Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fribourg Keeps Medieval Heritage on Display with Urban Golf

Located between Bern and Lausanne, the Swiss city of Fribourg makes a great location for touring other parts of the country. One of the city's most unique attractions is an "Urban Golf" experience that was designed to show off its impressive medieval architecture and many other visual treats. The course's 18 "holes" are dotted around the medieval Old Town, many offering fantastic views of the Gothic cathedral, the old city walls and the Sarine river. Be forewarned though - this is more than just a light stroll – doing the full round involves crossing the town for about four hours. "It's the perfect way to discover the town," said Nicolas Zapf, Fribourg's tourism director.

PHOTO CREDIT: Panoramio.

To take in the urban golf experience, just head down to the tourism office conveniently next door to Fribourg's rail station. Pick up a city map, a special three-headed golf club and plastic ball and head out to do your 18 holes. Marked by flags on the city map, the golf holes are located at points of scenic or historical interest, so be prepared for a major array of urban distractions. The idea is to walk between each golf green and take in the atmosphere and grand architecture. The well-marked greens range from 20 to to about 100 yards from tee box to hole.

PHOTO CREDIT: webshots.

The city features a very impressive lineup of medieval architecture, with 12 churches and monasteries, 14 towers, 11 fountains, a considerable length of ancient city walls and many well-preserved Gothic-style homes overlooking the valley of the River Sarine. Especially inspiring is St. Nicholas Cathedral, which was built between 1283 and 1490. You'll also cross a number of centuries-old bridges that connect the French-speaking Switzerland to the German-speaking part. This really sounds like a fun and original way to highlight a city's architectural heritage, and might be a great thing for other cities to consider.

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