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Visiting Strasbourg's Alsatian museum

Experience the vibrant history of Alsace from the 17th to the 20th century at the Museum Alsacien in Strasbourg! Step inside traditional houses, each carefully arranged and adorned with authentic Alsatian artifacts, and immerse yourself in the daily life of Alsatian families of the past.

Housed in a stunning timber-framed building, the museum's exhibits boast an impressive and diverse collection of over 5,000 Alsatian objects on display. This museum is one of my favorite museums to visit in Strasbourg.

Let's explore together the richness of Alsace's past at the Museum Alsacien! Follow the guide.

The History of the Museum Alsacien

After being lovingly restored by a committee of Alsatians, the museum finally opened its doors to the public in 1907. This momentous occasion was marked by a joyful peasant fair where participants donned traditional Alsatian costumes to celebrate their heritage.

Sadly, the upheavals of World War I caused the museum to close temporarily. However, the city of Strasbourg recognized the importance of this cultural landmark and took it under its wing, allowing it to reopen its doors in 1919.

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Picturesque traditional Alsatian houses to begin your tour

As you begin your tour, you'll be greeted by the magnificent display of a brown and beige half-timbered wall, a true reflection of the era.

Alsatian farms were crafted from wood and loess (clayey silt), which were often the only materials available at the time. The unique U-shaped courtyard was also a defining feature of these farms.

The museum offers an opportunity to explore these ancient buildings through a captivating model of the farm called "Schulzehof," crafted in 1814.

wall of an Alsatian house
Wall of an Alsatian house

Reconstruction of the traditional peasant rooms, known as Stùbes

Experience a fascinating reconstruction of the traditional peasant rooms, known as Stùbes, which served as the central gathering place for family and friends. These rooms were used for dining, entertainment, and even sleeping, and were typically the only heated spaces in the house, along with the kitchen.

One of the most intriguing rooms is the Stùb d'Engwiller, famous for its stunning collection of 19th century Alsatian costumes. Admire the intricate details and exquisite craftsmanship of these garments, and step back in time to a bygone era.

Explore an authentic apothecary, complete with ancient tools and objects used by alchemists. This is a true laboratory filled with rare medicines, herbs, and drugs that are no longer available today. Keep an eye out for the hidden lizard in this room - can you spot it?

Interior of the Alsatian Museum in Strasbourg
Interior of the Alsatian Museum in Strasbourg

Collection of authentic Alsatian objects

During my visit to the museum, I was impressed by the vast collection of Alsatian objects on display in the different rooms. The tour begins with the presentation of the ancient Faience stoves, known as Kachelofe, and as we progress, we discover the polychrome furniture from genuine Alsatian houses. These pieces of furniture are made from fir wood and covered with brown paint with different patterns and colors.

The museum displays essential and now very rare objects such as trunks, large wardrobes, marquetry benches, and more. The room where the mother gave birth is even represented with the real folding birthing chair and the baby's cradle. It's a magnificent room with beautiful, colorful furniture.

Culinary traditions of Alsace

At the museum, you'll go behind the scenes of the traditional peasant kitchens where these authentic dishes were prepared with care and passion.

Experience the true essence of Alsace through its delicious cuisine. Explore the remarkable traditional pottery of Soufflenheim and Betschdorf, each with their own distinct specialties in cooking and food preservation. Discover the unique history and craftsmanship behind these artisanal pieces and learn about the time-honored techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Alsatian pottery
Alsatian pottery

Religion in Alsace

Religion plays a significant role in the culture of Alsace. The museum takes you on a journey to discover the religious traditions of the 19th century, such as baptism, communion, confirmation, marriage, and death, which were essential events for Alsace families. In a reconstructed room, you can see the costumes worn and gifts offered during these events.

After the visit, you can explore more about the different religions present in Alsace. The museum has dedicated three rooms to display the religious objects of the Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant faiths. It's a great opportunity to learn about the rich religious history of the region and gain a better understanding of the customs and traditions of the people of Alsace.

People in traditional costume of the time at the Alsatian Museum in Strasbourg
Alsatian people in traditional costume of the time

Find the displayed barrels

Towards the end of the tour, you will come across two rooms dedicated to the Alsatian wine-making culture. But where do the barrels displayed in the museum come from? Don't worry, they are not from the Hospices de Strasbourg cellars, but they are nonetheless authentic. It's an interesting and unexpected discovery that adds to the charm of the museum.

A unique visit in Strasbourg

The museum offers a unique and captivating experience that will transport you from room to room in a calm and intriguing atmosphere. Each step will leave you eager to discover the unique objects hidden within the museum. As you ascend the stairs, take a moment to admire the beautiful and warm flower-filled courtyard. And don't forget to take a peek out the windows for a magnificent view of the Cathedral and the Strasbourg Historical Museum.

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About Audrey
Hi, I'm Audrey! Since I arrived in Strasbourg for my studies, I've fallen in love with this city. I love good food, escape games and long walks. Hope to guide you well in Alsace:)
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