Introduction

Nowhere is Switzerland’s socio-linguistic divide felt more keenly than in Fribourg (Freiburg or ‘Free Town’), a handsome medieval city built upon a dramatic gorge carved by the Sarine River, which cleaves the city in two. Inhabitants on the river's west bank, where the Old Town, university and train station are, speak French, and those on the east, German! Naturally, it's a pretty multilingual place.

With a high concentration of excellent museums and some knockout viewpoints from which to appreciate the enchanting historic architecture that seems to crawl up out of the gorge, Fribourg oozes visual appeal.

Throw a healthy dose of Catholicism and a sizeable student population into the cultural cocktail and you get a fascinating town with sometimes feisty nightlife and a healthy waft of originality.