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Murbach abbey

a jewel of roman art in Alsace

“I grew up right by the famous abbey of Murbach which is still one of my favourite places in Alsace. Just imagine… the small village of Murbach, with its current population of just over one hundred, used to be in the heart of one of the region’s wealthiest principalities.”

A little history

It’s influence stretched over 350 localities on either side of the Rhine. The Swiss city of Lucerne, for instance, which now has a population of 80,000, was founded in the 12th century on land that belonged to Murbach Abbey! Nowadays, only the choir and transept remain of the old Norman abbey, but these remains bear witness to its former glory. The long, flat apse contrasts with our usual image of Norman architecture. The stripped interior is lit by softly coloured light filtering through the contemporary stained glass windows.

A baroque chapel

A few minutes’ walk up a Way-of-the-Cross path will take you to Notre-Dame de Lorette chapel which overlooks the abbey.

The esplanade of this small baroque sanctuary offers the best view of the abbey… Don’t forget to stop for photos 😉

Compulsory photo stop

From this headland it’s easy to see why the 8th-century monks decided to settle in the hollow of this small valley, away from the most frequented trails and under the protection of Grand-Ballon, the highest of the Vosges mountains..


Murbach Abbey is also the ideal departure point for some beautiful itineraries for hikers and mountain bikers, to Grand Ballon via Judenhut, or to the Hohrupf castle ruins…
Whether visiting Murbach Abbey or just hiking, don’t leave the village without seeing the medieval gardens located just before the village entrance porch. Created by an artist from Murbach, this park is now upkept by the villagers.