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Welcome to Sélestat!

Country: France
Region: Alsace
Départment: Bas-Rhin
Arrondissement: Sélestat-Erstein
Kanton: Sélestat
Inhabitants: 17.179 (1999)


Bibliothèque Humaniste - Humanist Library

This is the oldest library in Alsace, founded in 1452. Since 1889 it is accommodated in the former grain storage hall, built in 1843. It consists in reality of two library collections: the Sélestat Latin School and the "Rhenana", a private collection of the humanist Beatus Rhenanus (1485-1547). He was a close friend of Erasmus of Rotterdam and bequeathed all of his books (some 670 volumes) to his hometown, one of the best and finest libraries of this time.

The oldest print of the so called "Mundus-novus"-letter can be found here, printed 1503 in Paris and brought to Sélestat probably by Beatus Rhenanus. In this letter Amerigo Vespucci is describing the discovery of a "new world" in the West Atlantic Ocean. Due to this letter the "new world" became known as "America".

Although Christoph Kolumbus sailed there already in 1492, he didn't recognize his finding and just refered to them as "recently discovered islands". The "Cosmographiae introductio" by Martin Waldseemüller and Mathias Ringmann from 1507 is in a way the "baptismal certificate" of America and can be found here as well. In their work they call the newly by Vespucci discovered land "Ameri-ge", meaning "the earth of Americus or America". On the corresponding large map of the world by Waldseemüller, the name of America can be seen for the very first time.

Opening hours:
Monday, Wednesday till Friday 9:00 - 12:00 and 14:00 - 18:00
Saturday 9:00 - 12:00
during July and August at the same hours plus additionally Saturday and Sunday 14:00 - 17:00

Phone: +33 3 88 58 07 20
Address: 1 Rue de la bibliothèque, 67600 Sélestat

Église Sainte-Foy - Church St. Fides

This parish church is a roman church with three towers. From the original building only the square crypt which was excavated in 1892 survived. The current building was erected between 1170 and 1180 and is characterised by its stilistic uniformity and well-balanced proportions. For a long time it was part of the Jesuit college and transformed under the influence of this denomination. At the end of the 19th century the architect Charles Winkler restored it into its original state. The side entrance porches, the windows towards the atrium and the main porch display a rich, partly coloured figurative decoration. Inside the decorated capitals and the mighty late baroque pulpit from 1733 are remarkable. The organ from 1892 originates from the Rinkenbach organ builders.

Inside length: 44.20 meter
Inside height: 11.10 meter
Height of the tower at the intersection: 42 meter

Opening hours:
Monday till Friday 8:00 - 18:00
Saturday 9:00 - 18:00
Sunday 8:00 - 18:00

Address: Place du marché Vert, 67600 Selestat

Phone: +33 (0)3 89 20 15 50