Saturday, June 29, 2013

New Flags on the Kaiserbrücke

Men at work (©Der Sonntag)
Last Wednesday I crossed the Kaiserbrücke walking downtown. I observed workmen hoisting new flags and I was wondering. The  next day I read an unsatisfying explanation in the newspaper: From now on the flags of the Zähringer cities will be shown on Kaiserbrücke. What happened to the national flags of Freiburg's sister cities? Were they removed because they were decrepit or had the Iranian flag once more disturbed the peace among Freiburg's governing parties? I reported about the saga in January 2012.

Freiburg now lives with new banners presenting the cities that the Dukes of Zähringen founded in the 12th century or attributed the status of a city. Looking in the direction of the Martinstor the flags of the Zähringer cities on German territory are hoisted on the right hand side whereas those located in Switzerland are flown on the left hand side.

There is heavy streetcar traffic on Kaiserbrücke. Note St. Martin's Gate in the background. Starting with the Swiss side you may recognize the bear on Bern's banner but otherwise with no wind blowing other flags are barely visible.

I shall give you a list with all those flags. The pictures come from Wikipedia. The order in which they are put up on Kaiserbrücke seems arbitrarily. Starting in front on the left hand side there is:

Rheinfelden, first mentioned as Rifelt in 851; Duke Konrad I granted the town charter to Rheinfelden in 1130.

Burgdorf was mentioned the first time in 1175 as Burg Bertolfs (Bertolf's castle).

Fribourg was founded in 1157 by Duke Bertold IV.

Bern. It was Duke Bertold V who founded the city in 1199, as you already know.

Murten, in 515 known as Muratum, was refounded by Duke Bertold II in 1127.

Thun was already known in the 7th century but Duke Bertold III had it enlarged around 1200 to become a city.

Freiburg and its St. George's cross partly hidden behind the yellow traffic sign is the first Zähringer City on the right hand side. Duke Konrad I granted the market rights and a town charter to a settlement at the foot of the Schlossberg in 1120.

St. Peter in the Black Forest was founded in 1093 by Duke Bertold II as a monastery and burial place.

Villingen, today Villingen-Schwenningen, was mentioned as early as 817. Duke Bertold III refounded Villingen as a city on the other side of the river Brigach in 1119. The coat of arms shows the Zähringer eagle and the swan for Schwenningen.

Bräunlingen mentioned as Brünlingen in 802 received its town charter in 1305.

Neuenburg on the Rhine was founded in 1175 by Duke Bertold IV as a stronghold against the expanding Staufer clan.

Weilheim an der Teck a place where Duke Bertold I built the Limburg castle and founded a priory between 1050 and 1070.

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