Freising’s Cathedral Hill

Freising invites you to trace the leisurely lives of ancient scholars

A short walk takes us from the bustling historic quarter up to Cathedral Hill. ‘Mons doctus’ – or the ‘Hill of Scholars’ – is a haven of peace, tranquillity and contemplation. It was home to Bishop Otto of Freising, perhaps the greatest philosopher of history of the medieval age. His monument now gazes down on the visitors to the cathedral square.

Around 800 years later, another Freising priest and scholar became the talk of the world: Joseph Ratzinger, who lived, taught and worked in the episcopal city for many years. His return there as Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 is unforgotten; to the delight of the crowds, he set aside the sermon he had prepared to give in Freising Cathedral – announcing, “I’m not going to read it out; you can see it in print if you like” – and fervently cried, “This is a moment of immense joy and gratitude for me!”

The prince-bishops’ residence – architectural and artistic magnificence

A tour of Cathedral Hill reveals many fascinating spots. Opposite the cathedral is the former residence of the prince-bishops; many of the other buildings were service buildings or still house official church functions. The prince-bishopric of Freising was Old Bavaria’s centre of spiritual and intellectual life for centuries, and Cathedral Hill is still a focus of sacred and cultural life for the city today.

Marvel at its glorious architectural masterpieces – St Mary’s Cathedral with its crypt and Beasts’ Pillar, and the Diocesan Museum with the world’s largest collection of religious art after the Vatican. Explore the prince-bishops’ residence with its colonnaded courtyard, the first work of Renaissance architecture in all of Bavaria and today home to Kardinal-Döpfner-Haus, an educational and conference centre. And don’t miss the stunning views from the Baroque Belvedere, extending as far as Munich and the Alps in good weather.

Take the time to soak up the profoundly expressive images by world-famous artists; to be captivated by these tranquil places; and to embrace contemplation.

Lift to the Cathedral Hill

Barrier-free access to the Cathedral hill
Access to the Cathedral hill has always been difficult due to the castle-like buildings and topography. Since May 2024, it has been barrier-free and free of charge to go up (and down again) with the Dombergbahn railway. more

Corbinian & the Bear

How the bear came to Freising

The story of St Corbinian and the bear – and information on the major city anniversary "1300 years of Korbinian in Freising", which will be celebrated in 2024.... more

St Mary’s Cathedral

Two towers soar above the city

The cathedral, Freising’s prominent landmark, commemorates the city’s centuries as the spiritual centre ... more

Freising Diocesan Museum

Reopening with a new permanent collection and special exhibition
The collection of the Diocesan Museum includes over 40,000 objects from all areas of church art and culture. The reopening took place on October 2, 2022. The museum focuses on late medieval ecclesiastical art from old Bavaria, Swabia and the Alpine region as well as art-historically important works of South German Baroque and Rococo, but also artifacts from the fields of liturgy, popular piety, pilgrimage and monastic culture.