If you want to make the best of a sunny afternoon but do not really want to go far away from Freiburg, there is the perfect place right in the east of old city. You must have sipped a drink in Kanonenplatz against the beautiful view, but did you go all the way up to the Schlossbergturm (Schlossberg tower)? If you have not, I hope you decide to go after reading this!
How to Get There?
There are couple of ways you can use to get to the tower. I chose to walk uphill from inside the Stadtgarten, making my way up from the steep path behind the restaurant “Dattler”. From the Stadtgarten you can also take the Schlossbergbahn which takes you to next to Dattler for 3.30 € per person, from there you still must walk about 20 minutes. Even though it is steep, it is a pleasant road with trees on your side and a scenic view on the other.
The other option for going up is to walk from the opposite side of the hill, follow the path that goes up behind the restaurant “Greiffenegg-Schlößle” and walk up to the Kanonenplatz, then take the 251 stairs. These take you to the foot of the plain where Schlossbergturm stands. On your way up, on the sides of the stairs, you can read the names of the donors who contributed to the construction. Disclaimer: you need a bit of physical condition. Either of the paths might literally take your breath away – not only thanks to its views but also due to steepness or number of stairs. I promise it will worth it when you reach the beautiful panoramic view from the tower!
The tower was built in 2002; it is 35 m high and has 153 steps spiraling upwards. There are three platforms (or levels) that let you rest and take pictures. Its highest point is 463 m above sea level and about 200 m above Freiburg. It is designed by a local Freiburg architect Hubert Horbach to blend in with the forest; thus, has the shape of a twisted tree trunk. However, its staircase is made of steel which makes the structure durable and modern. From only 200 m above the city you can experience an amazing panoramic view from Kirchzarten to the east, Kaiserstuhl in the west and Emmendingen to the north – of course as well as a refreshing view of the Black Forest, beautiful green valleys surrounding Freiburg and vineyards stretching across the region. If you are afraid of heights you might not want to go all the way up, but the platforms I mentioned above feel safe enough to take pictures while they allow you to take in the scenery. My suggestion is: do not forget to wear suitable clothes, a windbreaker jacket is highly suggested. Also, if you pack your lunch and drink, you can have a nice little picnic since there are benches at the area surrounding the tower.
History of the Area
Schloss got its name (Schlossberg= Castle mountain or hilltop) from the first fortified castle which was built here about 1.000 years ago by Swabian dukes. The castle was taken over by counts of Freiburg, later by the French who added the castle into the city’s defense force. The entire fortress, however, was blown up by the French when they withdrew in 1745. The outlines of the fortress are identifiable today and are protected as historical monuments.
If you want to learn more about this, there are information signs you can read around the area behind the Kanonenplatz. Despite functioning as an area of relaxation today, the area played an important role in Freiburg’s military history. Thinking of that place as a strategical center gives one a different feeling; like almost traveling back in time when people here were not jogging, walking their dogs or having a little party among friends.
Why Should You Go?
All in all, going up to the Schlossbergturm is without doubt a good way to see Freiburg from a higher and wider perspective. It allows you to appreciate Freiburg’s surrounding geographical beauties as well. You can also impress your friends with numbers and historical knowledge regarding the area. Again, remember to pack a small lunch, water and dress according to weather. After completing a bit of a challenging road, your reward is surely the breathtaking view. It is also a budget friendly way of spending a nice day since you will not be paying for anything (unless you take the Schlossberhbahn). Enjoy your little tour and take a lot of photos!
P.S: All the photos are taken by me. Dates and numbers are taken from https://visit.freiburg.de