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Alsace Itinerary

Day 6

Séléstat to Colmar

We’re going International today, following a cycle path across the Rhine into Germany, where we’ll follow the River Rhine on cycle paths through forests to the border village of Breisach.  Breisach boasts a cathedral dating back to the 12th Century.  It has had a tempestuous history, changing hands between France, the Holy Roman Empire and Germany at least six times and suffering badly from Allied artillery in WW 2.

But now it’s lovely, with a reconstructed cathedral, a beautiful altar piece and a magnificent silver shrine housing the relics of the patron saints of ... Milan!.

Returning to France, we’ll arrive at the extraordinary fortress of Neuf-Brisach, designed by famous military engineer Vauban after Breisach was returned to the Holy Roman Empire in 1697.  The town has a regular square grid street pattern inside an octagonal fortification, but that really doesn’t describe it.  The fortifications are a series of enormous octagonal moats surrounding the town, far exceeding the size of the town they were designed to defend.  Find some aerial photos online, it is amazing.

Finally, we’ll follow a cycle path into Colmar.  As well as a well-preserved  town centre, Colmar’s most famous artefact is the Isenheim altarpiece in the Unterlinden museum, which we’ll visit to see if its worth the fuss.  The answer is it is! This is regarded, with the Humanist Library and the Cathedral in Strasbourg, as one of the three cultural jewels in Alsace.

We’ll finish at the Hotel Beau Séjour close to the centre of Colmar, and we’ll spend our final evening in the medieval old town at the heart of Colmar.

Distance =  61 Km/ 38 miles

Click this link for Day 6 route map on mapometer.

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