On the border of Germany and France is the small historical town of Breisach am Rhein, only 20 km west of Freiburg im Breisgau. For the serious history buff, a trip to Breisach on the River Rhine, is just what the history professor ordered.
Even though the town officially celebrated its birthday in 369, people have lived in this beautiful “Mother of the Breisgau” for more than 4,000 years!
The Museum of Urban History, an incredibly beautiful Baroque building, traces Breisach’s history back to a few thousand years B.C. and makes the ultimate first stop in town.
Amazingly enough, there is still plenty to see here although 85 percent of the town was destroyed by Allied bombings in the last days of the Second World War. All the better to fully appreciate the medieval buildings found here in town.
A few of those medieval buildings can be found in ruins, but it doesn’t make them any less beautiful. There are ruins of three medieval castles around the area… Castle Alzenach (13th century), Castle Breisach (12th century), and Castle Üsenberg, the oldest of them all, built sometime in the 11th century. This is serious castle country, because even the Romans had built a castle here, too.
More medieval wonders are the impressive churches that call Breisach home. As if the Romanesque St. Stephanmünster Cathedral isn’t beautiful enough on its own, the artwork found within this church is nothing short of astonishing. One of the most beautiful pieces in its collection is a 15th century silver reliquary casket.
With many historical sites wherever you turn, an avid history buff will fall in love with this marvelous town. It really is, just what the history professor ordered!