Visit Saverne (Alsace, France)
Saverne is a town 23 km to the north-west of Strasbourg in the Bas-Rhin department of Alsace.
The site has long been important as a gateway for trade, dating back as far as Roman times, due to its position at the end of a pass through the Vosges mountains. The importance of Saverne was reinforced when the Bishops from Strasbourg established their homes here, and the town is now recognised as a good base from which to explore the Vosges mountains and the surrounding region.
The main 'big' site in the town - and big it is - is the Chateau des Rohans. The castle, constructed at the end of the 18th century for the powerful clergy of Strasbourg, is in neoclassical style and built from the rather dark red rock of the region, which perhaps give it a rather sombre appearance. The chateau started out as an episcopal building but was restored by Napolean and converted into a barracks, and it is now home to a museum of local history, a primary school and a youth hostel.
In front of the castle you can see a statue of a unicorn, the offical symbol for Saverne.
The pretty, narrow streets lined with medieval steep-rooved houses in the historical centre of this active little town are well worth a visit. In particular you can see:
- various half-timbered houses, in particular the two very ornate houses on La Grande Rue. One of these is the most interesting building in the town - the beautiful Taverne Katz with its amazingly ornate facade. It was built in 1605 for Henri Katz who was the chief tax collector and the house is one of the most beautiful in the Bas-Rhin department. It is now home to a very nice-looking (and expensive) restaurant.
- the Church of the Recollets and the associated gothic style cloisters, built in the 14th century and planted with a selection of medicinal plants
- the Church of Notre-Dame, an attractive church with a square tower dating in part from the 12th century that contains various interesting artefacts
From the top of the town the vue down the Grand Rue is very pretty, past the Taverne Katz and the town hall beside it, with its lovely roof, and on down to the hills forming a back-drop below.
The Rose Garden in Saverne, on the edge of the river and with several hundreds of varieties of rose planted, is also a very popular attraction with visitors.
As well as its other attractions Saverne is a popular stopping point for boats travelling the Canal de la Marne au Rhin and you will see boats parked up in the Port de Plaisance below the chateau or manoeuvering the lock at the bottom of the Grand Rue.
If you are staying near Saverne, you should explore some of the pretty villages such as Bouxwiller and Neuwiller.
There is also a Botanic Garden nearby known for its orchids, and the Chateau du Haut Barr, built in 1583 at an altitude of 470m which offers great views over Alsace and the Northern Vosges, is another popular local attraction.
Photos of Saverne
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Address: Saverne, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, 67700 || GPS: latitude 48.742, longitude 7.3627
Map of Saverne & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Saverne, France
- Jardin botanique du col de Saverne - remarkable garden
- Vosges-du-Nord - regional natural parc (13km)
- Jardin de l'Escalier - remarkable garden (25km)
- Jardin du chateau de Kolbsheim - remarkable garden (26km)
- Jardin de la ferme bleue - remarkable garden (27km)
- Domaine du Windeck - remarkable garden (32km)
- Bischheim - ville fleurie 4* (32km)
- Obernai - recommended detour (32km)
- Strasbourg Grand Ile - heritage site (33km)
- Jardin botanique de l'université de Strasbourg - remarkable garden (33km)
Market days in Saverne: Regular market(s) are held in Saverne each Thursday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Saverne (Francais)