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35km (22 miles) SW of Bern; 53km (33 miles) NE of Vevey

Once a sovereign republic, set between lakes and mountains, Fribourg was founded in 1157 and today has a population of some 40,000 and a university. It was a stronghold of Catholicism for centuries and was known for its dyers, weavers, and tanners. In 1481 it joined the Swiss Confederation, and today it's the capital of a canton of the same name. Visitors arrive today to see Switzerland's most rural canton, famous for its Holstein cows. It's a charming place with narrow medieval town houses. To wander its ancient precincts is well worth a day, or at least an afternoon, of your time.