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PostHeaderIcon Neuf Brisach in Alsace

Neuf Brisach

Neuf Brisach

Once upon a time, France was surrounded with neighboring countries looking to take over French territories and that is the reason why you are going to see remnants of fortified towns all over the borderlands and frontiers. Neuf Brisach in Alsace is one such citadel. But it has been fortunate enough to be preserved from the ravages of time and that is why UNESCO has put it on the world heritage site list. So if you are not walking all over the fortified area making like a warrior of yore, you can go around browsing the Vauban Museum, where you are going to learn all about the glorious past of this often besieged city. Historians can spend days browsing the plans, models and other historic information preserved in this museum. And the best thing is that you can stand here on the banks of the River Rhine and look at its sister city Breisach am Rhein, which is less than 5 km away.

So how do you get here – you can drive down A35, from Colmar , which is 15 km away. You can also drive down from Fribourg (Germany, 33 km away) of a weekend. For those who enjoy flying the nearest airport is 56 km away, at Bâle-Mulhouse. But if you want to go through the scenic route, you can take a train to Vogelsheim and then cross the Rhine by boat. One would wonder how France and Germany, whose people have enjoyed warring against each other since ancient times, work in such perfect tandem here. Tourism is the common factor and peace treaties hold the French Neuf Brisach and the German Vieux Brisach together. So just pick up your bicycle and ride around these two ancient citadels.

The city was bombarded in 1945 by American bombers, but it has been restored, and now you can enjoy exploring this citadel shaped like an eight pointed star.

Naturally, there is going to be an ancient church here, because you can definitely not consider a city or town in France complete without a church, an Abbey and/or a museum! So do remember to visit the Royale Saint-Louis church. The Vauban museum is open from 1 May to 30 September, from 10 to 12 and from 2 to 5 every day except on Mondays. And for all those whose life is in ruins, no pun intended, they can view the points where the eight bastions stood and protected this citadel from enemy guns and armies. You can also see the “tenailles”- —low out works in front of the Fort wall between two bastions in the fortification ditch -stood proudly.

So enjoy your visit to Neuf Brisach in Alsace and then walk or bicycle down to Vieux Brisach, just across the river, in Germany!