Visit of the historical cellar of Strasbourg hospital


Wine lovers, here is a place not to be missed during a visit to Strasbourg. The historic cellar of the Hospices civils de Strasbourg, located in what is now the Strasbourg University Hospital, is a wonderful and unusual discovery to make during your stay!

Laurène is the blog's creator. Originally from Brittany but now living in Alsace, she has fallen in love with her adopted region and loves exploring its every nook and cranny to unearth great ideas to share with you!

Brief history of the Historical Cellar of the Civil Hospices of Strasbourg

The Historical Cellar of the Hospices de Strasbourg was created in 1395 and was used in the Middle Ages to store wine, grain and other perishable goods for the sick, pilgrims and religious. In the Middle Ages, beyond its religious vocation, wine was used as medicine and each patient received 2 to 3 liters of wine per day. This tradition will last until the beginning of the 19th century.

The hospice soon became a wealthy landowner, as many patients paid for their care by bequeathing plots of land, which together formed a very large estate. In 1716, a fire destroyed the hospital, but spared the bakery, the chapel and the cellar.

In the 20th century, winegrowing activity gradually declined, but in 1995 the winery was revived on the initiative of Alsatian winegrowers as a cooperative. Following extensive restoration work, the winery now sells over 150,000 bottles a year, but refrains from advertising or any other form of promotion. reinvests all profits in the purchase of medical equipment.

The oldest wine in barrels in the world

The historic cellar of the Hospices civils de Strasbourg holds the oldest wine in the world kept in a barrel… It dates from 1472! Impossible of course to taste it, since it was only served 3 times

Don’t miss the three historical tuns, well protected behind their grids, dating from 1472, 1519 and 1525. The first one contains the oldest barrel wine in the world. The 300 liters of this legendary vintage, a white wine, have only been served three times in five centuries since it was put in barrels, only on special occasions. The last time was during the liberation of Strasbourg in 1944… Do not expect to taste it! This wine was subjected to an oenological control in 1994.

Visit of the Cellar – My opinion

The visit of the cellar is interesting: the place is superb and full of history. The cellars were created in the 14th century to meet the needs of the hospices, where not only the sick but also pilgrims and poor people were received. Over the centuries, the vineyards belonging to the hospitals were sold and the winery ceased to be operated. Fortunately, some winemakers saved it by restoring the cellars and breeding a selection of Alsatian wines.

From now on, one can walk through the cellar and admire the huge tuns containing Alsatian wines from different domains. To learn more about the history of this place, you can book a tour with an audio guide.

In addition to admiring the historic tuns, you can also see during your visit to the Historic Cellar a wine press dating from 1727 and a huge barrel from 1881, with a capacity of over 26,000 liters.

Store of the historical cellar

The wines labeled with the name of the Cave historique des Hospices de Strasbourg, which can be purchased in the store adjacent to the cellar, come from some thirty Alsatian wineries. The wines are selected by a tasting committee (with a double blind tasting), then carefully matured in the oak tuns of the historic cellar and bottled on site. A nice way to perpetuate the tradition of this extraordinary cellar!

  • The history of the cellars
  • The place is superb
  • Possibility to buy the wines in the store
  • No tastings for individuals