Martin's Gate, sketch by Sandra Schwab

Martin’s Gate

This is going to be a super-short post because I need to dash off and be on my way to the Black Forest on a rather unexpected trip. Last week, the press office of my university was contacted by the BBC – do we have an expert on the Brothers Grimm willing to travel to Freiburg for an interview? Needs to speak English. The lovely people at our folklore department remembered me and forwarded me the e-mail, and now here I am, about to be … er … interviewed by the BBC. *gulp*

I’m going to leave you with a few impressions of Freiburg from my last visit. It’s such a beautiful town, with little open gutters (Bächle) running through the town center. The first were built in the Middle Ages to provide water for animals and for fire fighting. Other reminders of the medieval past can be found all over town: for example, there’s the Martin’s Gate, which used to be part of the old city wall and was first mentioned as Porta Sancti Martini in 1238.

Medieval minster, Freiburg, sketch by Sandra Schwab

The Medieval Minster

Then there’s the medieval minster, which dominates one of the central town squares. When I was last there, the very top was covered with green netting: the red sandstone is corroding fast, and so the upkeep of the church is a continuous process.

Waterspouts at the minster, sketch by Sandra Schwab

Gargoyle Waterspouts at the Minster

Something I’ve always loved about the minster is the multitude of gargoyle waterspouts that watch the going-ons in the square from high above. It’s a strange assembly of grotesque animals (some of them are actually quite cute!), devilish creatures, grinning skeletons, and strange human figures. I’m looking forward to seeing them all again! 🙂

And now I better hurry and get on the road. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!