Day-off #1 Freiburg im Breisgau
As we explained in our anniversary post, we’re thinking of adding new kind of content to the blog. Today we start our “Day-off” posts, which talk about places we’ve been for a day-trip. To start with, I’ve chosen Freiburg im Breisgau, in Germany. Enjoy!
Freiburg im Breisgau is a German city located in the South-West of the country, near the French and Swiss borders. It was founded in 1120, so it’s a medieval city. Nevertheless, it’s been reconstructed since it was hardly destroyed during the Second World War. Today it has about 230.000 habitants, many of whom are university students. The city is widely-known because of its advanced environmental practices.
Freiburg belongs to the state of Baden-Württemberg and it’s considered the capital of the Schwarzwald (Black Forest), which is the longest forest in Europe. Its name refers to the density of the trees, which doesn’t let too much light come on. As a matter of fact, the forest was not inhabit until the 16th century. It’s said that the Germans living here have a narrower mind than their compatriots. They like to consume their own products, you can easily see that in the supermarket, where you can find so much food “Aus der Region” (“from the region”). The Black Forest is beautiful, its air is pure and it has its own smell.
With about 3 million tourists per year, Freiburg and the Black Forest are one of the first destinations in the country. Regarding the weather, between Freiburg and the Black Forest there’s a big difference. Whereas in the Black Forest the weather can be cloudy and cold during a long time of the year, Freiburg is known not only as the warmest city in Germany, but also as the one with more sunny days. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that make Freiburg one of the greenest cities in the country.
The city is an example of sustainability. Eco-houses and low-energy buildings, car-free streets and socially conscious neighbours are ordinary things here. As expected, there’s a green government in the power. All of these facts, taken in conjunction with the already known recycling and cycling habits of German people, turn Freiburg into one of the greenest society models nowadays.
The best example to illustrate this phenomenon is the neighbourhood of Vauban, located in the suburbs. It catches people’s eyes due to its colourful buildings and its solar panels on the roofs. Connected to the city by tram, transportation here is primarily walking or cycling. In fact, most of the residents don’t own a car. In case they did, they should pay quite a lot of money for a parking space on the periphery.
As we can see, eco-friendly cities are more than just a trend, they are a reality. Examples like Vauban and the whole city of Freiburg are models to be followed and copied.
The day I was in Freiburg it was not a sunny day. Even though, I got the chance to walk the city centre and get lost in its little streets. It seemed to me such a peaceful place. The water running in the streets, the green trees and the small wood houses created a natural-looking atmosphere. These are some of the pictures I took.
Text and pictures by Silvia Conde.