Mulhouse is the chief city of an arrondissement of the Haut-Rhin department. Although the city is by far the most populous in Haut-Rhin, its capital is Colmar. Two rivers run through Mulhouse, the Doller and the Ill, both tributaries of the Rhine.
- Hôtel de Ville (16th century)
- Cité de l’Automobile: Featuring the Schlumpf Collection
- Cité du Train: The French National Railway Museum
Cité de l’Automobile
The Cité de l’Automobile, Musée National de l’Automobile, Collection Schlumpf contains the largest and most comprehensive collection of Bugatti motor vehicles in the world. Brothers Hans Schlumpf and Fritz Schlumpf were Swiss citizens born in Italy, but after their mother Jeanne was widowed, she moved the family to her home town of Mulhouse in Alsace. In 1935 the Schlumpf brothers founded a limited company which focused on producing spun woollen products. Fritz and Hans began collecting in earnest in the early 1950s, developing a reputation in the trade for only buying the most desirable models. During the summer of 1960, they acquired ten Bugattis, including two Type 57s and one Type 46 5-litres model. In addition the pair found three Rolls-Royces, two Hispano Suizas and one Tatra. By the end of the summer, they had purchased a total of 40 cars. While an enormous variety of marques are represented in the collection, it is now clear that the primary focus of the Schlumpf brothers was Bugatti. In 1962 he bought nearly 50 Bugattis. In the spring of 1963, he acquired 18 of Ettore Bugatti’s personal cars, including the Bugatti Royale Coupé Napoléon. By 1967 an inventory showed 105 Bugattis in the brothers Schlumpf collection. In 1981 the collection, buildings and residual land were sold to the National Automobile Museum Association. The collection includes over 520 vehicles, with 400 displayed in three main sections in chronological order.
Cité du Train
The Cité du Train (Musée Français du Chemin de Fer), the French National Railway Museum is the biggest railway museum in the world. In 1961, Mulhouse City Council offered land in Dornach to allow the SNCF to present their historical rolling stock, representative of the company’s history. In 1971, the first locomotives were provisionally placed in the old engine shed, Mulhouse-Nord. A second site nearby was opened to the public in 1983 at which stage the museum received 240,000 visitors a year.
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