While construction started on Freiburg’s iconic Gothic church in 1200, it wasn’t finished until almost 300 years later. Today, the cathedral is known mainly for its 380-foot west tower (famously described by art historian Jacob Burckhardt in 1869 as “the most beautiful spire on earth”), but also boasts magnificent pillars, intricate sculptures (including 91 gargoyles), and an equally stunning interior. Incredibly, the church survived several World War II bombings and still contains stained glass windows from medieval times, plus a high altar with an intact triptych by Hans Baldung Grien. The famous tower takes on an octagon shape as you climb to the viewing platform, where, on clear days, you can see across to the Vosges Mountains in France. Be sure to also check out the bell tower, home to the three-ton, 750-year-old Hosanna bell—one of Germany’s oldest.
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