Breisach lies on the Rhine River in the Upper Rhine Valley and is situated between the cities of Strasbourg in Germany and Basel in Switzerland and is a popular port of call on many voyages which explore the highlights to be found along Germany’s most famous river. The town was built on a hill which served as the seat of an ancient Celtic prince, and which was situated in the middle of the Rhine until it was straightened by 19th century engineer Johann Gottfried Tulla. It was formerly founded as a city in the 11th or 12th century, although archaeological evidence suggests that it was settled earlier than this. In the 16th century, Breisach was a strategic stronghold of the Holy Roman Empire and during the Second World War, the majority of it was destroyed by allied artillery, as it lay at the point where the allies crossed the Rhine.
For river cruisers, Breisach marks the entrance to the celebrated Black Forest area of Germany and a voyage to the town offers the chance to experience some of the country’s most beautiful scenery, including dramatic mountains, lush forests and rolling meadows.
The main attraction in the town itself is the beautiful St Stephan’s Cathedral, or ‘Stephansmunster’, which dates back to the 13th century. It’s built in the Romanesque style and is well-known for its carved gothic altar and a series of works by the celebrated German painter and engraver Martin Schongauer.
The Museum of Municipal History is another popular attraction for those who want to learn more about the history of the region, with an impressive range of exhibits which date from the present day all the way back to the Stone Age.
Breisach is also home to the Geldermann Privatsektkellerei, one of Europe’s largest wine cellars, so if viticulture is your thing, be sure to take the time to pay a visit to this wonderful attraction, as there are guided tours are available and you’ll be able to taste a glass for yourself too. If you truly want to make wine the focus of your time in Breisach, the Geldermann winery is another popular choice, with guided tours and Champagne tastings all part of the experience.
With the Black Forest region on your itinerary, you’ll certainly want to make sure that you have your camera at the ready to capture your own memories of the fabulous scenery. If stocking up on a bottle or two to take back home is a holiday habit, then Breisach is a great place to do it, with vintages available at both the wineries and a number of local shops.