The city of Mulhouse is the largest in the Haut-Rhin département (Alsace region) of eastern France. It’s also quite close to both the Swiss and German borders. Previously an industrial centre, Mulhouse is now best known for its two permanent transport exhibitions. These are on trains (the Musée Français du Chemin de Fer) and motor cars (the Musée National de L’automobile); both museums are France’s largest of their type.
The city became French in 1798 (during of the French Revolution). However it was annexed by the German Empire between 1870–1918. Since then has mostly been French. Mulhouse’s textile, tanning, chemical and engineering industries in the previous two centuries have led to it’s nickname of “the French Manchester”.
Getting around Mulhouse is by using the combined tram and bus network (Soléa). The train (SNCF station, Gare de Mulhouse) provides direct connections to Strasbourg, Paris, Lyon and Basel in Switzerland. Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg International Airport is the nearest airport.
In addition to the two major transport museums, other places to visit in Mulhouse include the Museum of Printed Textiles, Electropolis (the Museum of Electricity) and the mid-19th century Workers’ quarter. The Nouveau Quartier is splendid with its Société Industrielle building and the Place de la Bourse. The 16th century town hall, Hôtel de Ville, is magnificent. The Saint-Steffen Calvinist temple and the botanical garden and zoo are also popular with visitors.
The Mulhouse traditional carnival at the end of February can be a fun weekend, with parades marching past the town hall and bars/restaurants staying open all night for the revellers. It has an international flavour, being on the borders of Switzerland and Germany. The end of August Mulhouse Jazz Festival is dedicated to ” free music ” (creative jazz), with about thirty concerts by one hundred international musicians. The “October days” festival is dedicated to gastronomy with a focus on local produce.
Posted : Friday, October 12th, 2012 at 10:00
As well as writing about travel, Karen Bryan offers tips on saving money, frugal living and how to live well on less, on her site Help Me To Save