Local History

Freiburg, Hotel de Ville. Photo: TES.

The Rise of Freiburg

Freiburg associated 1481 with the eight other cantons of the Eidgenossenschaft after the Burgundian wars in 1476. More troubles were to come, however.  Emperor Maximilian (1459-1519) imposed an extra tax on the cities (the Eidgenossen were still part of the Holy Roman Empire).

Habsburg was also in conflict with the three unions (Zehngerichtenbund, Gotteshausbund, Graue or Obere Bund) in Graubünden. The Eidgenossen supported Graubünden.  The subsequent Schwabenkrieg (1499) ended with a defeat of the emperor.

The great storm was yet to come. After the defeat of the Eidgenossen in Italy in 1515, (Marignano) a peace treaty with France was signed in the Hotel de Ville of Fribourg on November 29, 1516. This peace with France would last until the French Revolution of 1789.

The great storm was the Reformation, which divided the Eidgenossenschaft and also Freiburg and Bern. Freiburg remained Catholic, and thus the territories it acquired and occupied in Vaud in 1536, Bern was Protestant and dictated this belief in Vaud.

Freiburg became a dogmatic Catholic bastion, including the presence of Jesuits, but kept the alliance with Protestant Bern.  (Source: H. Walter, Histoire de Fribourg, Une Ville-État pour l’éternité (XVIe-XVIIIe siècle), Tome 2, Neuchâtel 2002).