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Introducing Fribourg

Nowhere is Switzerland’s language divide felt more keenly than in Fribourg (Freiburg or ‘Free Town’), a medieval city where inhabitants on the west bank of the Sarine river speak French, and those on the east bank of the Sanne speak German. Throw Catholicism and a notable student population into the cultural cocktail and you get a fascinating town with feisty nightlife and a healthy waft of originality.

Its greatest moment in history saw a messenger sprint from Murten to Fribourg in 1476 to relay the glad tidings that the Swiss had defeated Charles the Bold…only to drop dead with exhaustion on arrival. Onlookers, saddened by this tragic twist, took the linden twig from the messenger’s hat and planted it.