Alsace Museum of Communication

Riquewihr is one of the classic wine towns of Alsace, in a beautiful situation in the Vosges mountains, surrounded by vineyards, and with samples of wine available for tasting at several caves. The museum, founded in 1971 and situated in the chateau of Montbéliard Wurtemburg which dates from 1540, tells the story of postal services and telecommunications in France, with particular emphasis on Alsace. It is managed by La Société d’histoire de la poste et de France Télécom. There is a collection of the many kinds of vehicle that have been used to carry letters over long and short distances, ranging from the heavy mail wagon of the eighteenth century to the bicycle. There is a collection of postage stamps that were used in France from 1849. The history of telecommunications is illustrated by numerous items of equipment including early telephone exchanges and teleprinters, and the story is brought up to date with displays detailing the development of the Internet. 

The same organisation manages La Tour de Télégraphe Chappe, which was one of the posts in the semaphore telegraph system established across France from the 1790s. It is situated near the château of Haut-Barre near the town of Saverne further north in Alsace. Visitors are able to see demonstrations of the workings of a system pioneered in France but used in several other European countries that enabled news to be transmitted over long distances relatively quickly. The technology was quickly superseded by the electric telegraph and the tower ceased to be used from 1852.

Alsace Museum of Communication
Musée de la Communication en Alsace
3 Cour de Château
68340 Riquewihr
+33 (0) 389 - 479380