The Saga of Ursa Irratus
Freiburg im Breisgau
Founded in 1120 by Conrad Zahringen, Freiburg lies in the Dreisam River valley, surrounded on three sides by the heights of the forest. It has a current population just over 6,000, making it the largest settlement around the Black Forest. It serves as a major trade route between the Danube and the Mediterranean. Zahringen Castle lies a short distence to the north.
The city is a free market town under the rule of a town council and the Count Urach, since the death of the last Duke of Zähringen, Duke Berthold V, in 1218; the council wrote a charter of rights in order to protect itself legally from the nobility. Twenty years ago the construction of the Freiburg Münster cathedral began, paid for by the citizens of the town. It is being built from red sandstone quarried from the nearby hills.
Lucretius’ family are wealthy architects and have contributed to the construction of the cathedral, which will not be completed until 1513, and to the Schloßberg castle. As a result of these contributions, the Weiß family is rich and influential, but this pits them politically against other powerful families that hope to steer the town council and the direction of the market.