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.

Bollenberg

Dame blanche and the witches fire

Dame blanche and the witches fire

The Bollenberg is a 363 m mound of Jura limestone between Rouffach, Orschwihr and Westhalten. Every year, on the night of the 14th to the 15th of August, it bears witness to a cult spectacle that attracts thousands of people from across the region. The little Holy Cross Chapel can be reached via a short but steep track from the eastern edge of the village. On this night it is lit up by the flames of the famous witches fire. It is the novices from Orschwihr, the probationary nuns, who burn the effigy of a witch upon a spectacular bonfire. Throughout the rest of year you’re more likely to meet nature lovers here in this national park. The “Clos Sainte Apolline” with its hotel, restaurant and vineyard can be found on the eastern side of the hill on the D18. To the locals the Holy Cross Chapel is known as the “Chapelle des sorcières”, the witches chapel, and used to be frequently visited by pilgrims. Numerous legends are entwined with this place where the “Dame blanche”, the white lady, is said to have appeared. It is thought likely that this is an old pagan site.