Sundgau, land of mills
Au 19e century, more than two hundred mills were in activity along the waterways of this small "southern county": flour mills, oil mills, hemp fullers, sawmills, paper mills, swift forges.
Each mill is a masterpiece of ingenuity: simplicity and efficiency of the mechanisms, perfect knowledge of the surrounding natural environment, perfect adaptation to the strengths and constraints of this environment.
Going to discover the Sundgau mills is to rediscover techniques and knowledge that are sometimes forgotten, it is to revive a whole rural society, it is also to renew the way we look at our environment.
At the end of the 80s, Bertrand ALBISSER sought to realize his dream: to buy and restore a typical Sundgau farm. It is in Buethwiller that he will find the rare pearl, the farmyard of his dreams. From then on, he will devote all his free time to its restoration. And what a restoration! Respect for old techniques (frames, cob), choice of the most noble materials (stone, flat tiles, etc.): the result is striking and raises the old building of Buethwiller to the rank of the most beautiful achievements of the Ecomuseum.
Electric motor, leather belts, grindstones for crushing nuts, stuffer for rapeseed, oven and steamer for heating the dough, hydraulic press: each element is in its place. Our tireless entrepreneur now wishes to open his mill to visitors in order to share his passion: during the next heritage days, for example, or for local school children, enthusiasts or families and invite you to contact him on 03.89.25.32.04 to make an appointment.
The Courtelevant mill located on the banks of the Vendeline dates back to the 1855th century and is listed in the supplementary inventory of Historical Monuments. Sold after the Revolution, a fire destroyed it almost entirely in XNUMX. A new mill was then built and the old mill was transformed into a dwelling house.
A water wheel of about 5 meters in diameter is installed as well as the most modern processes of the time in order to produce very good quality flour.
The same family operated it for a century before it was gradually abandoned in 1905, victim of the establishment of large flour mills with lower production costs.
This 1855 mill has remained untouched and the whole has been preserved in exceptional condition.
The association "Les Amis du Moulin de Courtelevant" was created in 1988 with the aim of safeguarding, restoring and running the mill.
Thus, after major renovations, this mill, today the Museum of Grinding Techniques, produces flour thanks to a team of enthusiasts.
The Hundsbach mill stopped working in 1925. If on the outside the bucket wheel disappeared as well as the water supply pipe, inside everything remained in place: the machinery (three pairs of grinding wheels) as well as than the worker's bedroom upstairs.
We are in the presence of a sleeping mill after centuries of operation. The current building dates from the 18th century but the existence of this mill is attested from 1394.
The owners of the place, with the help of an association, undertook to restore all the buildings and revive this mill which is an important part of the heritage of the Thalbach valley, by opening it to the public.
The charming guest rooms "la meunière" welcome you in this unique and green setting in the middle of the Hundsbach valley, a paradise for cyclists and hikers.
Guided tour :
Visit for individuals and groups by reservation from April to October, and during the Heritage Day (September), the National Day of the Mills (June), and the Melhi'arts (August).