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.

St. Chrischona

an ancient, sacred site

St. Chrischona an ancient, sacred site

There are many legends that entwine the three churches on the hills around Basle: St. Chrischona, on the west slopes of the Dinkelberg, overlooking Bettingen and Grenzach-Wyhlen; St. Margarethen in Binningen, on the outskirts of Basel; and St. Otillia on the Tüllinger Berg over Lörrach. The three saints are mentioned in the early Christian saga of St. Ursula and eleven thousand virgins who stopped in Basle on their way from Rome to Cologne. It is told that they left the pilgrimage and settled here to live their lives in seclusion as anchoresses. According to another legend the three sisters father, a knight at Schloss Pfeffingen, had murdered their lovers. They retreated as hermits to the three hills, daily signalling their wellbeing to one another, in the morning with bells and in the evening with oil lamps. In 1974 ninety graves were unearthed at St. Chrischona, fifty of them containing children’s bones. After the Reformation this lost popularity as a destination for pilgrims. In 1966 the town of Basle handed the church over to the Evangelical Pilgrims Mission who operate a theological seminary on the adjoining estate.