Begun as a ducal burial place by Berthold V of Zähringen, the building became the concern of the citizens after the last of the Zähringens died in 1218. To the late-Romanesque east end were added the Gothic nave and the incomparable west tower.
The desire of rich families for their own burial chapels determined the form of the late Gothic choir started in 1354. Its consecration in 1513 marked the completion of the cathedral. The rich interior bears witness to the generosity and civic pride of local families: stained glass windows with coats of arms of patricians and guilds, the high altar by Hans Grien and above all the splendid furnishing of the choir chapels with their 16th century windows and fine altars and monuments.
Do not miss the cycle of figures in the tower entrance based on the stylised theological programme. A climb up the tower is rewarded by the old bell cage with one of Germany's oldest bells, the Hosanna, cast in 1258. From the platform below the fine tracery spire you can admire the artistic and technical skill of the Gothic builders and enjoy fine views of the town and its surroundigs.