Freiburg ist am Schönsten

Hillary Bliven
October 3, 2013

I am completely in love with the city of Freiburg. The longer I live here, the more I realize it is going to be incredibly difficult to leave.

Things I love most about Freiburg (in no specific order):
* Maneuverability~ It is super easy to get (almost) everywhere in Freiburg in a relatively short period of time either riding the Straßenbahn or with a bike. Going from my WG (student apartment) to the city center I can walk in about 20-25 minutes, ride my bike in 15 or ride the Straßenbahn in 10-15. Within the city center there is a lot to do, all within walking distance. A few of the WGs in which students in our program live are a bit farther, but the farthest is still only maybe half an hour by straßenbahn. I find myself choosing to walk more and more because it just makes you feel so good and it’s not super exhausting.
* Nature~ Freiburg is surrounded by the Schwarzwald-Black Forest. This means that literally every direction that you look, you can see these gorgeous hills covered in dark green evergreen trees (in German, “Bäume” pronounced “boy-ma”, and my favorite German word. Other than Löffel).
* People~ The people in my program are all pretty great. It kind of surprises me how well we get along. With 28 people from all over the US with different backgrounds and personalities, that is somewhat of a feat. The actual citizens of Freiburg are a mix. There are a LOT of tourists all the time, then there is a big population of students when school is in session, and then a lot of residents are older. Germans in general are a bit more reserved until you get to know them, so you can’t take a lot of things, such as not making the small talk we are used to in grocery stores etc, personally. All the people I’ve met that are my age have been wonderful. The three roommates I have met as of yet have all been super helpful and friendly. I also have a native German tandem partner who I get along with really well. The tandem partner program matches Germans trying to learn English with Americans trying to learn German (I’m guessing they do this for other languages too) based on common interests. It’s a great program because you not only get to widen your friend network to include native Germans, but also because you are both trying to learn, so there is no pressure to speak completely correctly. I highly recommend the program if you ever study abroad.
* Location~ Freiburg only became the city it is because of its prime location between Basel, *look this up*. Even today it is so easy to go to France or Switzerland for the day (both of which we have done-see next post). It’s also not too difficult to travel from Freiburg throughout the rest of Germany.
* Landmarks~ There are a number of interesting things to see in Freiburg. We have visited the SC Freiburg stadium (super cool because it was all paid for by residents of Freiburg and is incredibly environmentally sustainable). There is also Schoenberg, Kaisartuhl, the Schwarzwald of course, Stadttheater, the Concert House, and my personal favorite, Das Münster Unsere Liebe Frau.


The Münster is ridiculously gorgeous, but also has a really interesting history. Construction started in the 1100s, but it wasn’t completed until around 1850. There was a 60 year pause in the middle there because of a war, but mostly the slow pace was due to funding issues. In the end, it was paid for 33% by the Bundesrepublik (German government), 33% by the Bundesland (Freiburg government), 15% by the Catholic Church, and 15% by the money made in the gift shop etc.
Because construction lasted so long,and there were no original plans to be followed, the style of the building changed drastically from the time it started to when it was finished. Originally it was to be a small church built in the Romanesque style, which the east side of the church reflects. Then construction was continued in gothic style, which enabled them to use buttresses and build taller and more ornately. The inside is perhaps even more gorgeous than the outside, with many stain glass windows depicting stories of saints. Another fun fact- you can tell who paid for each window by the images in the bottom row of panels. For example, one window on the North side of the church was paid for by a baker family and displays a row of pretzels at the bottom. I could really go on for days about how cool this church is, especially in the differences between the north and south side (they believed the devil lived in the north, so it’s designed differently to scare him away). If you visit, I recommend a tour or doing some research before hand because, while beautiful in its own right, the intricate meaning of every single detail makes it that much more mind-blowingly beautiful

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Hillary Bliven

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hillary Bliven grew up near Seattle, Washington before moving to Tacoma, Washington to attend Pacific Lutheran University. She is double majoring in German and Studio Arts with a minor in Biology. Hillary&rsquo;s passions include pottery, drawing, good food, science and German. Studying in Germany for a semester provides a wonderful opportunity to experience people, food, and art from a different perspective. See Freiburg through the eye (and the pen) of a Northwestern Artist.</span></p>

2013 Fall
Home University:
Pacific Lutheran University
German Language
Studio Art
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