Sélestat Things to Do

  • Old house with a horse riding knight
    Old house with a horse riding knight
    by JLBG
  • Stork nest!
    Stork nest!
    by JLBG
  • Ancien arsenal Sainte-Barbe
    Ancien arsenal Sainte-Barbe
    by JLBG

Most Recent Things to Do in Sélestat

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    Bibliothèque Humaniste - Humanist Library

    by robertbaum Updated Jan 28, 2013

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    Biblioth��que Humaniste
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    This is the oldest library in Alsace, founded in 1452. Since 1889 it is accommodated in the former grain storage hall, built in 1843. It consists in reality of two library collections: the Sélestat Latin School and the "Rhenana", a private collection of the humanist Beatus Rhenanus (1485-1547). He was a close friend of Erasmus of Rotterdam and bequeathed all of his books (some 670 volumes) to his hometown, one of the best and finest libraries of this time.

    The oldest print of the so called "Mundus-novus-letter" can be found here, printed 1503 in Paris and brought to Sélestat probably by Beatus Rhenanus. In this letter Amerigo Vespucci is describing the discovery of a "new world" in the West Atlantic Ocean. Due to this letter the "new world" became known as "America".

    Although Christoph Kolumbus sailed there already in 1492, he didn't recognize his finding and just refered to them as "recently discovered islands". The "Cosmographiae introductio" by Martin Waldseemüller and Mathias Ringmann from 1507 is in a way the "baptismal certificate" of America and can be found here as well. In their work they call the newly by Vespucci discovered land "Ameri-ge", meaning " the earth of Americus or America". On the corresponding large map of the world by Waldseemüller, the name of America can be seen for the very first time.

    Opening hours:
    Monday, Wednesday till Friday 9:00 - 12:00 and 14:00 - 18:00
    Saturday 9:00 - 12:00
    during July and August at the same hours plus additionally
    Saturday and Sunday 14:00 - 17:00

    auf Deutsch | in German
    Bibliothèque Humaniste - Humanistische Bibliothek

    Dies ist die älteste Bibliothek im Elsass, gegründet 1452. Seit 1889 befindet sie sich im ehemaligen Getreidespeicher, der 1843 errichtet wurde. Tatsächlich handelt es sich um den Zusammenschluss zweier Bibliotheken, derer der Lateinschule von Sélestat und der "Rhenana" , der privaten Sammlung des Humanisten Beatus Rhenanus (1485-1547). Er war eng befreundet mit Erasmus von Rotterdam und vermachte all seine Bücher seiner Geburtsstadt, mit etwa 670 Bänden eine der reichsten und schönsten Sammlungen jener Zeit.

    Der älteste Druck des so genannten "Mundus-novus"-Berichtes befindet sich im Besitz der Bibliothek, gedruckt 1503 in Paris und wurde wahrscheinlich durch Beatus Rhenanus nach Sélestat gebracht. In diesem Bericht beschreibt Amerigo Vespucci die Entdeckung einer "Neuen Welt" im Westatlantischen Ozean. Aufgrund dieses Briefes wurde diese "Neue Welt" als "Amerika" bekannt.

    Obwohl Christoph Kolumbus bereits 1492 dorthin segelte, war er sich der Tragweite seiner Entdeckung nicht bewusst und sprach nur von "kürzlich entdeckten Inseln". Die "Cosmographiae introductio" von Martin Waldseemüller und Mathias Ringmann von 1507 ist sozusagen die "Taufurkunde" von Amerika und befindet sich ebenfalls im Besitz der Bibliothek. In ihrem Werk bezeichnen Sie die von Vespucci beschriebene Welt als "Ameri-ge" - Land des Americus oder America. Auf der neu geschaffenen Weltkarte taucht der Name Amerika zum allerersten Mal auf.

    Öffnungszeiten:
    Montag, Mittwoch bis Freitag 9:00 - 12:00 und 14:00 - 18:00
    Samstag 9:00 - 12:00
    im Juli und August zu den o.g. Zeiten und zusätzlich
    Samstag und Sonntag 14:00 - 17:00

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    Église Sainte-Foy - Church St. Fides

    by robertbaum Updated Jan 28, 2013

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    ��glise Sainte-Foy
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    This parish church is a roman church with three towers. From the original building only the square crypt which was excavated in 1892 survived. The current building was erected between 1170 and 1180 and is characterised by its stilistic uniformity and well-balanced proportions. For a long time it was part of the Jesuit college and transformed under the influence of this denomination. At the end of the 19th century the architect Charles Winckler restored it into its original state.

    The side entrance porches, the windows towards the atrium and the main porch display a rich, partly coloured figurative decoration.

    Inside the decorated capitals and the mighty late baroque pulpit are remarkable. The organ from 1892 originated from the Rinkenbach company.

    Inside length: 44. 20 meter
    Inside height: 11. 10 meter
    Height of the tower at the intersection: 42 meter

    Opening hours:
    Monday till Friday 8:00 - 18:00
    Saturday 9:00 - 18:00
    Sunday 8:00 - 18:00

    auf Deutsch | in German
    Église Sainte-Foy - Kirche St. Fides

    Die Pfarrkirche ist eine romanische Kirche mit drei Türmen. Von dem Vorgängerbau ist nur die quadratische Krypta erhalten, die 1892 freigelegt wurde. Das gegenwärtige Kirchengebäude wurde zwischen 1170 und 1180 errichtet und besticht durch seine stilistische Einheitlichkeit und ausgewogenen Proportionen. Die Kirche war lange Zeit Teil eines Jesuitenkollegiums. Die zu dieser Zeit durchgeführten barocken Veränderungen wurden Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts durch den Architekten Charles Winkler rückgängig gemacht. Die seitlichen Portale, die Fenster zur Vorhalle und das Hauptportal in der Vorhalle weisen einen reichen, teilweise bemalten Figurenschmuck aus. Innen bemerkenswert sind die verzierten Säulenkapitelle sowie die mächtige spätbarocke Kanzel von 1733, das einzige Überbleibsel der ehemals barocken Einrichtung. Die Orgel von 1892 stammt aus dem Hause Rinkenbach.

