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DrivingAlsace Half-Day Driving Tour

This is a somewhat off the beaten path half-day driving tour of Alsace, focusing on the Vosges Mountains and Alsace's military history. The total driving time is 2 hour and 30 minutes. Click here for a printable version of this page.

The Signal de Grendelbruch offers you panoramic views of the Bruche Valley and the Plane of Alsace. The hike to the top only takes ten minutes. The area around the Signal de Grendelbruch was the scene of heavy fighting during WWI, when Alsace was apart of Germany.

The drive along the Route de Souvenir Français offers a wonderful view of the village of Grendelbruch with an 'almost on top' feel. The Signal de Grendelbruch is a hikers' paradise, with manly different hikes to choose from. The Grendelbruch military cemetery also offers a splendid view of the village and the valley.

Strasbourg to Signal de Grendelbruch (45min) - Leave Strasbourg on the Autoroute (A 35) direction Colmar; when the A 35 splits off with the A 352, take the A 352 direction 'St-Dié par Col'. Keep going straight direction St-Dié, as the A352 becomes the N420, passing exit 11

.

At the first roundabout, just after the lumber mill on the left, take the D704 direction 'Grendelbruch'. When D704 meets the D207, take the D207 again direction 'Grendelbruch.' On the D704 follow the signs 'Tout Directions.'

Once in the Village of Grendelbruch, look out for the town church on the left. Pass the church in the town square and stay on the D207 direction 'Schirmeck'. The road veers right in the town square. 100 meters after leaving the village of Grendelbruch, take the left, 'Route de Souvenir Français' road.

Stay on the Route de Souvenir Français, passing an intersection with rue du Hohbuhl. Once you see the military cemetery, stay to the left, and after about a kilometer, park in the parking lot on the right or along the road.

Natzwilleruthof Concentration Camp, locally referred to as 'Le Struthof,' was the only Concentration Camp in France; it was operational from 1940 to 1945. Except for some bungalows, most of the camp is still intact, including guard towers, crematorium and barbed wire fencing. The first bungalow, after you enter the camp, is a museum that houses prisoners' clothing and other objects of daily camp life, along with a map of all other concentration camps created by the Nazis. Natzwilleruthof's gas chamber was only used a few times, and it is not a part of the camp but is located about a kilometer away. Camp prisoners were mostly killed through the harsh labor they had to perform.

Next to the camp is a cemetery and memorial to those who died there. There is an entrance fee for the camp but not for the gas chamber. Guided tours in French only.

Signal de Grendelbruch to Natzwilleruthof Concentration Camp (30 min) - Turn around and take the Route de Souvenir Français back to the D207 and go left. Stay on the D207 following signs direction 'Schirmeck' and pass through the village of Ross. Once in Schirmeck, go left at the light, follow signs for 'Center Ville,' you are back on the N422. Drive through the village; you will start to see signs for 'Le Struthof'. Leave Schirmeck and pass though the village of la Broque. Once you reach the village of Rothau, take the D130 direction 'Le Struthof.' Follow the D130 to Le Struthof Concentration Camp. The gas chamber is just before you reach the Natzwilleruthof, on the D930 direction 'Chambre à Gaz.'

Natzwilleruthof to Strasbourg (1 hr) - Head back the way you came to Schirmeck passing through Rothau. Once on the N422 or the A352 follow the signs marked 'Strasbourg'.

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