For my A to Z of Cathedrals when I got to F I naturally considered the magnificent Duomo in Florence but decided instead to go north into the Black Forest in Germany.
I am trying to stay ahead of Phil and Michaela from The Hungry Travellers (well worth a visit) because I am certain that they will have been to Florence but maybe not Freiburg and there is a bit of a challenge going on here.
The main square is the site of Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral constructed of red sandstone, built between 1200 and 1530 and which is memorable for its towering needle like spire. We went inside and it was cheerful and warm with large stained glass windows and friezes on the walls that commemorated the various traditional trades of the city.
From a an aerial photograph inside the Cathedral we had seen that Freiburg was heavily bombed during World War II and a raid by more than three hundred bombers of the RAF Bomber Command on 27th November 1944 destroyed most of the city centre, probably unnecessarily but Bomber Harris liked Bombing German cities unnecessarily. The notable and thankful exception of the Münster, which was only lightly damaged.
God sometimes looks after his own.
The target for the mission was the railway facilities and marshalling yards. Three hundred and forty Lancaster bombers dropped three thousand bombs totalling one thousand five hundred tonnes and twelve thousand markers and incendiaries totalling two hundred and seventy tonnes.
The casualties in Freiburg were over two thousand people including nine hundred civilians and over six thousand people injured. Photo-reconnaissance the target area after the attack revealed that civilian areas had been destroyed but none of the rail facilities had been damaged. Bomber Harris didn’t do precision bombing that well.
Not a lot changes it now seems as Russians today can easily destroy civilian areas but miss military targets. War is so futile.