Living in Freiberg
Freiberg is situated in the Free State of Saxony not far from Dresden, the state capital, and in the foothills of the Erzgebirge (“ore”) Mountains.
Freiberg in Saxony
Freiberg is Saxony‘s oldest and most important mining city. It was founded in 1186 when an immense deposit of silver ore was discovered at the site where the city is now located. Freiberg’s wealth and fame sprang from silver mining and its heritage is present wherever you go. The charming cityscape mirrors the profound influence of the wealth developed during the mining period.
Walking through Freiberg’s old city centre reminds of a picturesque Romanesque 16th century town with cobbled streets and beautiful old patrician houses. The skyline of the city is dominated by the late gothic Freiberg cathedral with its famous two “Silbermann” organs which were built in the 18th century by Gottfried Silbermann and are made of pure silver. An organ concert is an absolute must for a visitor to Freiberg. Further art treasures of this cathedral are the Romanesque Golden Arch and the Tulip Pulpit.
Among Freiberg’s best museums and collections are the Municipal History and Mining Museum and the Mineral Collection of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg - the latter world famous and thus another definite must.
Today nobody digs for silver any longer, but the “Rich Colliery” (Reiche Zeche), which is the oldest, biggest and last complete mine of Saxony, is open to the public. Entering the world of a miner by lift dressed in miner‘s gear, riding on a train and crawling around tiny, narrow aisles is an unforgettable and unique experience. Another mine that can be visited is the Old Elizabeth, which is also an important example of the mining culture Freiberg bears.
The rural countryside around Freiberg with its hills and forests dotted with ancient castles is a perfect backdrop for hiking and other sports activities. Both in the city and in neighbouring towns, there are indoor and outdoor swimming pools and lakes as well as hiking and cycling trails. Close by is the world-famous ”Saxon Switzerland” (Sächsische Schweiz), a paradise for rock-climbers and hikers. Hiking, cross-country and down-hill skiing are among the favourite sports in the Erzgebirge. Down-hill ski runs and cross-country trails are near at hand and easily accessible by car or train.
The Erzgebirge is also well known for its wood-crafted Christmas decoration such as nut crackers and toys. Interesting towns to visit are Seiffen, Annaberg-Buchholz, Oberwiesenthal and Marienberg. As Freiberg is not far from Poland (approx. 130 km east of Freiberg) and the Czech Republic (approx. 40 km to the south) a visit to our neighbouring countries is also highly recommended.
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