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BREISACH

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Ruin of Breisach on the Eckartsberg, Breisach, Germany
Breisach and the Ruin of Breisach on the Eckartsberg

Breisach is a town of under 20,000 on the German side of Upper Rhine River.  Across the river is Neuf Brisach, France.  Germans pronounce the name "bry sack" and the French call it "bree sack".  The town had early Celtic and Roman occupations and was part of the Holy Roman Empire.  Breisach has seen a boom in tourism since becoming a standard port of call for river cruises between Basel and Amsterdam, but most of the tourism is directed at bus trips to the Black Forest near Freiburg, Germany and to the picturesque town of Comar in France.  Old Town Breisach is located on an ancient fortified hill top with pleasant views over the rolling hills called the Kaiser-stuhl (Emperor's seat).  The area around the town is excellent for growing grapes and making wine.

Weather:

The climate in Breisach is sunny and warm in the summer, while winters are cloudy and cold.  Average highs in the July and August are around 80 F (27 C), while average lows are 60 F (16 C).  In December and January average highs are a few degrees above freezing, while lows hover around the freezing mark.  Rainfall is slightly higher in the summer months.

St Stephan's Minster, Breisach, Germany

St Stephan's Minster

Transportation:

Since the destruction of the bridge on the Rhine during World War II, rail transportation has been restricted to the German side of the city.  The connections by rail are east to Freiburg (30 minutes) and from there, south to Basel or north to Strasbourg.  There is also a rail connection directly to Riegel am Kaiserstuhl, north of Freiburg.  To the west, Colmar, France is a 30 minute bus ride.  The river cruise industry has made Breisach a standard stop for cruises between Basel and Amsterdam, but passengers do not start or finish voyages here.

Rheintor, Breisach, Germany

Rheintor

Attractions in Old Town Breisach:

Things to see and do:

  • River cruises provide excellent maps for self guided tours of Breisach.  Head up the short but steep lanes to the fortified Old Town.  St Stephan's Minster (Münster St Stephan) was started in the 1200s and there are pleasant views from this cathedral over the town and the rolling hills of the Kaiser-stuhl.  On the square with the cathedral is the Rathaus Breisach (City Hall).  In the middle of the small Old Town is the Radbrunnen Tower (Radbrunnenturm) with its strange exterior workings for this early 1100s water well pump.  At the far end of the Old Town is the festival area and the Tulla Tower, which forms part of the theater stage.  Descending from this end of the Old Town to the Rhine leads to the Rhine Tower (Rheintor) and a pleasant walk back to the river cruise dock.

Tulla-Turm, Breisach, Germany

Tulla-Turm

Things to see and do Near Breisach:

  • River cruises provide bus tours to the Black Forest from Breisach.  The tours pass numerous small villages such as Sankt Märgen and popular tourist centers such as Hofgut Sternen, where Black Forest traditions in the creation of cuckoo clocks are explained, displayed and sold.  

  • River cruises also provide bus tours to the quaint historical village of Colmar, France.

  • Visitors who aren't on a river cruises can coordinate tours of the Black Forest and Colmar through Freiburg, Germany.

St. Margen, Black Forest, Germany

St. Margen, Black Forest

Hotels in the Breisach area:

Hotel Listings for Breisach:

Hotel Listings for Freiburg, Germany

Hotel Listings for Colmar, France


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Next Stop Down the Rhine - Strasbourg

Next Stop Up the Rhine - Basel