Fribourg, Or Freyburg. I. A canton of Switzerland, the 9th in extent and in the order of admission into the confederation, bordering on the cantons of Bern and Vaud and the lake of Neufchatel; area, 643 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 110,832, of whom 93,951 were Roman Catholics, the Protestants living almost exclusively in the district of Morat. Three detached portions are situated geographically in the canton of Vaud, the largest, with the town of Estavayer, lying on the lake of Neufchatel; the two smaller ones, Surpierre and Vuissens, are a little south. The surface of the canton is mountainous, especially in the south and east. The principal peaks rise to an altitude of 7,000 ft. and upward. Coal, limestone, limestone slate, and gypsum are found. The principal rivers are the Sarine (Saane), Broye, and Sense. Half of the lake of Morat and a considerable part of the lake of Neufchatel belong to this canton, which has also several smaller lakes; and there are several mineral springs, all of which are sulphurous. The climate is milder in the north than in the south. The productions in the basins of the rivers are hemp, flax, maize, and fruit; in the northwest, corn, wine, vegetables, and tobacco. In the higher regions cattle rearing and cultivation of the forests are the chief pursuits.
The Gruyere (Greierz) cheese is made here, and the great milk establishments of this canton and St. Gall condense 20,000 quarts a day, four fifths of which goes direct to London. Horses, sheep, goats, hogs, chamois, roes, hares, lynxes, a few wild boars, and in the north numbers of wild fowl, are found. The chief articles of export are cheese, condensed milk, and timber. There are limited manufactures of straw hats, leather, tobacco, cotton goods, watches, and silk. The common language is a mixture of French and German in several dialects; the German prevails around the capital and in the district of Morat; the official language is French. In 1870, 26.6 per cent. of the population spoke German, and 73.3 French. All official acts are published in both French and German. The new constitution of March, 1848, revised in 1857, agrees in all essential points with the constitutions of the other cantons. The 'legislative assembly (the grand council) is chosen for four years by a direct vote of all citizens who are over 20 years old; but 10 additional members are elected by the grand council itself. The state council (executive) consists of seven members chosen by the grand council for eight years. Fribourg sends six members to the national council.
There is a Protestant college at Morat. Chief towns, Fribourg, Ro-mont, Bulle, and Morat.-The canton of Fribourg belonged in the middle ages, as a part of the Uechtland, to Franche-Comte. In 1481 the town of Fribourg with its territory joined the Swiss confederacy by the compact of Stanz. The reformation never got a foothold in Fribourg, and it has ever remained one of the strongholds of the Roman Catholic church in Switzerland. During the civil war of 1847, in which the canton joined the Sonderbund, it was occupied by Gen. Dufour without much opposition.
II. A city, capital of the canton, on the Sarine, 18 m. S. W. of Bern; pop. in 1870, 10,904. It consists of the lower (German) town in the narrow valley of the river, and the upper (French) town, which rises like a terrace on a succession of sandstone rocks.
The great glory of the town is the suspension bridge over the Sarine, built in 1831-'4, 870 ft. long, 23 ft. wide, and 174 ft. high. Another suspension bridge spans an adjoining gorge. The principal church, that of St. Nicholas, has the highest spire in Switzerland, and an organ with 64 stops and 7,800 pipes, reckoned one of the finest in Europe. Before the town hall stands the linden tree planted in 1480, on the fourth anniversary of the victory at Morat over Charles the Bold in 1476. Before the expulsion of the Jesuits from Switzerland, in 1847, Fribourg had a celebrated Jesuits1 college, founded in 1584, restored to the Jesuits in 1818, and counting from 300 to 400 pupils. It was reopened as a Catholic college, Oct. 15, 1858. There are four public squares, a mint, arsenal, state prison, town library, lyceuin with a cantonal museum, observatory, savings bank, theatre, two public baths, breweries, manufactories of tobacco, chiccory, straw hats, earthenware, iron tools, and woollen yarn, and several dye houses and tanneries.