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Trip Planner Europe  /  France  /  Grand Est  /  Bas-Rhin  /  Selestat

Selestat

4.2
Churches · Specialty Museums · History Museums
Sélestat is a commune in the northeast region of France. An administrative division (sous-préfecture) of the Bas-Rhin department, the town lies on the Ill river, 17km from the Rhine and the German border. Sélestat is located between the largest communes of Alsace, Strasbourg and Mulhouse.In 2013, Sélestat had a total population of 19,332, which makes it the eighth most populous town in Alsace. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance it was the third largest city in the region, after Strasbourg and Colmar, and it is ranked the third commune in Alsace for cultural heritage. Sélestat was founded in the 8th century as a port on the Ill and it experienced a long period of prosperity thanks to the trade in wine and a thriving religious and cultural life. It gradually declined after the Reformation and the French conquest in the 17th century. The town eventually experienced a new demographic growth in the second half of the 20th century when it became a small industrial and cultural centre.Thanks to its rich heritage, which includes the renowned Humanist Library and an imposing pair of medieval churches, Sélestat is an important tourist destination in Alsace. It also benefits from its location on the Alsace wine road and its proximity to Haut-Kœnigsbourg castle. Aside from the medieval old town, the commune of Sélestat encompasses a nature reserve including one of the largest riparian forests of France.
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