The Hotel Aare Thun is the oldest inn in town. The first documented mention of an establishment at this location dates back to 1308, while the name “Freienhof”, as the current hotel was known until its reopening in autumn 2023, was first mentioned in a document in 1781.

The location of the Hotel Aare Thun has always been an important hub in the city. Markets and trade took place on Sinniplatz in front of the building. The Freienhof was not only a restaurant, goods handling and storage centre, customs office, hotel, fish market, dance hall, masonic lodge, post office and brothel, but also a place of execution. Lawbreakers seeking protection were granted asylum (Freyungen) in the Freienhof until a valid judgement had been passed.