For the Christmas season, the little town of Altkirch in the Sundgau radically departs from the Alsatian tradition of hosting a Christmas market. The fir trees of the Foret Enchantee of Altkirch (Enchanted Forest) spread out throughout the old town centre, creating a fantastic world of ancient local tales and legends.
La Foret Enchantee of Altkirch – The Enchanted Forest
The Enchanted Forest (la Forêt Enchantée) covers most of the old town of Altkirch which is situated on a spur over the Ill valley. More than 200 characters and animals from ancient tales and legends of the Sundgau bring new life to the sleepy little town during the Christmas season.
Staged with a magical and fantasy theme comprising ponds and forests, brilliantly recreated in the town centre, the event has a storyline of 26 tales such as the Flower Fairy, the Blochmont’s Little Man, the Black Virgin, the Witch of Koestlach and the Dragon of Fire… all carefully illuminated.
The Christmas lights in Altkirch
On Place de la Halle au Blé, an ice-skating rink is traditionally set up, surrounded by several chalets selling local produce.
- Find out more about Altkirch and the Sundgau on the blog.
- Check out the website of the Tourist Board of Sundgau-Sud Alsace for more practical info of where to eat and stay.
How to get to Altkirch
Altkirch is situated on the Mulhouse-Belfort train line.
Trams run several times daily to and from Mulhouse central station (from 11 to 19 minutes) with train connections to Colmar, Strasbourg, Lyon, Basel and Paris.
Situated just off the crossroads of two major axes (Strasbourg-Lyon and Luxembourg-Basel), Altkirch is easily reached from Strasbourg (135 km), Freiburg-im-Breisgau (80 km) and Besançon (130 km). Paris is 540 km from Altkirch.
The closest international airport is the Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Euroairport (25km) which is serviced by national and European airlines.
The Foret Enchantee of Altkirch: English-French Vocabulary
(f) for féminin, (m) for masculin, (adj) for adjective and (v) for verbs
- Advent = Avent (m)
- chalet = châlet (m)
- Christmas = Noël
- Christmas Eve = veille de Noël (f) / réveillon (m)
- Christmas lighting = illuminations de Noël (f,p)
- Christmas market = marché de Noël (m)
- Christmas Tree = sapin de Noël (m), arbre de Noël (m)
- church = église (f)
- enchanted forest = forêt enchantée (f)
- fairy-tale = conte de fée (m)
- Father Christmas = Père Noël (m)
- forest = forêt (f)
- holiday season = période de Noël (f), temps des fêtes (m)
- Santa = Père Noël (m)
- square = place (f)
- street = rue (f)
- tale = conte (m)
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