|(Note: I had saved this image locally for later use, but I now cannot find it at all on the web in order to source it properly. If anyone knows where this is from, please drop me a comment below.)|
Quite possibly, travelers between Freiburg and Merzhausen went down Lorettostrasse – and also Reiterstrasse. As this photo shows, there used to be a direct connection between Reiterstrasse and the intersection below; the photo shows the intersection around 1994, with a view of Lorettoberg, from my balcony within Basler Tor. At this point, there was no longer a connection between Reiterstrasse and that intersection. But Merzhauserstrasse had already become a four-lane road where cars are parked above.
Today, Merzhauserstrasse only has two lanes but also a streetcar running down the middle – and the rails are on a grassy area (see this photo). Note that there are no bike lanes in the image above; people had to ride their bikes on the streets and sidewalks without any special area. Now compare that to the photo under the previous link.
My first apartment (WG) in Basler Tor was where the founders of Crash, a local heavy metal bar, first lived. My housemates told me the place used to look even more run down, but it was modest even at the time. I had a tiny room (12 m2, around 120 square feet). In the building next door, I found a 20 m2 room and decided to move. For me, the decision was easy, but the Germans all thought the move was a big deal. The landlord in the old place freaked out and wrote me a nasty letter, saying he would not have rented to me at all if he had known that I was only going to be there for half a year. The other three people in the old flat also reacted with dismay, saying they didn't know I wasn't happy with my room; they seem to take it personally, but for me the room was just too small. And the woman in the new flat – the daughter of some local farmers who had a stand at Cathedral Square – also was quite nervous to be moving in with someone she didn't know. It was all a culture shock for me. And incidentally, after I moved out of my first apartment, a guy moved in who was the DJ from Stuttgart – the one that had played the Brazilian song that Fanta 4, a group of rappers from Stuttgart, used in their famous first hit.
I wasn't very happy in either apartment. In the second one, I didn't really even have a proper bedroom door; my housemate's father had installed a sliding partition between the dining area and the living area to create a separate room out of the latter. But anyone sitting at the dinner table could hear everything going on in my bedroom and vice versa. Apartments were extremely expensive and very hard to find at all at the time, so these were the conditions in my first three years in Freiburg.
I'll close with an image just 100 meters down from Baslertor of a small house and a small vineyard on Lorettoberg. My daughter concurs: nothing here has changed at all over the past two decades.