35 km I 240 HÖHENMETER I 3 STD. DAUER I LEICHT
This cycle route gives you the chance to find out about the region’s rich natural and energy resources, such as the thermal water of Morsbronn-les-Bains, previous bitumen extraction work in the mines of Lobsann and the first oil extraction sites in France and Europe, which are covered by an impressive museum in Merkwiller-Pechelbronn.
STARTING POINT AND HOW TO GET THERE
THINGS TO SEE
- Soultz-sous-Forêts, Lobsann, Merkwiller-Pechelbronn
This cycle route starts off in Soultz-sous-Forêts, where there are a number of religious buildings to explore, including the 18th-century evangelisches Pfarrhaus (Protestant Parsonage), the 15th-century Kirche der Freiherren von Fleckenstein (Church of the Fleckenstein Barons) and an 18th-century Bildstock (Wayside Shrine) . Next you will head to Lobsann, where you can check out the oil pumps, before making your way to Lampertsloch, which is the highest point on this cycle tour. From there, it’s downhill to Preuschdorf, which is home to some old oil and grain mills. A little bit further along on the route, in Dieffenbach-les-Woerth, a memorial pays homage to the first-ever oil well. The route then takes you to Morsbronn-les-Bains, which is famous for its Thermalbad (Thermal Spa). You will cycle through Durrenbach, a small Alsatian town with several lovely half-timbered houses, and Biblisheim to reach Surbourg, where you can admire the Stiftskirche (Abbey Church) that dates back to the 11th century. Then it’s on to Hoelschloch and Merkwiller-Pechelbronn, where the Französisches Erdölmuseum/Musée Français du Pétrole (French Oil Museum) is well worth a visit. The area surrounding Pechelbronn was famous for its healing oil from the late Middle Ages onwards and it went through a major industrial development halfway through the 18th century. The exhibitions at the Französisches Erdölmuseum (French Oil Museum) present the relevant history, covering everything from the first oil extraction site in Europe to the refinery being closed down in the 1970s. You can even still see swing pumps. The next point of interest on the route is the Friedenskapelle (Chapel of Peace) in Oberkutzenhausen. Kutzenhausen is the next town and here you can visit the “Maison Rurale de l’Outre-Forêt” Bauernmuseum (Farming Museum). The restored farm once belonged to the Fleckenstein Barons. From here, follow the route back round to where you set off from.
Copyright photo on this page: Pompes et terril © OTI Sauer-Pechelbronn
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