Fribourg

22Aug11

This was my last full weekend in Switzerland, and I used part of it to visit nearby Fribourg. The main reason: chocolate! My favourite Swiss chocolate company, Villars, was founded, operates, and offers their only boutique/café in Fribourg. (It is not a chocolate factory, no oompa-loompas, for that you have to go to la Maison Cailler in nearby Broc-Fabrique.) I was not disappointed: they had chocolate-covered marshmallow goo (pictured at left), 2.5-kilogram bags of napolitain bite-size bars, saffron ganache pralines (also basil, star anise, and others), chocolate bread, hot chocolate, chocolate cows, books on chocolate, et cetera et cetera. It was very tasty… the reason which I first got into Villars is that they had the shortest list of ingredients out of the major brands, so I think it tastes more like true chocolate and not finely-tuned chemicals… not that I am an expert at that.

At right, you can see they used to have some chocolate cross-promotion with the United Nations! See more pictures in my Picasa album here. It also gave me a good excuse to edit the wikitravel websites in English and French for Fribourg, as shamefully, neither one previously mentioned the Villars boutique.


In the rest of the city, the main landmark is St. Nicolas’ church, which you can see from every point in the city. I didn’t know anything non-chocolatey about the city upon arrival but the sight of this towering behemoth in the distance made me walk towards it. In fact you can climb ~75m to the top, which was exhausting and rewarding in terms of the view. Even after leaving the church, the day was filled with ups and downs, since the city’s topography consists of hills, cliffs, valleys and deep rivers. I have always thought that Lausanne was a uniquely 3-dimensional city (you can see where you want to go, but not be able to get there since the graph is non-planar) but Fribourg is perhaps even more 3D. Compared to these two, the North American cities where I have lived feel like this:

I had some very tasty crepes (bacon, cheese, spinach) before heading back to Lausanne, enjoying my remaining partially-melted (but completely-delicious) chocolates on the way.

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4 Responses to “Fribourg”

  1. When will you arrive to Budapest? Maybe we could again do a pre-conference dinner or something, we have many coupons to a very good indian restaurant.

  2. 2 Stacie Terrell

    Where is the chocolate shop located in Fribourg? I am here now and would like to visit.

    • It is the “Boutique Villars,” you can find more information on their website
      http://www.chocolat-villars.com
      and in particular they are at Route de la Fonderie 2, which I recall was about a 15-20 minute walk from the main train station in a southwest direction.

  3. 4 Stacie Terrell

    Thank you so much. I will go there tomorrow.


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