Today the Wiehre, Freiburg's largest district, is located solely on the left-hand side of the river. The city administration distinguishes four parts: the Oberwiehre, i.e., upstream of the Dreisam, the Mittelwiehre, the Unterwiehre and further downstream in the south-west the Heldenviertel (heroes' district) where the streets are named after "heroes" of the First World War, e.g., Manfred von Richthofen aka the flying Red Baron.
Last Saturday the blogging Red Baron participated in a guided tour of the Mittelwiehre where my apartment is located. Although I know my neighborhood pretty well one is never too old to learn something new.
I had tried to reserve a ticket but the people at the Volkshochschule (adult education center) informed me that the tour was fully booked. Nevertheless I went to the meeting point and got in an argument with guide Carola: I cannot take more than twenty people. To make a long story short: In the end five registered persons did not show up, which made everybody happy.
We started at the corner of Günterstal-/Urachstraße where before the First World War there was a hotel named Hohenzollern, its name paying tribute to the ruling imperial house. Now the building houses lawyers' offices and doctors' clinics.
|Note the original streetcars (©Carola Schark)|
|Here is what is left of Hotel Hohenzollern|
|Built 1898 by C.Hoßmann - F. Weber, restored 1997|
Nearby on Urachstraße the Freiburg transport company (VAG) built its main streetcar depot in 1901. It was used until 1994 when the VAG moved to modern premises in Freiburg's industrial zone in the west. Now the local fire brigade occupies half of the vast halls while in the other half the Freunde der Freiburger Straßenbahn (Friends of Freiburg Streetcars) restore historical rolling stock.
|Streetcar parade in front of the depot |
in the years before the First World War (©Carola Schark)
Here is streetcar 38, one of those in the parade above. In service until 1971, it is now in poor condition but will be restored.
Streetcar number 2 was in service until 1954 and has already been rebuilt. Its electrical equipment by Siemens dates to 1901 and is still operational. The short wagons with their serial numbers 1 to 71 made screeching noises when going around tight curves and therefore Freiburgers affectionately called them Hobl (literally, Alemannic for wood plane).
|The conservator proudly presents his baby|
|Carola waving her folder is calling the group to order|
|The Saturday afternoon service had just finished|
|Red Baron had to bow his head|
|Modelling the outside|
|Municipal primary school|
Von der Stadt Freiburg als Mädchenschule erbaut 1899-1902
(Built by the City of Freiburg as a school for girls 1899-1902).
|Freiburg's Youth Center|
|Water-driven sawmill (©Carola Schark)|
|A modern entrance to St. Marienhaus|
Another reminder of the old premises is the steeple of the former chapel. It was preserved and serves as decoration of the courtyard of the retirement home.
|A cosy courtyard|
|A painted-over landmark|