Published: November 8th 2005November 2nd 2005
2/11/05 - I walked around the fortified town of Neuf-Brisach. All up I think it took about 2 to 3 hours. It was well worth the visit. The town was well worth the visit, as was its German neighbor - Breisach. The area on both sides of the Rhine was originally inhabited by Celts about 3 to 4000 years ago. The Romans were here in the 1st Century BC.
When Louis the XIV lost the town of Breisach to Austria in 1697 he gave instructions to fortify the area around Neuf-Brisach to protect the French border. The resulting fortifications built by the Architect Vauban are truly amazing (naturally he had lots of help in the way of labour sourced from the Army). An aerial view of the fortifications shows it is built in a star shape, with inner and outer fortifications. It was also used again during the 1st and 2nd World Wars to protect the inhabitants of the town.
The German town, Breisach, which at the time the fortifications were built was on the opposing side of the border, was also interesting. Nowadays there is no official border crossing, you just know you have exited France and entered
Germany because you have again crossed the Rhine River.
I took another two hours to walk around Breisach, and viewed such highlights as the church and the site of the former Synagogue, which was destroyed on 10th November 1938, following the infamous “Reichspogromnacht” or Night of Broken Glass. I am so lucky, given my surname that I was not around in those times!
After my walk about, I took the drive back to Niedermorschwihr and took lots of photos on the hills around the village. In the late afternoon, the changing colours of the grape vines are so lovely, reds, yellows, ambers, truly amazing. Today they sounded the siren or hooter, signaling that the grape harvest is finished for the year. Over the past week they have picked the last of the “late harvest” fruit and the season or vintage is now over. Most of the wine is now in barrels and awaiting bottling in about March or April next year.
There are more photos below