the spring equinox
Ballon d'Alsace

At the spring equinox, if we observe it from the Ballon d’Alsace, the sun rises behind the Black Forest Belchen 70 km away

Anfang Mai / Beltene
Ballon d'Alsace
About 40 days after the spring equinox, beginning of the Celtic summer half-year, the sun rises in the east-northeast behind the summit of the Grand Ballon.
21.6 summer solstice
Ballon d'Alsace

At the summer solstice, the sun rises in the northeast above the Markstein, in the direction of the Petit Ballon

Anfang August / Lugnasad
Ballon d'Alsace
About 40 days after the summer solstice, the sun rises in the east-northeast, behind the summit of the Grand Ballon.
22.9. the autumn equinox
Ballon d'Alsace

At the autumnal equinox, if we observe it from the Ballon d’Alsace, the sun rises behind the summit of Schwarzwaldbelchen 70 km away.

Anfang November / Samhain
Ballon d'Alsace

About 40 days after the autumn equinox, beginning of the Celtic winter half-year. The three Celtic settlements Britzgyberg, Basel-Gasfabrik and Augusta Raurica are on the line of the sunrise.

21.12. Winter solstice
Ballon d'Alsace

The sun rises in the southeast behind the Tödi in the Glarus Alps, in between lies the Jura Belchen

Anfang Februar / Imbolc
Ballon d'Alsace
About 40 days after the winter solstice, middle of the Celtic winter half-year. The sun rises in east-southeast. The three Celtic settlements Britzgyberg, Basel-Gasfabrik and Augusta Raurica are on the line of the sunrise.

Fridolinsmünster

The silver feretory in the Fridolin Minster

The silver feretory in the Fridolin Minster

Long before you reach Bad Säckingen you see the shimmering tower of the minster. The impressive 17th and 18th century renovated baroque church stands as a reminder of how powerful the order once was that led to the birth of the town here. It was Fridolin, a follower of Hilarius of Poitier, who founded a monastery here on an island in the Rhine in the 6th or 7th century. This was the first step in the christianisation of the “Alemannen”. The saint’s remains are kept in a gleaming silver feretory, weighing over three hundred kilos, that stands on the right hand side of the minster choir. This was commissioned from the Augsburger silversmith Gottlieb Emmanuel Oernster by the last Abbot of the order. The anniversary of St. Fridolin’s death is celebrated on the 6th March with a festive mass and a procession. A delegation from Glarus in Switzerland also take part. They cross the Rhine via the wooden bridge to join the procession, in remembrance of the saint who appeared to their ancestors in 1388 and helped them win the battle of Naefels.