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.

Basel

Sunrise in the minster crypt

Sunrise in the minster crypt

Every year more and more people gather on the Pfalz, the terrace in front of the Basler Minster, on the morning of June 21st to witness the sunrise. On a clear day the summer solstice delivers an impressive show which is followed by a short celebration in the minster crypt. Shortly after five thirty the red sphere of the sun rises over the hills of the Hohen Möhr in the Black Forest. Following a direct line over St. Martin’s Church in Riehen and St. Theodor’s Church in Kleinbasel, the first rays of sunlight hit the chestnut trees in the Pfalz and continue, refracted by the leaves, through the central window in the minster choir. They shine through into the crypt, the original burial place of the Basler bishops, and cast a bright spot of light on the the opposite wall – an impressive phenomena that is certainly not a coincidence. Churches and chapels were often built on the site of ancient or prehistoric places of worship and these in turn were often positioned according to the celestial calender. The Basler Minster is built on the site of a Celtic Oppidum.