Cité du Train
To complement the success of the city's grand automobile museum, the Cité du Train was created. Here you will find a celebration of French rail travel through the ages, from the beginnings until the modern age. Don't expect to see any TGV or Eurostar trains here, though - I guess they think you can see those in the train station.
The collection is impressive. It is the biggest train museum in the world, yet receives only a fraction of the visitors the smaller National Railway Museum in Britain. That's because Mulhouse isn't a big tourist destination and not a reflection on the quality of the exhibits. Here you will find the official trains of General de Gaulle, President Eisenhower and Winston Churchill. There's a Mikado engine, carriages from the original Orient Express, and special wartime trains and experimental prototypes.
Born in Mulhouse the architect François Spoerry designed the Tour de l'Europe for his hometown. It was a building of the future - conceived in the 1960s and completed in 1972, it signified the coming together of Europe in a clean, progressive, functional future. Each country has its coat-of-arms emblazoned on the tower, and the building has three points, one for each of the countries that join here at the southern tip of Alsace.
Saint Etienne Church
Unusually for a French city, the most central and prominent church in Mulhouse is Protestant - the Church of Saint Etienne. It was built fairly recently in the 19th century, but kept the magnificent stained glass windows from the 12th century church it replaced.
Old Town Hall
Mulhouse's gaudy old town hall is quite spectacular in shocking gilded pink. Its ostentatious murals celebrate the Renaissance and the liberation of thinking and religion that would later lead to the Enlightenment.
Schweissdissi - The Welder
An icon of modern Mulhouse, the new Schweissdissi sculpture is made from recycled automotive parts. In a twist on the original Schweissdissi in Tivoli Park, which was a tribute to the labours of the working class, this statue symbolises both the industry of the region and the unemployment its decline has brought; the original Schweissdissi sculpture was standing, but this one sits.
Cité de l'Automobile
If you love cars - if you even have just a passing interest in them - you'll love the Cité de l'Automobile. It's car heaven and a reason by its own to visit Mulhouse. It has over 500 cars in the collection, making it one of the biggest car museums in the world, but it's not a national museum. It's a once private collection belonging to the Schlumpfs, a family who made and lost their fortune in the textile industry that Mulhouse is famous for.
The collection started because of Fritz Schlumpf had for racing cars, especially Bugattis. With 123 Bugattis on show, including an entire racing grid and a million dollar Veryon supercar, some might call it an obsession. It's certainly by far the biggest collection of Bugattis in the world. There are other cars, mostly of the fast variety, but disappointingly few French classics. I would have preferred a few less Bugattis and even just one Renault 12 like my father drove when I was a child.
THE SCHLUMPF COLLECTION National Automobile Museum
This is absolutely the most awesome carmuseum we have been in! In fact it was so great, that we didn´t go to any other carmuseum on our three weeks road-trip around Europe, because we thought we couldn´t look at those same way, as if we would have gone there before seeing this.
I wont say, that we wont go to any carmuseum again, but just at this trip it felt like we can´t do that ;)
If you do like old cars at all, you just have to go here, it is so great!
I don´t care those new ones so much, but everything made before 1970´s is usually nicer in my eyes ;) Of course I can look new cars, if I can afford to buy them, but old ones are more interesting to watch!
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