Prohibition de l'absinthe 1910-2005, Brasserie du Cardinal de Fribourg, Neuchâtel. Photo/Foto: TES.

The Cardinal and Absinthe

The famous Brasserie du Cardinal de Fribourg is located at the foot of Neuchâtel Castle between the city’s old mills and the bed of the Seyon.

The interior of the current restaurant has retained most of its Art Nouveau decor from 1905. It is typical of the Belle Époque: a unique imaginary pattern of coloured earthenware tiles, mouldings and colourful motifs engraved on the glass. The exterior façade, also from 1905, is a cultural heritage site.

The Brasserie also has an absinthe tasting room. Absinthe, a strong alcoholic drink (the Green Fee (die Grüne Fee, la Fée verte) from the region, was banned for a long time (1910-2005). The ban contributed to its worldwide reputation.

The Maison de l’Absinthe in Môtiers in Val-de-Travers (canton of Neuchâtel) offers a historical overview of this history and the drink. Visitors can also have a drink there.