Venue/Travel

 

The 2018 IEEE Workshop on Statistical Signal Processing will be held at the Historical Merchants’ Hall in Freiburg, Germany. The city boasts iconic and historic sites at every corner, and is known as “the Gateway to the Black Forest” and Germany’s “Sunshine City.”

Freiburg is located in the tri-border area of Germany, France and Switzerland, offering conference attendees and their guests convenient access to a plethora of cultural, culinary, and outdoor activities.

Freiburg im Breisgau

Freiburg itself has much to offer. The city is a historical and cultural icon in Germany, and the quality of food, entertainment, and culture reflect that status. Everything within the inner city, including hotels and the conference venue, is easily within walking distance.

On a stroll through the old town one will encounter things such as:

Freiburg Münster (Freiburg Cathedral)

Visitors to Freiburg often head straight towards the cathedral as soon as they catch a glimpse of the open-worked pyramids of the slender tower over the rooftops of the old town. Referred to by the famous historian and author from Baden, Carl Jakob Burckhardt, as “the most beautiful tower in Christianity”, the steeple of the Freiburg Cathedral is 116 meters high and was already completed by 1330. The Münster is considered one of the most important Gothic churches in the world.

The Freiburg Bächle (little streams)

The Freiburg Bächle are an integral part of the historical old town. Originally they were most likely used for the provision of water for industrial use and as sewers. Today the canals are ornamental and are a popular play area for adults and children alike.  But watch out! It is said that visitors who come to Freiburg and who step into one of the canals have not visited Freiburg for the last time.

Museums

The city boasts numerous world class museums and exhibitions, many of which are represented on the city’s museum website: http://www.freiburg.de/pb/,Len/265394.html

The Museum für Neue Kunst (The Museum of Modern Art) – The biggest art movements of the last 100 years are represented in the “Museum für Neue Kunst” including masterpieces ranging from Classic Modernism to the present day. Names such as Feininger, Dix, Heckel, Hofer, Macke, Scherer, Kanoldt, Dischinger and Scholz symbolize the greatest differences between Expressionism and New Objectivity.  Post war abstract art is represented by the works of Baumeister, Schumacher, Götz, Ackermann, Geiger and others, and the collection of prominent regional and national artists and their works also spans the latest trends. An entire hall is dedicated to Julius Bissier, the most famous artist born in Freiburg in the 20th century.

The Augustinermuseum (Augstinian Museum) – The Augustinermuseum houses a renowned art collection with works ranging from the Middle Ages up to the Baroque period, as well as paintings from the 19th century. Thanks to the architect Christoph Mäckler, the former monastery church has been transformed into an impressive modern museum building which allows the works to be viewed from many different angles and makes visiting the museum an exciting experience. The main attractions are the original stone figures and glass windows of Freiburg Cathedral, as well as medieval wooden sculptures and panel paintings by Matthias Grünewald, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Hans Baldung Grien among others. The works of the Baroque era achieve their full effect in the former choir. Paintings from the 19th century, including works by Anselm Feuerbach, Franz Xaver Winterhalter and Hans Thoma, are displayed on the top floor.

Archäologisches Museum Colombischlössle – From South Baden’s oldest art works to medieval Freiburg: the Archäologisches Museum, built in the Colombischlössle manor house in 1859/61, invites its visitors on a journey through time. The neo-Gothic villa houses female statuettes from the Stone Age, mysterious moon idols from the Bronze Age and treasures from Celtic royal tombs. Archaeological finds show how people in Freiburg lived in the Middle Ages. Models and parallel events shed light on the living conditions of each age.

Schloßberg (Castle mountain)

The tree-covered Hausberg (local mountain) of Freiburg is called Schloßberg. At 455 m high and located just east of the old town, Schloßberg can can be reached quickly by foot, car, or the Schloßbergbahn funicular railway. The mountain is home to fortified structures that have existed in part since the 11th century.  In the Middle Ages the medieval castle of the Zähringer stood at the Kanonenplatz (cannon square). The relatively new (2002) addition of a 35 meter high observation tower, the Schloßbergturm, offers panoramic views of Freiburg.

 

Surrounding Area

The Black Forest

The Black Forest is Germany’s largest nature park. The vast forests, beautiful mountain vistas, isolated lakes, and charming valleys make the Black Forest a popular destination for German and foreign tourists alike. Mountain climbs offer views of the jagged alps and bog walks meander through delicate ecosystems with highly specialized flora and fauna.

The Black Forest features the highest peaks of Germany’s southern mountain ranges including Feldberg Mountain (1,493 meters), Belchen Mountain (1,414 meters), and Freiburg’s very own mountain, the Schauinsland Mountain (1,294) to name a few. Many of the mountains can be reached easily with bus and train services, or with a motorbike or your own car. You can even make your own ascent by bicycle.

Many guidebooks and websites exist to help you craft your own perfect experience.  As a starting point, the Black Forest Tourism Bureau and the Southern Black Forest Nature Park both provide a great deal of helpful tips on their websites.  (The sites’ language can be changed from the dropdown menu in the upper right.)

