Sélestat Travel Guide

  • Amazing old house, the balcony
    Amazing old house, the balcony
    by JLBG
  • Chateau Haut-Koenigsbourg
    Chateau Haut-Koenigsbourg
    by Beausoleil
  • View from tower of Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle
    View from tower of Haut-Koenigsbourg...
    by Beausoleil

Sélestat Things to Do

  • Bibliothèque Humaniste - Humanist...

    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...

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  • Église Sainte-Foy - Church St. Fides

    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...

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  • Château d’eau

    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...

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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

    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

    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

    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...

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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

    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

    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

    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

    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...

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  • Hôtel 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

    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

    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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  • Temple Protestant

    The Gothic church of the Franciscan convent was built from the 13th through the 15th. In 1878, when Alsace was under German rule, it was turned into a Protestant temple and on this occasion, the nave was put down and only the choir was kept.

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  • Sainte Foy Romanesque church, the organ

    The organ is the sixth that was installed in Sainte Foy Church ! All previous organs have been sold or have disappeared in an unknown way. The present one was built in 1892 by Martin Rinckenbach. It was submitted to several alterations and presently is not working.

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  • Sainte Foy Romanesque church the twin...

    Sainte Foy Romanesque church has the very unusual feature to have three bell towers. The single one was shown in the previous tip while this one shows the twin clock towers that top the main entrance. Though built in the second half of the 12th, these towers underwent major changes between 188 and 1895. The rhomboidal roofs that cover them date...

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  • Sainte Foy Romanesque church, the single...

    Église Sainte-Foy (Sainte Foy Romanesque church) was built in red sandstone and granite from the Vosges mountains by the Benedictine monks from the Abbey of Conques, in the Rouergues (south east of France) in the second half of the 12th. The single clock tower shown here stands on top of the transept.

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  • The synagogue

    The synagogue stands where in 1836 were traditional community bath. It was designed in a Romano-byzantine style by Jean-Jacques Alexandre Stamm and built in 1890 with polychromatic bricks and sans stone. It was badly damaged in 1940. Between 1950 and 1960, it was restored by Lucien Cromback and Edmond Picard .

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  • Saint-Georges Gothic church, the...

    Saint-Georges Gothic church has 5 portals. This one stands on the western side of the nave. It was built in 1220-1230. The tympanum is typically Romanesque and was carved by Sichler. It shows the meal at Simon the Pharesee’s.

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  • Saint-Georges Gothic church, portal

    The portal shown on this photo was built in 1320. The carvings were broken during the Revolution and replaced in 1847 by Sichler. It is framed by the statues of Saint Michael, of Saint George, of the resurrection of the son of the widow, of the Samaritan woman at the well, of the denarius of Cesar, the multiplication of breads, Jesus curing...

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  • Saint-Georges Gothic church, the tower

    Saint-Georges Gothic church stands where was the chapel where Charlemagne (Charles the Great) spent Christmas in 775 AD. It has Romanesque foundations. The Baroque tower, built in the 14th and badly damaged during WWII was finished fully repaired in 1975.

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  • Saint-Georges Gothic church, the roof

    The roof of Saint-Georges Gothic church is covered with varnished tiles of various colors. They are arranged to make a geometrical design with diamond shapes of alternate colors: pale pink framed by red, framed itself with green with a black border and finally a red frame.

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  • Stork nest!

    The first photo shows an ancient house with two levels of attic window, topped by a stork nest. In the background Saint-Georges Gothic church shows.The second photo was shot with tele lens and shows better the stork nest. It is about 1 meter thick and can weight as much as 400 kg. Storks are now helped by engineers that fit “nest holders” to avoid...

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  • Hôtel Fels

    Hôtel Fels stands in Rue Sainte-Barbe. It is a mansion with an amazing portal built in an undefined style. It was in the second part of the 18th century the home of Prêteur Royal, an official representative of the King. There is not much more remaining than the portal from the ancient wealth of the mansion.

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  • Ancienne Commanderie

    The Ancienne Commanderie (old Commandery) was from the end of the 16th to the 18th home for the Prior of the Community of the monks-knights of the Saint Jean Order. The magnificent tower with oblique windows contains an helicoidal staircase. It now hosts the Tourist Office.

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  • Hôtel d’Ebersmunster

    "Hôtel d’Ebersmunster" is not a hotel but what might be named a mansion or a palace. It was built as the city home of the prelates from the nearby Ebersmunster Abbey. The central tower hosts an helicoidal staircase. The attic was designed to store the tithe collected by the Abbey. It is now the seat of the cultural offices of the city of Sélestat.

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  • Ancien arsenal Sainte-Barbe

    The Ancien arsenal Sainte-Barbe (former Sainte-Barbe arsenal) Stands on Place de la Victoire (Victory Square). It has a sumptuous gable with several levels of turrets. On top stands a stork nest that was empty when I took the photo.The second photo shows it from behind, which shows better the three levels of attic windows in the roof.

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  • Two lovely churches

    In old town Sélestat there are two lovely old churches. The oldest is Eglise Ste. Foy and the "younger" church is Eglise St. Georges. Both are worth a visit.In case you didn't know, Sélestat has the first recorded mention of the Christmas tree in Dec. 21, 1521 so I guess that makes it the home of the Christmas tree.There is also a bread museum...

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Sélestat Hotels

  • Etap Hotel Selestat

    103, Route de Colmar à Selestat, Carrefour RD424 - RN83, Selestat, 67600, France

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

  • Hostellerie Abbaye De La Pommer

    8 BD DU MARECHAL FOSH, Selestat, FR 67600

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

    Hotel Class 5 out of 5 stars

  • L'Illwald

    Le Schnellenbuhl, Selestat, 67600, France

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Business

Sélestat Local Customs

  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    by JLBG Updated Mar 14, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

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Sélestat Off The Beaten Path

  • Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle

    I hesitate to call this "off the beaten path" since there are many tourists and it is well-known castle in Alsace. However, since it is definitely out of town and way up on a mountain, I'm calling it off the beaten path.There is a long and interesting history to the castle and arguments about how "authentic" the restoration may be. It is...

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  • Amazing old house

    This house seems to be woth the interest but unfortunately it is not in good condition and I could not get any information about it. It has an unusual veranda with carved square columns added on three levels, with a balcony on top and an amazing gargoyle (second photo). As it seems to be made of moleden concrete, I feel this was built by the end of...

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