Christmas market at Mulhouse in Alscacia
On the recent trip to the French region of Alsace to see Christmas markets, I not only visited the city of Strasbourg, but I've also had the chance to meet Mulhouse, another city that has interesting attractions.
Located south of this border region with Germany, is a city that has about 125,000 inhabitants and an important industrial history dedicated to textile, chemical and railway production.
But you should know that Mulhouse It is a place with a long tradition as an independent republic linked to neighboring Swiss cantons, which is very close to the German cities of Freiburg Y Belfort, and just 30 kilometers from the Swiss city of Balisea.
Old town hall of Mulhouse in Alsace
Now in the visit of this city, besides being able to see a christmas market which has great charm, you can visit various places that reflect that industrial past and as an independent republic.
Mulhouse It was founded in the seventh century and is younger than other cities of Alsace dating back to the fourth century.
In the Middle Ages It was part of an alliance of 10 Alsatian cities, but its history is marked by the attack suffered in the late fifteenth century by theHoly German Empire.
Stock Market Square in Mulhouse in Alsace
Then the nobility of Mulhouse He joined the Germans, and the city did not receive help from the other cities of the alliance, so he then separated from it and in 1515 they decided to join the Swiss cantons.
That was the beginning of his stage as a city and independent republic.
In 1525 came the Lutheran Reformation, the Catholics were expelled, and Mulhouse it turned into a Calvinist city.
It was already in 1746 when the first textile factory emerged, specifically for the production of patterned fabrics, and thereafter that industry had a great development andMulhouse It became a rich republic.
Precisely facilitating such development was what led to Mulhouse finally in 1798 he joined France, 10 years after the French Revolution.
1704 house in the historic center of Mulhouse in Alsace
When he already joined France, Mulhouse it had a great industrial development, for example with the installation of the train factory that is now the current one Alstom, manufacturer of high-speed trains, trams and cruise ships.
This industrial development was reflected in the distribution of the city, because textile factories were concentrated in the northern part of the city.
West of Mulhouse It is where factories dedicated to the production of railroad machinery were installed, and the southern part became a residential area for the wealthiest people.
Finally, during the WWII the city of Mulhouse He suffered major bombings, including an attack by the English who, as has been known recently, thought they were bombing the nearby German city of Freiburg.
What to see and do during Mulhouse's visit
Currently when you visit Mulhouse You will discover that it is a very cosmopolitan city with a large population from more than 40 countries, which has been concentrated in this French city due to the great industrial activity that it continues to maintain.
Urban art on the facade of a Mulhouse shop in Alsace
And a good example of this is the large car factory that Peugeot has about Mulhouse, which has attracted many people from numerous backgrounds who have settled in the city to work in it.
That, you will not find a historic center with a large architectural complex, as can happen in other medieval cities, as the aforementioned bombings made a dent in the Mulhouse heritage.
But in a walk through the center you can see some historic buildings and numerous houses with paintings on the facade, both old and current.
Then I will point out the most prominent places you should know in your day visit complete to the city of Mulhouse, during a Alsace trip.
Mulhouse Christmas Market
And I start talking about Mulhouse Christmas market, which logically you can only visit during the time of Advent in the month of December, but that is one of the most common reasons to make a trip to Alsace.
Christmas market at Mulhouse in Alscacia
Concentrated on the main square of the city, the Reunion Square, has the difference with respect to the best known of Strasbourg Y Colmar which is not saturated with tourists because all visitors are local people.
But that is not an obstacle so that when you get to visit Mulhouse at Christmas time, you meet a Christmas market With incredible charm.
This is due to its location in a square with an imposing protestant temple and the spectacular building of old town hall, to which you add the great lighting of all the buildings in the square and the big ferris wheel that is located between the wooden booths of the market.
In the latter you will find the typical offer of artisans and local foods, all wrapped in the characteristic aroma of the cinnamon smell of mulled wine.
Saint Stephen's Protestant Church
Cited protestant temple is a neo-gothic building built in 1866. which was initially a Catholic church, but then became a seat of the Protestant religion.
Protestant church of St. Stephen in Mulhouse in Alsace
Inside you can see some stained glass windows that belonged to an earlier church, and which are the oldest preserved in Alsace.
The St. Stephen's Church At present it is the reflection of the power of the Protestants in the city because, although they are already a minority, they continue to maintain a preeminent position because they are the owners of the local industries.
In this regard it should be noted that up to 1806 Mulhouse he was under a very hard Protestant regime, because only Protestants could reside in the city; Jews and Catholics, after their working day, could not stay in the city overnight.
Nowadays it has become a concert hall where every Saturday there is a music event scheduled.
Mulhouse Old Town Hall
But if there is a building that stands out in the Reunion Square from Mulhouse is that of old town hall, true emblem of the city.
Government Hall of the old town hall of Mulhouse
It is a beautiful building built in Renaissance style in 1551, with two stairs that open on both sides and with the facades fully painted with a bright pink tone.
These paintings show the shields of the Republic of Mulhouse, and the figures of the virtues are represented in the upper area of the facade.
Inside houses the Mulhouse Historical Museum, which you can visit for free every day of the year, except Tuesdays and holidays, with Schedule from 13 to 18.30 hours, and in July and August, from 10 to 12 hours and from 13 to 18.3 hours.
