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The (also) Breisgau is a region in the southwest of Baden-Württemberg between the Upper Rhine and the Black Forest . It covers about 4000 km², its center is the city of Freiburg im Breisgau .

Aerial view of the Breisgau


In the south the Breisgau borders in its current importance on the Markgräflerland (border line Staufen / Heitersheim ), in the west on the Alsace , in the east it extends to the western slope of the Black Forest, in the north on the Ortenau .

The Breisgau includes:

  • the Rhine plain , in which mainly grain, maize and special crops (asparagus, strawberries, in the past often tobacco) are grown
  • the wine and fruit growing area of ​​the foothills of the Black Forest and the Kaiserstuhl
  • and the western slopes of the southern Black Forest, with its side valleys (e.g. Elz and Glottertal).

The Breisgau is also defined as a wine-growing area in the Baden wine-growing region . From this point of view, the Kaiserstuhl does not belong to the Breisgau, but forms the largest of nine areas in the growing area with over 4,000 hectares of planted vineyards. The same applies to the region around the Tuniberg , which with 1,050 hectares of vineyards is also a separate area in the Baden cultivation area and is not counted as part of the Breisgau.

The Breisgau is one of the climatically warmest regions in Germany, the mean annual temperature is 11 ° C, the average annual rainfall is approx. 900 l / m², the sunshine duration is approx. 1800 hours.

The Breisgau is closer to ten European capitals (Amsterdam, Bern, Brussels, Ljubljana, Luxembourg, Monaco, Paris, Prague, San Marino, Vaduz) than to Berlin.

Derivation of terms

There are different opinions about the derivation of the name. Some see it as derived from the Celtic personal name Brîsios with the suffix -āko (> -acum). The historian Franz Josef Mone also suspects a Celtic origin . He traces the Gau name back to the city of Breisach , whose name he derives from the Celtic and translates it as Berghaus . Others, however, see the origin from the Roman, derived from the Münsterberg near Breisach mons Brisiacus , resp. the Monte Brisisaco , which the Itinerarium Antonini performs three times.

To what extent the name with the tribal name of the Suebian branch of the Brisgavi , which the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus calls 354/360, speaks for a Roman derivation is unclear.

Walther Schultze writes on this topic:

“The Breisgau was called Neomagia or provincia Neomagensis until around the 6th century. It was not until the 7th century that it took on its current name after the mountain and fortress Breisach; because Breisach was already a permanent place at the time of the Romans and was becoming increasingly important. "

- Walther Schultze : Die Gaugrafschaften des Alamannischen bathing, p. 41

In doing so, he excludes both variants for the actual derivation of the dormer designation and dates them to the Franconian period.

Main article → Landgraviate of Breisgau


In the early Middle Ages the Breisgau belonged to the Alemannic Gauen on the Upper Rhine and originally extended from the Rhine near Basel in the south to the river Bleiche between Kenzingen and Herbolzheim . There the Breisgau bordered on the Alemannic county of Mortenau (today Ortenau ). The western border formed the Upper Rhine, in the east the heights of the Black Forest marked the border. Am Rhein the high Breisgau bordered on the above Laufenburg preferred Hauenstein that already for Albgau belonged.

In the 12th century, the Zähringers achieved a significant position of power in what is now southwest Germany and what is now Switzerland, but without actually being able to form a coherent or well-founded duchy in the sense of a unified territory. The silver mining in the Black Forest also made a financial basis for this. The Zähringers pursued an active settlement policy in their sphere of influence and founded numerous cities, villages and monasteries. They chose the locations according to political and economic aspects. Uniform law, central administration and the greatest possible freedom for the citizens of the cities characterized their area of ​​rule. The Counts of Freiburg were the descendants of the Counts of Urach and in 1218 came into possession of the Zähringer territories.

To the rule of the Counts of Freiburg under their Count Egino III. Finally, to get rid of them, the Freiburgers bought their freedom in 1368 with silver weighing 20,000 marks and submitted all their possessions in the Breisgau to the Habsburgs . 1457 was by the Austrian Archduke Albrecht VI. the second Habsburg university after Vienna (1365) was founded here, making it one of the oldest universities in Germany.

The Oberamt Breisgau belonged to the Upper Austria until 1805 ( Peace of Pressburg ) and then largely passed to the Electorate of Baden . A smaller part in the northeast came to the Kingdom of Württemberg , which briefly occupied almost half of the Breisgau at the beginning of 1806 (see Württemberg occupation of the Breisgau ). After almost 500 years of belonging to Austria, the Breisgau and the city of Freiburg im Breisgau became part of the Grand Duchy of Baden against the will of the majority of the population , which emerged from the Electorate of Baden and newly acquired areas with the establishment of the Rhine Federation in July 1806.

Today the Breisgau is part of the Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald district and the Emmendingen district . The city of Freiburg im Breisgau is an independent city .

Places in the Breisgau

Rivers in the Breisgau

Mountains in the Breisgau

Mountains in Breisgau


  • Walther Schultze: The Gaugrafschaften des Alamannischen bathing , Stuttgart 1896, p. 39–116.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Breisgau  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ From a historical point of view, the Markgräflerland also belonged to the Breisgau county.
  2. Franz Mone: celtische research on the history of Central Europe , Herder, Freiburg 1857, p 238 ( digitized )
  3. ^ Helmut Bender, Gerhard Pohl, Ludwig Pauli, Ingo Stork: "Der Münsterberg in Breisach", Volume 1; Volume 39; P. 298
  4. XXI. c. 2.
  5. Julius Cramer: The history of the Alemanni as a Gau story. Scientia, 1971, ISBN 978-3-511-04057-4
  6. Dr. Phil. Walther Schultze: "Die Gaugrafschaften des Alamannischen bathing", Stuttgart 1896, p. 41
  7. Castle project of the University of Freiburg: The castles in medieval Breisgau ( memento from June 6, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on January 1, 2014.
  8. Julius Cramer: The history of the Alamanni as Gau history, p. 71