The Alsatian museum was situated along the Saint-Nicolas quay, a bridge across from the Grande Ile of Strasbourg that is also known to be a UNESCO World Heritage. Easy to get to on foot, this museum is truly a gem that must not be missed when visiting Strasbourg!
~~ THE MUSEUM ~~
Opened in 1907 by Alsatians who wished to preserve their culture, the Alsatian museum showcases several rooms that highlights many different aspects of the Alsatian culture - from the rural life, architecture, religion to toys, furniture, ceramics. There are as many as 30 over rooms in which holds real historical artifacts as well as building reconstructions, neatly presented in a well-organised manner.
~~ MY VISIT ~~
Based on Tripadvisor reviews, I decided to put the Alsatian museum on my itinerary when I visited Strasbourg during the Christmas period of 2012. It happened that the museum was one of the attractions that were open on Boxing Day, which happens to be a public holiday in the Alsace region in France.
The museum offers free audio guides and I got the English audio guide - which turned out to be such a great way to get to know Alsatian life. The guide was highly informative and very useful because any accompanying texts for the exhibits are in French. The audio guide certainly did not cover every item, but there was at least a good explanation of the theme described in every room, allowing you to browse in detail with some background knowledge. There are videos around to explain certain processes such as how the Alsatian people used to make ceramics - and I thought it was pretty cool how the audio guide was able to time the speech at the same time as the video (in French).
I covered all the rooms leisurely and it took me about 2.5 hours, which I would say is a pretty good way to be introduced to the Alsatian culture beyond just the awesome food (tarte flambees and choucroutes) and the stunning half-timbered houses. During the cold wintry months it is also a nice hideout for travellers like me from the strong winds and freezing temperatures out there, albeit just for a few hours.
~~ TICKET PRICES ~~
Admission costs 6 euros for adults and is only 3 euros for reduced pricing i.e. students. Children up to the age of 18 go free!
~~ CONCLUSION ~~
I enjoyed the museum thoroughly and certainly did not expect that the museum would actually be so in-depth and thorough with its English commentary (based on my experience in other museums in bigger French cities..). For me, travelling is not just about seeing attractions or sampling another cuisine, but also getting acquainted with another culture, understanding how the culture has developed and evolved through the years really does make the travel experience tons more meaningful. I would certainly recommend this museum for anyone who shares the same thoughts on travel with me!