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.

Soultzmatt

Schaefertal chapel

Die Schaefertalkapelle

On a beautiful glade, which invites you to meditate, we discover the Schaefertalkapelle (chapel of the shepherd valley). In former times, entire processions from the surrounding villages came to the chapel and it was the favourite place of the nobility of the valley for their religious ceremonies. It is said that the chapel was built in this place because here the Blessed Virgin Mary helped a shepherd: She caused a spring of water to occur when a dangerous drought threatened his herd. The miraculous spring is still flowing directly in front of chapel porch. The beneficial value of the Soultzmatt springs has been mentioned since 1272. Water of the most famous one, the Lisbeth spring, is still bottled in the valley today. The chapel gives prominence to a Renaissance statue of the Virgin Mary holding the child, a painting depicting the story of the miraculous spring and a charter of the reconsecration of the chapel by the Bishop of Basle in 1511. In 1778, pious wine-growers built the Way of the Cross running along the Way of St. James near the chapel. It takes us close to the Rumanian soldier cemetery and the Langenstein (long rock). The legend tells that women in white garments gathered around this rock to dance on full-moon nights. A little further on, the “Großer Fels” (big rock) offers us a wonderful view of the vineyards.