Mulhouse, France Hotels, Resorts & Hotel Accommodations

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MULHOUSE

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Mulhouse is a city and commune in eastern France, close to the Swiss and German borders. With 271,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area in 2007 it is the largest city in Haut-Rhin, and the second largest in Alsace after Strasbourg. Its designated local development area consists of 16 communes, but its conurbation is substantially larger than that. read full wikipedia reference about Mulhouse, France

Thirty-five kilometres south of Colmar, MULHOUSE is a large sprawling industrial city. It was Swiss until 1798 when, at the peak of its prosperity (based on printed cotton fabrics and allied trades), it voted to become part of France. Even now many people who live here work in Basle in Switzerland. It is also the home city of Alfred Dreyfus, the unfortunate Jewish army officer who was wrongly convicted of espionage in 1894 . Not having much of an old town, it is no city for strollers, but there are four or five unusually good - and rather unusual - museums in the town and its vicinity that delve into the region's manufacturing past: wallpaper , firemen, railway, automobiles and fabrics are all given their platform. There is also a jazz festival in August, which is a good time to be out partying in this town, with concerts in the museums, the schools and the streets, as well as in the cafés and bars.

Close to the gare SNCF , just along the canal to the right, is the excellent Musée de l'Impression sur Étoffes , 14 rue Jean-Jacques Henner (daily 10am-6pm; printing demonstration on Mon, Wed, Fri & Sun at 3pm). It contains a vast collection of the most beautiful fabrics imaginable: eighteenth-century Indian and Persian imports that revolutionized the European ready-to-wear market in their time; silks from Turkestan; batiks from Java; Senegalese materials; some superb kimonos from Japan; and a unique display of scarves from France, Britain and the US. Also in the centre, the Hôtel de Ville on place de la Réunion contains a beautifully presented history of Mulhouse and its region in the Musée Historique (daily except Tues: May-Oct 10am-noon & 2-6pm; Nov-April 10am-noon & 2-5pm; undergoing renovation at the time of writing, the museum is free until the work is finished), which exhibits local archeological findings and seventeenth- and eighteenth-century furnishings.

Out of the centre of Mulhouse, near the northwestern suburb of DORNACH , in the direction of the A36 autoroute , is the Musée Français du Chemin de Fer , 2 rue Alfred-de-Glehn (daily: April-Sept 9am-6pm; Oct-March 9am-5pm); take bus #17 from Porte-Jeune Place to stop "Musée du Chemin de Fer". Railway rolling stock on display includes Napoléon III's ADCs' drawing room, decorated by Viollet-le-Duc in 1856, and a luxuriously appointed 1926 diner from the Golden Arrow . There are cranes, stations, signals and related artefacts, but the stars of the show are the big locomotive engines with brightly painted boilers, gleaming wheels and pistons, and tangles of brass and copper piping - real works of art. In the same complex is the Musée des Sapeurs-Pompiers (times and price as above), its antique fire engines and other memorabilia the personal collection of a retired local firefighter. A third museum, Electropolis - Musée de l'Énergie Électrique , 55 rue du Pâturage (Tues-Sun 10am-6pm), is devoted to the production and uses of electricity.

A couple of kilometres north of the city centre, the Musée National de l'Automobile , 192 av de Colmar (daily except Tues 10am-6pm; bus #1, #4 or #17 from Porte-Jeune Schuman or Porte-Jeune Place to stop "Musée Auto"), has a collection of over six hundred cars, originally the private collection of local business sharks, the Schlumpf brothers. The vehicles range from the industry's earliest attempts, like the extraordinary wooden-wheeled Jacquot steam "car" of 1878, to 1968 Porsche racing vehicles and contemporary factory prototypes. The largest group is that of locally made Bugatti models: dozens of glorious racing cars, coupés and limousines, the pride of them the two Bugatti Royales, out of only seven that were constructed - one of them Ettore Bugatti's own, with bodywork designed by his son.

  

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