In love with…Freistadt, the free town

Hello there lovebirds,

I thought it was about time to introduce you to our almost home town Freistadt. Not only is it a beautiful city situated in the state of Upper Austria, it is also loaded with a long history and traditions.

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Freistadt, which means ‘free town’ if you translate it literally, was founded in the 13th century. Its position separated the Habsburg and Bohemian lands and played an important part in the valuable salt and iron trade route many years back.

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The old town is surrounded by watchtowers, city walls and two main gates – the Bohemian and the Freistadt gate – that still exist today.

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Of course Freistadt also has its own beautiful castle where tourists can learn about the history of the city as it is now a museum. Freistadt impresses with its picturesque alleys and medieval look and has a diverse culture.

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Typically Austrian cafés, bars, bakeries and restaurants bring together different generations and make sure people can socialize. As you might have heard, Austrians have an exceptional coffee house culture. ‘Verlängerter’ (long black coffee) and traditional Austrian cakes are a must for every Austrian citizen (although I do prefer my coffee with milk).

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What distinguishes Freistadt from other towns is the fact that the city has a brew commune. Brewing its own beer isn’t all that new in the region but it’s the ownership that makes it special. The brewery was built in the 18th century and rightfully still belongs to all homeowners in the old city. Freistadt is the last town in Europe using the commune as a legal form of an enterprise in the commercial register.

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Despite my allergy that is giving me a hard time right now, I always enjoy coming back home.

Bisou, M

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