    Innenlänge: 44.20 Meter
    Innenhöhe: 11.10 Meter
    Höhe des Vierungsturmes: 42 Meter

    Öffnungszeiten:
    Montag bis Freitag 8:00 - 18:00
    Samstag 9:00 - 18:00
    Sonntag 8:00 - 18:00

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    Château d’eau

    by JLBG Updated Jul 24, 2009

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    Ch��teau d���eau
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    This beautiful (in my opinion) and amazing structure in not mentioned in any guide, paper or electronic. I felt that it should be what is named in French a “château d’eau” (water tower) but the windows on top, where should be the tank, puzzled me and did not fit. However, after searching hard, I found that it was actually a water tower or better a Wasserstrurm, as it was built between 1906 and 1907 when Alsace was ruled by Germany. It was designed by Behr, an ingenier of the Melioratiosamt. The tower is 48 m high and topped by a 500 m3 tank made in riveted sheet iron. It was built following the model of a water tower built in 1893 in Deventer (the Netherlands). The style is neoromanesque with a coating of white and yellow bricks. It was topped by the Hohenzollern imperial eagle which was removed in 1918 and replaced by the Gallic cock. It has been inscribed in the French Heritage list in 1992.

    However, It does not seem to be used as a water tower but I have not found any further information on it.

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    Sainte Foy Romanesque church, the nave

    by JLBG Updated Mar 19, 2008

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    Sainte Foy Romanesque church, the nave

    The central nave is very elegant with its plain Romanesque vaults built in pale pink-grey sandstone. The pulpit stands on the left (see next tip). The stained glass windows date from the 19th century restoration.

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    Saint-Georges Gothic church, the pulpit

    by JLBG Updated Mar 19, 2008

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    Saint-Georges Gothic church, the pulpit
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    The pulpit was carved in 1619 by Jérôme (Hieronimus) Kruch, a sculptor from Sélestat. It was built in grey sandstone that was painted with various colors. Samson, clad in a lion’s skin, holds the chair. The pulpit itself is decorated with the statue of several saints that are better seen on the third photo. Others sit on top of it;

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    Sainte Foy Romanesque church, the pulpit

    by JLBG Updated Mar 19, 2008

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    Sainte Foy Romanesque church, the pulpit

    The pulpit is not Romanesque and was made in 1733 out of painted wood following the design of Ignace de Saint-Lô. On top, the statues are allegoric representation of the four continents. The ramp of the stairs is decorated with scenes from the life of Saint François Xavier

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    Saint-Georges Gothic church, the nave

    by JLBG Updated Mar 19, 2008

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    Saint-Georges Gothic church, the nave
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    The first photo shows the central nave with in the background the organ and on the right the pulpit (see next tip)

    The second was shot the other way and shows the stained glass window with the chair on the left.

    The third photo shows the side nave.

    The pillars and vaults are made of painted sand stone carved between the 13th and the 15th in Alsatian Romanesque style.

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    College Beatus Rhenanus

    by JLBG Written Mar 14, 2008

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    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.

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    Tour-porte

    by JLBG Written Mar 14, 2008

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    Tour-porte
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    As the city grew southwards, a city entrance topped by a watchtower was built in 1280.It is named the Tour-porte. In the 17th, it was added with four look-out turrets, one on each corner and covered with a bulb roof. This gives it a look of its own, not found anywhere else.

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    Tour des Sorcières

    by JLBG Written Mar 14, 2008

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    Tour des Sorci��res

    The Tour des Sorcières (witches tower) was built between 1217 and 1390.It was part of the 1217 city wall. It was mainly used as a prison for women accused of witchery, before they were burned to death. This gave it the name of Tour des Sorcières.

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    Tombstones

    by JLBG Written Mar 14, 2008

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    Tombstones

    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.

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    Maison Régionale du pain

    by JLBG Written Mar 14, 2008

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    Maison R��gionale du pain
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    The first photo shows the old house that was the seat of the guild of bakers. It has been rehabilited and since 2001, it is the" Maison Régionale du pain " (Regional house of bread).It is open for visits and traditional ways of bread making are on display.

    The North side (second photo) has been added a glass wall that protects the superb stone spiral staircase. Unfortunately, photos are difficult and it is not easy to see it because of the reflection of Saint-Georges church!

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    Hôtel de Ville

    by JLBG Written Mar 14, 2008

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    H��tel de Ville

    The Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) was built in pink sand stone in a neoclassical style in 1788 on the Place d’Armes (Arms Square). It has porch framed by four plain columns that clearly remind the Greco-Roman antiquity. On top, the motto of France “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité”

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    Old corn mill

    by JLBG Written Mar 14, 2008

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    Old corn mill

    On a small square at the end of rue des tailleurs (tailors street), the grinding stone of an ancient corn mill has been kept on display. To make it more real, two bags of flour have been deposited on the soil. Do not kick them, they are not real and soft but made of stone!

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    Old house with a horse riding knight

    by JLBG Written Mar 14, 2008

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    Old house with a horse riding knight
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    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!

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