Local History

Freiburg, Hotel de Ville. Photo: TES.

The Rise of Freiburg

Freiburg joined the Swiss Confederation (Eidgenossenschaft)  in 1481. The Burgundian wars (1474-1477) were decisive. The relationship with Habsburg and the Holy Roman Empire was tense as well.

Emperor Maximilian (1459-1519) introduced new taxes in the 1490s. The cities, Orte and cantons of the Confederation still belonged to the Holy Roman Empire, but were in fact independent. They resisted the levy of new taxes.

Habsburg was also in conflict with the three leagues in Graubünden (Zehngerichtenbund, Gotteshausbund, Graue or Obere Bund). The Eidgenossen supported the three leagues.

Maximilian lost the Schwabenkrieg (or Schweizer-or Engadinerkrieg) in 1499.

The Eidgenossen were defeated by France in 1515  (Marignano), however.

The peace-treaty with France was signed in the Hotel de Ville in Fribourg on 29 November 1516. The Eternal Peace, la Paix Eternelle lasted until 1798.

The Reformation divided the Eidgenossenschaft after 1520. Freiburg remained Catholic. Bern became Protestant.

Freiburg was a dogmatic Catholic bastion, but remained an ally of Protestant Bern until 1798.

(Source: H. Walter, Histoire de Fribourg, Une Ville-État pour l’éternité (XVIe-XVIIIe siècle), Tome 2, Neuchâtel 2002).