Photo Journal 1: Freiburg

Format: Digital

Photographing things that are often photographed in a unique way is difficult. The famous cities, landmarks, architecture, events and natural landscapes of our planet have, at this point, been mostly well and frequently documented. From Yosemite National Park to the Great Wall, a quick google search of things iconic will yield a bounty of angles and various lightings – from sunset to sundown to solar eclipse – all captured with the best camera equipment money can buy. Here at Out of the Holler, my goal is to bring something unique and personal to the documentation of the various landmarks, places, etc, that I visit. To show (in this case) a city through a lens that is hopefully at least more captivating than this.

Here goes:


As opposed to what you see in this photograph, Freiburg is the sunniest city in Germany. It sits on the edge of the Schwarzwald, the famous Black Forest (see: every Fairy Tale and Black Forest Cake), in the Southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg.

As an American, the city has everything you could ask for from a quintessential small-ish European city: Cobblestone streets, clock towers, pastel colored buildings and everything was built WAY before 1776 (see: the creation of the United States). Even its McDonald’s are made to appear old and lovely (see: top right photo).

Personal Note:

I live in Koblenz, Germany (around the middle) and Rachel (the girl in the photographs) lives in Geneva, Switzerland. Freiburg is about four hours away from both of us so it served as a perfect spot for a weekend get away.

Impersonal Note:

In World War II, many cities in Germany were either partially or almost entirely destroyed. Freiburg faired better than some (see: Koblenz), and even though it is currently being renovated, the cathedral remained almost entirely intact.

Sausage Note:

Every region of Germany has their own interpretation of sausage. Bavaria has the famous Weißwurst and Nuremburg has the Drei im Weggla, but one that is nearly always an option is the Currywurst. A fried pork sausage, the Currywurst is typically cut by a machine (whose only purpose as far as I can tell is to cut Currywurst) into small pieces and then covered in Ketchup (or Curry Ketchup I guess) and curry powder. It’s served with fries and eaten with a very small plastic fork (see: left photo).


As I mentioned above, photographing a place like the main square in Freiburg can feel a little pointless especially when the internet has such an abundance of material. Probably the easiest way to make a photo unique is to photograph ones self, friends or family. Fortunately, Rachel is a good sport about being photographed.

I would like to draw your attention to the photograph in the top right corner (you can click on it). The Freiburg Cathedral, or Freiburger Münster, was completed in the 1300’s and features Wasserspeier (water spewers) aka Gargoyles of men, whose back are prostrate, butts are aimed away from the church, pants are pulled down, and in the event of rain, spew water out of their assholes. And people say Germans don’t have senses of humor.


The most important part of any visit to a city like Freiburg is the cathedral climb. As noted in this lovely scene in In Bruges, cathedral climbs are typically narrow and feature lots of steps up a spiral staircase. They deliver on views.

Until next time,