Nestled in the heart of Alsace, between the Vosges mountains and the Ried plain, Sélestat is only about forty minutes from Strasbourg.
Sélestat is a city rich in history and culture, and its exceptional built heritage places it third among Alsatian cities, after Strasbourg and Colmar.
The town has five listed buildings and thirty buildings registered as Historic Monuments, such as the Romanesque church of Sainte-Foy (12th century), the Gothic church of Saint-Georges (13th-15th century) and the Humanist Library.
Obtaining the City of Art and History label gives the Selestadian heritage all the recognition it deserves.
So it's not surprising that you'll come across giant's steps or lion's paws as you explore. The giant's steps are those of the giant Sletto, who, according to legend, founded the town of Sélestat and gave it its name. As for his four-legged companion, it is of course a nod to the lion that adorns the town's coat of arms. Don't miss the tanners' quarter with its typical half-timbered houses with pointed roofs.
Another long-standing story is the one that links Sélestat to the history of the Christmas tree, which is preserved in a register of the town's accounts. Dated 1521, this is the oldest known written reference to the Christmas tree in the world today.
Sélestat also has an important natural heritage with the Ill*Wald domain. A regional reserve where you can observe the largest population of wild deer in France, sail on the Ill in a kayak or walk along the paths.
You will also be surprised by the artistic heritage of the town, which organises various festivals each year (Rock Your Brain Fest, Summer Vibration Festival, etc.) and events such as the Corso Fleuri in August, the Carnaval des Machores in February and Sélest'Art, a biennial event for contemporary art.
In short, Sélestat is a town full of charm and history, with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It offers a perfect mix of culture, nature and gastronomy, making it a must-see destination for anyone visiting Alsace.
No wonder Sélestat was ranked 15th most welcoming city in France in the Booking.com Traveler Review Awards 2023
- Altitude : 174m
- Restaurant on site : Cafeteria, Drinks, Restaurant, Food for groups, Catering for groups, Small-scale catering