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
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
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.
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.
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.