In 2020 Freiburg will celebrate its 900th city anniversary. Duke Konrad of Zähringen awarded the right to hold a market to the small community of craft- and tradesmen that lived at the foot of the Schlossberg (castle hill) in 1120. The rights and duties of the new citizens were written down in a document called Stadtrodel (town document).
|Tracing a city wall around the Freiburg market.|
In 1240 the church is still the original one in Romanesque style dedicated to St. Nicolas.
*Within the 60% estimated for the rest.
Freiburg's oldest gate, St. Martin, date back to the year 1202. It took the work of two additional generations to fill the holes in the wall, the entrances to the city, with proper gates.
How was all this financed? Most of the work was done by the citizens themselves, but the Stadtrodel included provisions in case of a succession: one-third of the heritage fell to the city earmarked ad aedificium (for building purposes).
When firearms started to dominate warfare, the old city wall became a joke. Several times during the Thirty Years’ War and in particular during the aggressive French wars in the late 16th and early 18th centuries, artillery easily opened breaches in the fortifications (Bresche schießen).
When Freiburg became a French city in 1677, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban started surrounding the city with modern fortifications, thus integrating Freiburg into France’s northern fortification belt. Contemporaries called his work “La dernière folie de Louis XIV. “
they destroyed their fortifications. The city remained much limited in its boundaries until the middle of the 19th century.
vestiges of Vauban’s masterpiece are still visible in Freiburg’s cityscape.