Zum roten Bären is the oldest hotel in Germany. The foundations of the hotel predate the founding of the town of Freiburg by the dukes of the House of Zähringen in 1120.
The first written documentation was in the land register document of the nearby monastery from the year 1311 listing the landlord as Hanmann Bienger the elder. Many of the landlords were also court and councilmen of the city of Freiburg and often also guild masters. For some time, the guild hall of the shoemakers was located at Zum Roten Bären, as can be seen in one of the windows of Freiburg Cathedral. The current manager, Wolf Eschger, is the 51st landlord.