First Christmas tree in the world
It is said that it was in Sélestat that was first mentioned in the world the display of Christmas trees. A document dated from 1521 December 21st states that wardens were appointed 4 schillings to take care of the trees in the city forest.
“Item IIII schillings dem foerster die meyen an sanct Thomas tag zu hieten"
Pay 4 schillings to the forest ward to watch trees since Saint Thomas
As there are several Saint Thomas, I cannot say which one it was. There are Saint Thomas on march 20th, July 7th, nov 15th, nov 28th and dec 10th. Any of the three later would fit. There is certainly one of them that was celebrated in Alsace but I have not found which one.
Old house with a horse riding knight
At the corner of an old house, a heavily armoured knight rides an equally armoured horse. He holds in the right hand a spear that seems to transpierce a small flying angel while his left hand holds a shield with a coat of arm with a standing lion (Habsbourg coat of arm?). Actually, the angel is not transpierced but flying over the knight!
In a small yard between the Maison Régionale du pain and Saint-Georges church, a series of half broken old tombstones stand along a wall. I have been unable to decipher any of them and find a date. I have not found anywhere information about them. I suppose that I might have got the information at the Tourist Office but unfortunately it was closed.
College Beatus Rhenanus
This building stands just outside the old city center of Sélestat, along the free parking lot where we parked our car. It is a school, College Beatus Rhenanus. I took this photo because I felt that the main building, with its two aisles flanking a central part was a good example of 19th century Alsatian architecture.
Sélestat, the Old Town
This is a pedestrian zone at Place de la Victoire. There are cafes and shops and this lovely old building.
This is the town clock tower on rue des Chevaliers. The clock is above the wonderful fresco. You walk through the arch through the quaint streets of Old Sélestat.
The decorative painting in the churches is magnificent. The stained glass windows are also worth note.
As mentioned above . . . the stained glass is magnificent.
As you walk through the streets, look up! On the corners of many buildings are little shrines or guild statues. It's fun to see how many different ones you can find.
You need to click on this to see them clearly.
Different street scenes in the Old Town.
The tower is the Tour des Sorcières and it you look up at the very top you will see a nesting stork. She was feeding her babies (not delivering them). The bottom right photo is Mother Stork taken with my 30X telephoto lens. I knew I'd find a use for it!
Again, click on the photo to get a better view.
These are three photos of the town. The center photo is a wonderful fountain that shoots higher if you approach it. Obviously, it is a great favorite with children . . . and anyone else on a hot day!