The Old Cathedral Workshop served as the workplace of the highly regarded master builders and stonemasons of Freiburg's landmark, responsible for the maintenance of the Cathedral after its construction.
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Located directly behind the Cathedral’s chancery on Herrenstrasse, it is the only surviving half-timber house from the late Middle Ages in Freiburg. The building was first mentioned in 1565 and served as the permanent workshop for the stonemasons after the completion of the Cathedral’s chancery. In the Middle Ages, the term “Bauhütte” described the organization of all workers involved in the construction of the Cathedral. They formed the core of the “Münsterfabrik,” literally the Cathedral Factory, which since the late 13th century has been responsible for the construction of Freiburg parish churches under the direction of the city government.
The half-timbered story was added in 1600 and first housed the trade masters and then later, two tower guards who worked in shifts to protect the Cathedral from intruders or fire. The stonemasons worked in this historic building up until 1956. Already in 1911, most of the workshop had been relocated to the new Cathedral Workshop on Schoferstrasse.
Today, the Old Cathedral Workshop now houses a small shop selling tasteful souvenirs and taking bookings for tours of the Cathedral Workshop. By the way, every purchase made in the Cathedral Shop contributes to the preservation of the Cathedral.
Tip: Since the 14th century, Freiburgers and Cathedral supporters have been cherishing and caring for the Gothic masterpiece so that future generations may continue to enjoy it. The windows of the Cathedral show which guilds made donations for the installation of the colored stained glass. Take a closer look and you’ll discover the pretzel of the baker’s guild or a boot, the symbol of the cobblers.