National Geographic : 1933 Aug
FREIBURG-GATEWAY TO THE BLACK FOREST But raise your eyes above the shop win dows and you are back in the days of old when knights were bold. No two houses are the same height or width or color; no two roofs are the same shape or tilt. Step gables mount dizzily, high peaked roofs lurch sky ward, dormer windows stand out like staring, inquisitive eyes. Faded religious pic tures-the Holy Fam ily, the Bleeding Heart, the Annunciation-dec orate the bent or bulged fronts of the buildings. Beautifully carved and colored coats of arms surmount deep, wide doorways, and in niches in the walls are painted and gilded stat ues of the Virgin or the saints. The Breisgau has remained essentially Roman Catholic, and to the Roman Church Freiburg im Breisgau owes some of its most lovely monuments. Freiburg's Cathedral was the first Gothic church of any size to be fully completed in Germany during the MiddleAges. It stands WAYSIDI a little askew, like Every few hundr Every few hundre everything else in the will be found waysid town, in the wide Min- complicated displays sterplatz, or Cathedral Square. The enormous mass, of native red sandstone surmounted by a single soaring spire of almost incredibly delicate filigree work, was started soon after the founding of the city and was more than 300 years in building (see illustration, page 214). Architects, painters, woodcarvers, sculp tors, and masons came from every part of Europe to contribute to its beauty; and the long, low-roofed, heavily beamed dwelling that housed the architects and master build- SSHRINES OFTEN WARRANT STUDY ed yards along the roads near Black Forest villages . e crosses. They range from simple figures to highly ers during its construction still remains. One of the altar pieces was painted by Hans Holbein the Younger. Naturally, over the three centuries of construction, plans had often to be changed, with a resulting melange of styles: Late Romanesque for the transept and its two small towers (known as the cock towers because of the leaden cocks that top them), Early Gothic for the nave, High Gothic for the spire, and Late Gothic for the choir.