Fodor's Expert Review Neuf-Brisach
Breisach Fodor's Choice
Three miles from Breisach on the French side of the Rhine, this extraordinary example of a fortified town is the last and greatest work by the 17th-century French military engineer Sébastian Vauban. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, the huge octagonal fortification, which contains an entire city, was built at the orders of Louis XIV after the town of Breisach, the king's former stronghold on the Rhine, was returned to Austria. Deprived of his stake on this important riverside front, Louis enlisted the help of his head engineer, who decided to design an entire fortified town from scratch. Though damaged in 1870 and again during WWII, Neuf-Brisach remains almost unchanged. Regular buses from Breisach train station connect Breisach and Neuf-Brisach via Colmar, a 10–20-minute trip.