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.

Oltingen

The Judgement Day fresco

The Judgement Day fresco

Sitting high above the village, the church, with its walled graveyard and Gothic presbytery, dominates the scene. This is an ancient sacred place. Already in Roman times, but especially through the Middle Ages, this was a place of introspection, particularly amongst travellers crossing the Jura from the Ergolztal into the Schweizer Mittelland. Numerous pilgrims took this route on their way to Einsiedeln. The path from the village centre to the elevated parsonage leads along the Herrengasse. Passing through the arched gateway is like stepping into a new world. On overwhelming peacefulness fills the graveyard of the St. Nicolas Church. The inner walls of the church are an even bigger surprise, covered with Frescos that were discovered and laid open in 1956. Especially impressive is the depiction of the Day of Judgement on the west wall of the nave. There are also scenes from the life of St. Nicolas , alongside the martyrdom of St. Erasmus, and representations of the holy women, Margaretha with the dragon, Dorothea with a child, and Verena with the tankard. The paintings served as warnings for an illiterate congregation and date from the late Gothic period.