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Domberg (cathedral hill) Freising
Domberg (cathedral hill) Freising
Coat of arms of Freising
Location of Freising within Freising district
Freising in FS.svg
Freising is located in Germany
Freising is located in Bavaria
Coordinates: 48°24′10″N 11°44′56″E / 48.40278°N 11.74889°E / 48.40278; 11.74889Coordinates: 48°24′10″N 11°44′56″E / 48.40278°N 11.74889°E / 48.40278; 11.74889
Admin. regionOberbayern
Subdivisions29 Stadtteile
 • Lord mayor (2020–26) Tobias Eschenbacher[1] (FSM)
 • Total88.45 km2 (34.15 sq mi)
448 m (1,470 ft)
 • Total48,872
 • Density550/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
85354, 85356
Dialling codes08161
Vehicle registrationFS

Freising (German pronunciation: [ˈfʁaɪzɪŋ]) is a town in Bavaria, Germany, and the capital of the Freising Landkreis (district), with a population of about 50,000.


Freising is the oldest town between Regensburg and Bolzano and located in Upper Bavaria north of Munich, near Munich International Airport, on the Isar river. There are two hills, the cathedral hill with the bishop's castle and Freising cathedral, and Weihenstephan Hill with Weihenstephan Abbey, the oldest working brewery in the world. It was also the first recorded place of a European tornado. The city is 448 meters above sea level.

Cultural significance[edit]

Freising is one of the oldest settlements in Bavaria, becoming a major religious centre in the early Middle Ages. It is the centre of an important diocese. Some important historical documents were created between 900 and 1200 in its monastery:

The above and other scripts from that time can be found in the "Bayerische Staatsbibliothek" (Bavarian State Library) in Munich.


Even though archaeological finds show that the area was settled in the Bronze Age, no proof has been found yet to suggest a continuous settlement until the 8th century AD Frigisinga.

In 724 AD, Saint Corbinian was sent to Bavaria by the Catholic Church to spread Christianity. On a mountain near Freising, where there was already a sanctuary, Corbinian erected a Benedictine monastery and a school. According to his Vita by Bishop Arbeo, Corbinian was on his way to Rome when his packhorse was attacked and killed by a wild bear. By divine power, Corbinian ordered the bear to carry his luggage over the Alps. When he finally arrived in Rome he let the bear free. The saddled bear is still the symbol of the city, displayed in the coat of arms, as well as statues and paintings.[3]

After Corbinian's death, Saint Boniface established Freising as a Catholic diocese.

Between 764-783, Bishop Arbeo founded a library and scriptorium at the abbey. The settlement started to become a religious centre.

The earliest recorded tornado in Europe struck Freising in 788.[4][5]

The mortal remains of Pope Alexander I are said to have been transferred to Freising in 834.

In 996, Freising received city rights from Emperor Otto III.

As early as the 10th century, in order to collect additional revenue, monks were sent from Freising down the Isar River to build a toll bridge on the Salt Road between Salzburg and Augsburg. This village would be later known as München (or Munich, which means 'of the monks'). By 1158, Duke Henry the Lion destroyed the bridge and customs building and built new ones closer to his home further downriver, (near the spot of modern downtown Munich-Marienplatz), so that he could collect the revenue instead. (Link, Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913)

The construction of the Freising Cathedral in its current romanesque style started in 1159 and was completed in 1205. The romanesque wooden ceiling was replaced by a gothic vault in 1481–3.[6]

Freising went through difficult times during the Thirty Years' War. In 1632 the Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus came through Freising on his way to Munich. He demanded 30,000 guilders as the sum to protect the city from destruction. Nevertheless his army sacked the city. Hunger and plague raged when the Swedes invaded the city again in 1646. In 1674 the Church placed a statue of the Virgin Mary in the city square as a sign that war and plague had been overcome.[7]

A wave of witch hunts and trials broke out from 1715-1717 in Freising, and again in 1721-1723. Most of the accused were child beggers. Several children were executed.[8]

In 1802/1803 Bavaria fell under the influence of Napoleonic France in which church controlled lands were secularized. In Freising, the more than thousand-year-old bishopric was abolished. The Roman Catholic Church lost most of its properties and authority over the city.[9] Though the seat of the diocese was moved to Munich in 1821, including the elevation to an arch-diocese, Freising has remained the seat of diocese administration until today.

In 1858 the Bavarian Eastern Railway Company built the first railway line from Munich to Freising, Landshut and Regensburg for passenger and rail traffic.[10]

Near the end of the Second World War, Allied aircraft bombed Freising on April 18, 1945. By April 30, units of the US Army arrived in Freising.[11]

In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) visited Freising during a papal visit. Ratzinger was formerly archbishop of Munich/Freising from 1977 to 1982.[12]


Schools include:

Universities include:

See also[edit]

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Freising is twinned with:[13]

Famous citizens[edit]

Points of interest[edit]


  1. ^ Liste der ersten Bürgermeister/Oberbürgermeister in kreisangehörigen Gemeinden, Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik, 15 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Tabellenblatt "Daten 2", Statistischer Bericht A1200C 202041 Einwohnerzahlen der Gemeinden, Kreise und Regierungsbezirke". Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik (in German). June 2021.
  3. ^ Bishop Corbinian and his bear – and Freising.
  4. ^ Dr. R. Hennig, Katalog bemerkenswerter Witterungsereignisse. Berlin 1904; Originalquellen: Aventinus (Turmair), Johannes (gest. 1534): Annales Boiorum. Mit Nachtrag. Leipzig 1710; Annales Fuldenses, Chronik des Klosters Fulda. Bei Marquard Freher: Germanicarum rerum scriptores ua Frankfurt aM 1600–1611)
  5. ^ "Tornadoliste Deutschland". German meteorological list of documented tornadoes
  6. ^ Hermann-Joseph Busley: Die Geschichte des Freisinger Domkapitels von den Anfängen bis zur Wende des 14./15. Jahrhunderts. Dissertation, Universität München 1956.
  7. ^ Süddeutsche Zeiting (21 August, 2019). Erpresserische Schweden - Ein Dokument aus dem Stadtarchiv belegt, wie Freising im Dreißigjährigen Krieg mit einer Brandschatzungssteuer vor der Zerstörung bewahrt werden konnte.
  8. ^ Rainer Beck: Mäuselmacher oder die Imagination des Bösen – Ein Hexenprozess 1715–1723. 2. Auflage. C. H. Beck, München 2012, ISBN 978-3-406-62187-1.
  9. ^ Sigmund Benker, Marianne Baumann-Engels: Freising. 1250 Jahre Geistliche Stadt. Ausstellung im Diözesanmuseum und in den historischen Räumen des Dombergs in Freising, 10. Juni bis 19. November 1989. Wewel, München 1989, ISBN 3-87904-162-8.
  10. ^ 150 Jahre Eisenbahnstrecke München–Landshut 1858 bis 2008, Siegfried Haberstetter, Erich Bockschweiger, 2008.
  11. ^ Historischer Verein Freising (Hrsg.): Freising von 1945 bis 1950. 21. Sammelblatt des Historischen Vereins Freising für das Jahr 1950. Neue Münchner Verlags – G.m.b.H., München 1950.
  12. ^ "Wer glaubt ist nie allein." Der Besuch Papst Benedikt XVI. in Bayern 2006.
  13. ^ "Partnerstädte". (in German). Partnerschaftsverein Freising. Retrieved 2021-02-03.

External links[edit]