archiepiscopal seat since 1821 and has a splendid Gothic cathedral (begun in the 13th cent.), with a high (380 ft/116 m) tower. Among the other attractions are also the unique brooks running through the streets of the Old Town in open channels decorated with Rhine pebble mosaics - and the wild, romantic landscape of the Höllental valley just outside the city.