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.

Murbach Abbey

Murbach Abbey

The Benedictine abbey was founded in 728 by Count Eberhard, the brother of the Count of Alsace and nephew of St Odile of Alsace. It became one of the most important abbeys in the Upper Rhine region. Its library concealed countless treasures and, according to legend, these were hidden in a former mine in the Murbach Valley during the Thirty Years’ War. The abbey from the 12th century was built following the model of the large cathedrals in the Rhine region such as those in Speier and Worms. It became a symbol of repatriation between the abbots and the House of Hohenstaufen. In the 13th century, Abbot Hugo, who had accompanied the Emperor on his pilgrimage, was declared a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire: this title was passed on to his successors until 1790. After this year the monks didn’t want to live in their lonely valley anymore; so, in 1759, they obtained permission to move to Guebwiller. This lead to the demolition of the abbey (excluding the gatehouse). Thankfully, they didn’t touch the choir and the transept of the abbey: these are still part of the current church.