Baden Wine Region

At the doorstep of the Black Forest is the Baden Wine Region which is characterized by natural beauty, gourmet food, and a carefree lifestyle. Mild temperatures, abundant sunshine, and excellent soil make this one of the best wine cultivation areas in Europe. Five out of the nine wine-growing areas in Baden are located in the Black Forest, and the area is home to more than half of Germany’s Pinot Noir. The wine area is easily accessible from Freiburg and once there, it can be explored by car, by foot or in the Rebenbummler, a historical steam train chugging through Baden’s vineyards whose cars originate from 1905.

The wine season in the Baden region extends from the beginning of March until the end of October. Each weekend there is at least one wine or wine-growing festival, and often you can find an invitation from a wine-growers’ cooperative to enter an open wine cellar to taste and purchase its regional wines.

Main red grape varietals: Blaue Spätburgunder, Pinot Noir, Schwarzriesling, Regent
Main white grape varietals: Müller-Thurgau, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gutedel, Pinot Blanc

Castles

The Hohenzollern Castle is close enough to be visited on a short day trip.  Hohenzollern has been called the prettiest castle in Germany .  The Hohenzollern family dates back to the year 1061, and the castle itself was constructed around 1267. Contemporary sources praised it as “Crown of all Castles in Swabia” and as “the most fortified House in Germany”. However in 1423, the Castle was completely destroyed.

The castle was rebuilt and allowed to fall into disrepair a number of times since its first destruction until 1844 when King Frederick William IV of Prussia wrote in a letter: “The memories of the year 1819 are exceedingly dear to me and like a pleasant dream, it was especially the sunset we watched from one of the Castle bastions, … now this adolescent dream turned into the wish to make the Hohenzollern Castle habitable again…” The result of that reconstruction is the castle we see today.

Other nearby castles include the Sigmaringen Castle and the ruins of the Hohenstaufen Castle.

Europa Park

Europa Park is Germany’s largest theme park and the second largest in all of Europe. It is located just 30 minutes outside of Freiburg in the village of Rust along the Rhine river. More than 5.5 million people from all over the world visit the park each season to enjoy the excitement offered by more than one hundred attractions and shows. The innovative European theme concept; one of the largest hotel resorts in Europe; the various decorations for each season; and the large number of diverse and colorful events make Europa-Park a one-of-a-kind getaway destination all year long.

New in 2017: In the Voletarium, the continent’s largest Flying Theater, visitors take a breath-taking journey across Europe. In two theaters, up to 140 passengers will explore the sensation of gliding through the air in chairlift-style flying machines. The captivating movie by MackMedia, which is shown on the 21 meter wide screens will mesmerize the guests as they are carried to more than fifteen unique European destinations. Special effects such as scent, wind, and water intensify the flight and make it a truly unforgettable experience.

Venue: Historical Merchants’ Hall

The 2018 IEEE Statistical Signal Processing Workshop will be held in Historical Merchants’ Hall. The “Kaufhaus” is one of Freiburg‘s most outstanding buildings and a symbol of the importance of trade in medieval Freiburg.

The municipal market, customs, and financial administration building is identified as a center of trade by its arcades hall.  Between 1520 and 1532, Lienhart Müller constructed the department store located on Münsterplatz for the municipal market management. The emblems and the statues on the main façade created by Hans Sixt von Staufen depict a reverence to the house of Habsburg.

The Kaufhaus is located right next to Freiburg Cathedral on the city‘s main square with a plethora of nearby restaurants and boutique shopping. Within the venue, the elegant Emperor’s hall will be used for plenary lectures, the historical room will be used for meetings, and the Rococco and chimney hall will be available for poster sessions.

How to Get There

Transportation to Freiburg is incredibly convenient. The Frankfurt International Airport is the largest airport in continental Europe and has numerous daily high-speed trains directly to Freiburg, which depart directly from the airport. The Freiburg train station, conference venue, old town, and more than 30 hotels are all within walking distance.

Option 1: (recommended)

  • Fly to Frankfurt, Germany.
  • Take direct high-speed train from Frankfurt airport to Freiburg (about 2 hrs)
    • Board the train directly at the airport.
    • The German Railways (Deutsche Bahn) website is https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml.
    • On the website, select departure from “FRA Frankfurt Airport” and arrival at “Freiburg (Breisgau) Hbf”.
    • Tickets can be booked online (cheaper) or purchased directly on the train (more expensive).
  • Walk from Freiburg station to hotels and venue.

Option 2:

  • Fly to EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg.
  • Take shuttle bus or train to Freiburg (about 45 mins).

Option 3:

  • Freiburg can be reached easily by train from numerous European cities.

Address:
For navigational purposes, the Merchants’ Hall is located at:
Münsterplatz 24, 79098 Freiburg im Breisgau

Accommodation

Check back closer to the conference date for accommodation suggestions and details on the official conference hotels!