Turckheim - Veilleur de nuit© B. Salmanski - ADT
© B. Salmanski - ADT
Relive history

Step into the shoes of the Turckheim night watchman
Experience 75

During Advent, the night watchman of the town of Turckheim takes us along on his rounds. We meet him at the guard house on Rue Wickram in a warm and bright Christmas atmosphere. We can hear the bells, it's 9 o'clock: here he comes!


The rounds of the night watchman

He’s holding a halberd in one hand and a lantern in the other, wears a three-cornered hat, and a horn around his neck. In his period costume, he seems to have stepped straight out of a time machine.

Should we get going? Not yet! The watchman also sings! An Alsatian melody that was used to tell the time and wish the residents a good night. This melody will be the soundtrack for the entire visit.



Turckheim - Veilleur de nuit© B. Salmanski - ADT
Le conseil de Liesel


Here are the lyrics so you can get ready to sing with the night watchman: Horricha was ich eich wel saja Dia Glock het tzeni gschlaja ! Han sori zu Fir und Liacht Dass uns Gott un Maria b’hiet ! Jetz stand ich auf d’r Wacht Gott gebt uns alle’ a guetti Nacht He'll translate the song and explain it all. There’s more to learn on a one-hour visit with the Turckheim night watchman than what you’ll find in a history book!

Turckheim - Veilleur de nuit© B. Salmanski - ADT

Dive into history

In the olden days, the night watchman protected the inhabitants from fires. He inspected all the chimneys and peered through the windows to check the dancing candle flames. But let's hear it straight from the watchman as we walk through the medieval streets of Turckheim.

The first night watchmen date back to 1540, and their job disappeared in 1939 before the custom was reintroduced in 1953. The watchman shares plenty of humorous anecdotes along the way!

Hats off to the volunteers who take turns playing the role of an authentic night watchman. We can see why this custom was recognised with a Grand Bretzel d'Or in 2012 by the Alsatian institute of folk art and traditions!

Turckheim - Veilleur de nuit© B. Salmanski - ADT

Not-to-be-missed surprises

  • The night watchman opens the first window of the Advent calendar in the heart of the Christmas market on the Place de la Mairie. Don't miss this event held on 1 December at 5 p.m.
  • On 24 December, the round ends with the ancestral song that the watchmen would sing as a family to present their wishes to the authorities and the residents.

The holiday wishes of the night watchman
© B. Salmanski - ADT
Experience 14

Enter in the wonderful world of the gingerbread of Alsace

Palais du pain d'épices - Gertwiller© B. Salmanski - ADT
© Lois Moreno - ADT
Experience 17

Everything you need to know about the starred soup
at Strasbourg's
Christmas Market

Strasbourg - Noël© Lois Moreno - ADT
© Lois Moreno - ADT
Experience 19

Enchanted Forest and Christmas activities
in Altkirch

Altkirch - La Forêt Enchantée© Lois Moreno - ADT
© Lois Moreno - ADT
Experience 18

To taste a spiced white wine in Alsace

Savourer un vin chaud gourmand au marché de Noël d'Obernai© Lois Moreno - ADT
©Max Coquard - Best Jobers

Alsace has everything for an incredible journey

Dreaming of Alsace
Étal de marché de Noël - Alsace©Max Coquard - Best Jobers
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