Where German and French culture come together: Alsace

Last year, during my spring break, I went to Alsace, a region in the North-East of France. The landscape is characterized by many vineyards and medieval towns. It’s a place where both the French and the German culture come together, since this part of France used to be under German power. Medieval towns, vineyards, castles, mountains… you find it all in Alsace!

♣ Colmar                      ♣ Haut-Koenigsburg castle                       ♣ Vosges

♣ Strasbourg                ♣ Riquewihr

– Riquewihr-

During my holiday I stayed in the beautiful town Riquewihr, where I rented an apartment. It was located in an authentic house, in a quiet street, yet very close to the center. I had a warm welcome and got tons of information about the region. Couldn’t wait to explore!

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The entire town of Riquewihr is car-free, which gives it the extra authentic touch. Strolling around here by day and night is a must!

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-Colmar-

The next day I went to Colmar. Also here, you can find the many typical medieval houses. I’ve been told the Musée d’Unterlinden is very nice, but unfortunately they were renovating at the time. I only got to see a very small part of it, so this was quit disappointing.

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– A walk through the vineyards 

It’s impossible to get around in Alsace without driving through the many vineyards. Many opportunities on your way to go taste or buy some wine! (I don’t drink wine myself, but have been told the wine is excellent in this area) You can also follow a wine route by car if you like.

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Back at Riquewihr I took the opportunity to do a small hike uphill to get a sense of the enchanting landscape.

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-Haut-Koenigsbourg castle-

I’ve seen quit a lot of castles already, but I must admit, this one is definitely something. The castle is located on a hill from which you have a magnificent view. You can choose to go there by foot if you like.

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– Strasbourg

My ‘host’ adviced me to avoid going by car to the center of Strasbourg. And she was right! It’s best to park your car outside of the center and take the tram/bus. (for example Ilkirch)

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The Hammerzell house: a beautiful rich decoration on the façade 

Eyecatcher, and probably a bit the symbol of Strasbourg is the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. During my stay in Alsace there was a documentary on the tv about this cathedral! It showed that it took a lot of years and effort to finish this masterpiece. If I remember correctly, at some point in history this used to be the highest building or church in the world.

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Taking a stroll along the river will give you many pretty sights of the city.

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I walked my way towards Vauban Dam, from here (on top) I had a nice view.

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– A historic hike in the mountains

Enough with the medieval houses (and some renaissance too). The Vosges are mountains near Alsace. Perfect to go hiking! I put on my hiking shoes and decided to do some sort of historic hike. This path takes you along former battle lines of the First World War, and for some reason, the First World War is a historic event I’m particularly interested in.

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snowy tops 
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you walk along the trenches 

– Last days: hiking and castles

So for my last days, I decided to do some more hiking. This time the path led me towards three ruins of castles.

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I had a great week in Alsace, this region offers a range of things. Would love to go back sometime around Christmas, seems super cosy!

5 thoughts on “Where German and French culture come together: Alsace

  1. Just discovered your blog as I saw you were also nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Rhiannon at ‘Wales to Wherever’. Alsace is such a beautiful region – I worked as an English assistant in Colmar two years ago – so I love seeing others’ impressions of the area. Glad to see you were able to explore the surrounding countryside too – I found it fascinating to see old WW1 trenches and German barracks when hiking in the Vosges. Look forward to exploring more of your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It really is a beautiful area. Thanks for sharing. We live in Switzerland but near to the Alsace and often pop over the border for a tarte flambée and a glass of Riesling! I have a poetry blog here on WordPress and today’s poem is about our Saturday in Riquewihr in case you have time to look? Sam 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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