Obermarkt 16 | 09599 Freiberg (Sachs.) | Germany
The conference will be hosted in a banquet hall in the “Ratskeller Freiberg” that is an old historic building in the heart of Freiberg, built in 1545 as a municipal department store. Located direclty on the northern edge of the Obermarkt, the building lies in the middle of the Medieval city center. In former days the facilities of the building were used for social events like masked balls and theatres. Restored in 1986, the hall is nowadays used for festive receptions and conferences, while on the ground floor a medieval restaurant is hosted.
The hall is spacious and has a capacity of 240 seated attendants. The meeting venue is within a walking distance of a few minutes from the main accommodation facilities as well as from all the main points of interest in the city of Freiberg.
History of Freiberg
Freiberg (German for “free mountain”) is a University and Mining town in the Federal State of Saxony, Germany and the administrative center of Mittelsachsen (Middle Saxony) district. The city has a population of about 45,000 inhabitants. Freiberg was founded in 1186 by Otto the Rich (Otto der Reiche) Margrave of Meissen, who had the great idea of allowing free men to dig for silver ore in Freiberg and was with that the inventor of free commerce in Europe. The silver mining of Freiberg made him and his family, and the whole Saxony, rich for hundreds of years, and was one of the reasons why the kingdom of Saxony kept its independence within the German domain until the XIXth century. Freiberg quickly became the capital city and economic center of the whole ore mountain mining region.
Its historic town center has been placed under heritage conservation and is a chosen site for the proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Ore Mountain Mining Region. Until 1969, the town was dominated for around 800 years by the mining and smelting industries. In recent decades it has restructured into a high technology site in the fields of semiconductor manufacture and solar technology, part of Silicon Saxony.
TU Bergakademie Freiberg
In 1765, the world’s first mining academy was founded here by Prince Frany Xaver and nowadays is the oldest mining and metallurgy university in the world which consists of six faculties (Mathematics and Informatics; Chemistry, Biology and Physics; Geoscience, Geoengineering and Mining; Mechanical Engineering; Material Sciences; Business Administration and Economics.
Highlights and Sightseeing
In Freiberg, you may visit still active mines, albeit used only for education, research, and tourism. Silver, that has been the primary metal all these centuries, is no longer mined, but the heritage of mining is evident wherever you go. The University took the initiative and made its history ready for the future by owning and operating two mines: the “Reiche Zeche”, the oldest, largest and last completely operational mine of Saxony, as well as the “Alte Elisabeth”. The many well-preserved buildings from this period bear witness to Freiberg splendid past. Not only the legendary mining heritage, but its unique medieval architecture make the city a charming tourist destination. Surrounded by magnificent patrician houses on the Obermarkt (Upper Market), the statue of Otto the Rich proudly overlooks the 15th century City Hall. Nearby, the oldest municipal theater in the world is nowadays a busy cultural focal point.
Another highlight, the late gothic cathedral, “Freiberger Dom”, that dominates the skyline of the “Untermarkt” (Lower Market) has several aspects that make it unique. One of the famous baroque Silbermann organs is found here, making an organ concert an absolute must for every visitor. The cathedral’s art treasures include the romanesque Goldene Pforte (Golden Portal), the burial chapel of the Saxonian kings, and the tulip-shaped pulpit. Freiberg offers some fascinating museums and collections. Well worth a visit are both the Municipal History and Mining Museum (Stadt-und Bergbaumuseum) and the University’s famous Terra Mineralia (a mineral collection with extensive specimen all over the world). The 12th-century Castle Freudenstein has become home for the state mining archives and the world’s largest and most exciting mineral collection organized by the University. Visitors can enjoy a stunning mineralogical tour of remarkable and exquisite minerals from around the world and explore German mining history.
Travelling to Freiberg
Freiberg does not have an own airport and the closest international airports are in Dresden, Berlin. Leipzig and Prague (Czech Republic). Dresden airport is served by many low-fare airlines from almost everywhere in Europe. Lufthansa and several big airlines offer also combinations to Dresden airport in connection with their regular international flights to Munich and Frankfurt. Freiberg is reasonably well connected with train to Dresden, with 30min-50min trip in new comfortable regional trains each hour, even more frequently in rush hours. Finally, Freiberg has offices of several of the international car rental companies, thus the city is reachable from any of these airports with a one-way car rental.