Freiberg
A SMALL CITY WITH A BIG HEART

Freiberg Markt © Noack/DAAD
Freiberg Markt© Noack/DAAD

With its quaint historic downtown, Freiberg is an ideal location for cultural enthusiasts and nature lovers. The former mining region also offers numerous opportunities for weekend excursions, for example, into the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains).

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WELCOME TO FREIBERG

In the middle of Saxony between the cities of and lies the former mining town of Freiberg.

Crafts and trades played an important role in the daily lives of Freiberg’s citizens for over 800 years. The history of the city is not only reflected in the degree programmes at the Technical University, but also in numerous locations downtown. For example, you’ll discover the traditional miners’ greeting “Glück auf!” painted on numerous buildings in town.

You can gain a first-hand impression of local customs at the annual city fairs. The “Hüttenparade” (Ironworks Parade) is regularly held during the Bergstadtfest and the Christmas Market. It refers back to the time when the miners would parade through the streets of town in clean clothes on holidays. This was a special tradition as they normally spent their live-long day working in the dark mining pits. There are no more miners in Freiberg anymore, but the tradition lives on. Nowadays members of the “Mountain and Mining Association” march through the streets in town to celebrate their heritage.

Freiberg is home to the world’s oldest university devoted to the mining sciences – the Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg (Freiberg Mining Academy and University of Technology). The core areas of instruction and research include mineralogy, the exploration and processing of raw materials, and naturally, the mining sciences. The academic programmes have a strong practical orientation. The university operates a research and training mine where students can apply the knowledge they’ve gained in their lectures and seminars in a real-world setting.

Freiberg’s historic downtown is extremely well preserved. Walking through the Donat Gate, you pass the Donat Tower and the historic city walls and enter the medieval city centre. Here you can marvel at the ancient layout of the town which dates back to the 12th century. When you arrive at the “Untermarkt”, you can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of St. Peter’s Church and the cathedral. A few steps further, you can peer down the narrow streets leading to the city castle and lined with picturesque buildings.

LIVING IN FREIBERG

Freiberg is a peaceful town with a strong sense of community. Thanks to the university, the city offers a wide range of recreational and cultural activities. It’s especially important to Freiberg’s residents to help their guests become well-integrated. You’ll have no problems making contact with the locals. The university also organises language tandems with families in the region. If you participate, you can join a Freiberg family in celebrating Christmas, one of the most important holidays of the year for German families.

The Freiberger Theater is very special. Founded in 1790, it’s the only theatre which has been operated in its original form ever since, which makes it the oldest city theatre in the world. Today it presents plays, musicals and philharmonic concerts on a regular basis. As a student you are eligible for concession rates on theatre tickets.

The Bergstadtfest takes place at the last weekend in June every year. More than 160,000 people congregate on the marketplace to listen to concerts, stroll through the streets lined with market stands and enjoy the locally-produced beer.

If you plan on taking an excursion outside of town, you should definitely visit the . There are many small towns and forests in the surrounding region which you can easily visit by bike, such as the Tharandter Forest. If you want to go out for the night, you’ll find lots of students at the „Shine Bar“. There are also international evenings, WG (flat-share) parties and .

If you get “cabin fever”, you can always hop a train and take a quick trip to Chemnitz or Dresden. And if you want to visit a major city like Prague or Berlin, bus travel is a cheap and fast alternative.

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