From here, continue along Franziskanerstrasse to possibly one of the most beautiful 'Sparkasse' bank buildings, the Haus zum Walfisch (The Whale House). Magnificent Late Gothic ornamentation adorns the lovely 16th century building. The building’s most famous resident was the scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam, who moved here in 1529. The theologian and church critic was apparently not very easy-going. He did not like Baden cuisine, was irritated by his roommates, and thought the rent was much too high. After several quarrels, his lease was terminated just two years later.
Now head for Kaiser-Joseph-Strasse. Freiburg’s main shopping street, also known as the KaJo, leads you across Münsterstrasse or Marktgasse directly to Freiburg’s iconic landmark, the Münster (Cathedral).
Every day (except Sundays and public holidays), the surrounding Münsterplatz transforms into the colorful Münstermarkt farmer’s market, open from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The air is filled with wafting aromas of fruits and herbs, and of course, the “Lange Rote,” a hearty sausage, which you should definitely try at least once. If you make it to the market in the morning, we recommend picking up some fresh bread and cheese for a simple picnic snack.
During your leisurely stroll around the Münstermarkt, take time to admire some of the architectural legacies of past eras, such as the Basler Hof (Regional Council), a 15th century secular building, or the Late Baroque rooms of the Wentzinger Haus. The sumptuous studio and living quarters of the Breisgau artist Johann Christian Wentzinger are home to the Museum für Stadtgeschichte (Museum of Municipal History). The exhibition comprises various works of art by the painter and an impressive mural by Wentzinger, along with numerous exhibits and models offering visitors an overview of the city’s 900 years of history. The museum is open daily (except Mondays) from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
On the east side of the Münsterplatz, you will see a yellow building, the Alte Wache, built in 1733. This listed historic landmark once served as the quarters of the Austrian Guard, but is now home to the House of Baden Wines. So take a short break and recharge before you begin your afternoon! Enjoy the splendid historic backdrop with a view of the Cathedral, accompanied by a glass of one of the Breisgau region’s award-winning wines. How about a light Freiburg Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) or a sparkling Pinot Rosé Brut from Etztal?
Afterward, you have the chance to admire the Cathedral from the inside. It is open to visitors on weekdays from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 4:00 p.m., and on Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Or join a guided tour, which can be booked in the Tourist Information office. The climb up to the Cathedral spire is also worth the effort (from March 2018, daily until 5:00 p.m.). This vantage point gives you a bird's eye view of Freiburg and an up-close look at the Cathedral’s ornamentation.