Visit Neuf-Brisach, Alsatian city fortified by Vauban

by | Updated on 2/11/2023 | Cities and villages, On a budget, Open on sundays | 0 comments


Neuf-Brisach is a small town in Alsace located east of Colmar, near the Rhine and the German border. Neuf-Brisach is known for its fortifications built in the 17th century by the famous Vauban and classified as World Heritage by Unesco. I must say that my impression of the city is mixed, however.

Brief history of Neuf-Brisach

1697 marks the end of the war of the League of Augsburg with a treaty. As a result, France lost the stronghold of Brisach on the German side of the Rhine. For this reason, Louis XIV decided to build a new stronghold just opposite, to prevent any invasion. Louis XIV decided to start with an octagonal plan and construction began in 1698.

Everything is built in pink sandstone, like many buildings in the region. The fortifications were completed in 1702, the Saint-Louis church in 1736, the town hall in 1758. Apart from an alert in 1743, the citadel of Neuf-Brisach has never played a role in European or local history. First besieged in 1870, partly destroyed by bombing, it was later rebuilt.

Having become a German stronghold, its plans were largely modified in 1875, but because of its fortifications, the city never really expanded. The bombings of the Second World War caused great damage, but the city was rebuilt. The garrison was closed in 1992.

What to see in Neuf-Brisach?

Fortifications of Neuf-Brisach

From the point of view of fortifications, there is no doubt that the city is impressive. It is the last city fortified by Vauban and we can therefore observe in Neuf-Brisach a very successful model of the defense system he imagined.

If you have never seen a Vauban fortress or if you are passionate about fortifications, a visit to Neuf-Brisach and a tour of the ramparts is interesting. You can even push your curiosity by visiting the Vauban Museum located in the city. Don’t miss the Canal Vauban either.

However, you should know that the best place to observe Neuf-Brisach is… the sky! Only an aerial view of the city allows you to really appreciate the scale and ingenious organization of Vauban’s fortifications. I had the chance to see it during a
microlight flight
and I recommend it to you!

Visit to MAUSA

Museum of Urban and Street Art (MAUSA)
the 2nd in France, has been installed in the Vauban ramparts.

A great idea to give life to this place and energize the city, this place is really great to visit and presents the work of famous street-artists. It is really worth coming to Neuf-Brisach to visit it if you are in Colmar, for example. The visit will appeal to adults and children alike!

Visit of the city center of Neuf-Brisach

From the point of view of the city itself, I was really disappointed. Neuf-Brisach, with its large straight streets, does not have much charm and even looks like a ghost town… There are a few shops, but the whole area is sorely lacking in life.

That being said, we can still observe some nice buildings during a walk in the city: follow for example the historical circuit, which starts on the Place d’Armes GĂ©nĂ©ral de Gaulle and goes around the city passing by the ramparts and visiting the different religious buildings, noting the royal fountain and all the architectural elements proper to a Vauban citadel such as the moats or the bastioned towers.

Neuf-Brisach at Christmas

The Christmas market of Neuf-Brisach is very famous. Vincent went there and loved it!

I liked

  • Impressive fortifications
  • Historical tour, which allows you to learn more about the logic of Vauban’s constructions
  • Museum of street art and urban art(MAUSA) installed in the ramparts
  • Christmas Market

I liked less

  • Sad atmosphere of the city

My photos of Neuf-Brisach

Practical information


By car

Neuf-Brisach is located in:

  • 17 km from Colmar (about 20 minutes)
  • 40 km from Mulhouse (about 35 minutes)
  • 88 km from Strasbourg (about 55 minutes)
By public transport

Look at Fluo.



Laurène est la créatrice du blog Mon week-end en Alsace. Bretonne installée en Alsace depuis 2014, elle est tombée amoureuse de sa région d'adoption au point de lui dédier un blog et d'acheter avec son mari une maison alsacienne dans un village du Kochersberg, près de Strasbourg. A pied, à vélo, sur ses chevaux ou au volant de sa voiture, elle aime partir explorer les moindres recoins de l'Alsace pour dénicher de bonnes adresses à partager sur le blog.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



Want to stay in touch ?

We send once a month a newsletter with our discoveries in the region. The newsletter is available only IN FRENCH though, but feel free to register 🙂