Friday, January 22, 2016

Freiburg memories: Augustinerplatz

When I arrived in Freiburg in 1992, Augustinerplatz had not yet become the major meeting place that it now is in the warm season. Today, it is packed with young people when the weather is good (see this photo). The owner of Capri, a café/bar at the edge of the square, recently told me that, as far as he can remember, the square became a huge place to hang out at the end of the 1990s. A friend of mine who used to work at the café in the mid-90s told me last night that he remembers selling people bottles of beer, and they would then sit outside – but there were not so many as there are today. One reason may be that you could still park cars on the square in the 1980s. It may have taken citizens a decade to become accustomed to going there.

By the time the square had become a popular hangout, I had kids and no longer did much hanging out in the evening – so I was quite shocked to see that poor people came through collecting bottles, which they could return for the deposit. In a way, I guess that's great – another source of income, and at least the bottles don't lie around getting broken. But it still left a weird taste in my mouth.

The square has the largest section of the historic city wall that still exists. Notice that it is an opening to a parking garage, and you can also see the public toilets on the left (they are quite smelly). The photo was taken in the mid-90s.

Here is another view, where you can see the (still unrenovated) Augustin Cloister (the big yellow building). Look closely, and you can see that the playground behind the trees did not yet have any gate separating it from the square. As the place became a hangout for drunk young people, the gate needed to be added to prevent these folks from spilling over into the playground at night. I have fond memories of going there with my kids.

No comments:

Post a Comment