Inside, do not forget to visit the great hall that was the historical headquarters of the government of the aforementioned Mulhouse Republic, whose walls and ceilings are decorated with paintings that reflect that era.
Maison Mieg at Mulhouse
In the Reunion Square there are other beautiful buildings that form an interesting architectural ensemble, among which the Maison Mieg Renaissance style, bourgeois house built in 1418 that you will recognize for its tower and its 1799 paintings on the facade.
Buildings of the Reunion Square in Mulhouse in Alsace
Mulhouse Automobile City Museum
During my recent trip someone told me that for what it is especially worth visit mulhouse, is to know the Automobile City, a museum that has become the main focus of attracting tourists to the city.
And the truth is that this visit has been pending for another trip to Alsace, but I anticipate that this automobile museum has its origin in the collection that the brothersSchlumpf, owners of a textile factory, began to treasure from 1961.
Opened to the public in 2006, it is one of the most important automobile museums in the world where you can see 243 classic cars, among which a Bugatti Royale.
Chapel of St. John in Mulhouse in Alsace
Chapel of St. John in Mulhouse
The east side of the historic center of Mulhouse in the Middle Ages it was mostly a residential area of the Catholic population, in which churches and monasteries were concentrated, some run by the Cavalry religious orders.
That is the case of the Chapel of San Juan, now a small church that belonged in the thirteenth century to a monastery of the Order of Malta.
Behind the Protestant Reform It was abandoned and then had various uses, until in the nineteenth century it was decided its rehabilitation and is now a venue for concerts or events.
Currently the Chapel of San Juan It is one of Mulhouse's oldest buildings and sixteenth-century paintings are preserved inside.
Urban art in a Mulhouse building
Urban art in Mulhouse
Something that will catch your attention on your walk through Mulhouse is to see numerous building facades decorated with paintings from different eras, including the most current.
I will tell you that in the city up to 60 buildings are cataloged with paintings on their facades, which follow the tradition of previous times, and whose best example is the aforementioned fully decorated facade of the City Hall.
Museum of Printed Fabrics in Mulhouse
Museum of Printed Fabrics in Mulhouse
In one of the most beautiful buildings in Mulhouse you find one of the industrial museums that you can visit in this Alsatian city.
Its about Museum of Printed Fabrics whose origin dates back to 1833, when the textile industrialists of the city decided to create a collection of the fabrics they were designing, which currently has more than 6 million pieces.
The museum was opened to the public in 1955, and on your visit you will see a permanent exhibition of machinery and fabric designs from the 18th and 19th centuries, in addition to Temporary exhibitions.
Museum of Printed Fabrics in Mulhouse
This museum reflects the great rise of the fabric printing industry in Mulhouse, city that in the nineteenth century came to have up to 150 factories, although after the crisis of the 70s of the last century, there are almost no factories left.
In the museum you can see textile machinery from Manchester, and in fact Mulhouse it was known in the 19th century as the French manchester.
Note that every year, at Christmas time, a special fabric design is made that becomes the protagonist in the Christmas decoration of the city.
This design is found in the decorative elements installed in the city, or in tablecloths and curtains used in restaurants and homes during these dates.
Mulhouse Market in Alsace
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that when we travel we like to visit the markets because they are a good reflection of what a city is like.
He mulhouse market It is a perfect place to take the pulse of this Alsatian city because it shows its very cosmopolitan character, since in it you find not only local products from the region, but also from other areas of the world, from the Maghreb to China
Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, from 7 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon, with 350 seats installed in the building The Halle and in the outer esplanades that surround it, its size is about third market of France.
The Halle It is a building built in 1910, and inside there are fresh food stalls, while outside you find fruits and vegetables, as well as other products, including clothing.
Note that on Saturdays there is a special area dedicated to small local producers.
Alsace Ecomuseum in Ungesheim near Mulhouse in France
On your trip to Mulhouse You have the opportunity to visit a very interesting museum that is located only 15 kilometers from the city, in the small town of Ungersheim.
Its about Alsace Ecomuseum, a living museum of rural architecture where more than 70 houses and other traditional buildings that date back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are preserved.
These buildings since 1973 have been recovering and moving to the current location of the museum, which opened to the public in 1984, and currently emulates a small traditional Alsatian town, yes, all original buildings.
In your pleasant walk through the Alsace Ecomuseum You can see from farms to workshops of artisans of different trades, so that you can see live the rural environment characteristic of this French region.
Alsatian Tavern Le Cellier in Mulhouse
Where to eat Alsatian food in Mulhouse
Finally, for your trip, if you want to try the most typical Alsatian food, I will make two totally different proposals.
On the one hand, the restaurant Le Cellier in the center of the city, a typical Alsatian tavern (winstub) of clear German style with informal food, where you can taste some of the specialties of the region.
For example,Bibalakase, a type of white cheese that is taken with herbs, onion and garlic, accompanied by potatoes and cheese munster
OR Fleischnacka, a dish that is presented in the shape of a tail of meat, but in reality it is a paste that can be made with three different types of meat.
Maison Kieny restaurant near Mulhouse
And on the other hand the Maison Kieny restaurant, in the nearby town of Riedisheim, and a sign that haute cuisine also has a place in Mulhouse.
It is an establishment with a Michelin star whose gastronomic offer reinvents the traditional Alsatian food.
To point out the original presentation of a typical table of Alsatian sausages.