Alsace is a cultural and historical region in eastern France, very near to Germany and Switzerland. The architecture here consists of houses constructed with walls in timber framing and cob and roofing in flat tiles. This particular construction is famous in Germany and other regions of France.
Regarding the cuisine, we can say that is marked by the use of porks in various forms. It’s also famous for the wines and the beers. Furthermore, each year it attracts many tourists for its picturesque villages, churches and castles and for the various beauties of its three main towns, in spite of severe destructions suffered throughout five centuries of wars between France and Germany.
This zone has always been disputed between these two states. It’s not surprising considering its beauty.
In fact, in the names of the cities we can find some german influence.
First of all, the towns that we suggest to visit absolutely are Strasbourg and Colmar.
Moreover, there are four other small villages that we recommend: Mulhouse, Eguisheim, Riquewihr and Kaysersberg.
The capital of the Alsace region has one of Europe’s largest medieval quarters. In Grand Ile and Petite France the mix of cobbled streets and timber-framed houses is just perfect.
No surprise that Strasbourg has been the subject of a centuries-long dispute between France and Germany, that’s why it’s more exciting and beautiful.
Don’t forget that here you can find international institutions like the European Parliament.
Most of all, La Petite France is the most photogenic area in the city. The trades of fishermen and tanners has been constructed in this district of waterways, weirs and locks crowded by white and black houses. All were constructed between 1500s and 1600s. There are also lots of restaurants where you can eat traditional Alsatian dishes.
Another thing you must absolutely see is the Barrage Vauban: a fortified bridge and weir on the River Ill. The view from the roof is stunning.
Last but not least, there are so many churches and museums that can be visited during your trip to Strasbourg.
Colmar is the city that has been left untouched for hundred of years and looks like a theme park, although the timber houses and palaces are completely real and original.
Colmar’s old town quarter is so lovely, with street after street of corralled houses and pretty palaces decorated with lots of flowers.
Mulhouse represents the perfect combination of past and presence. Renowned for its rich industrial past, it has become popular for its technical museums. I really loved to take a stroll in the old town. The atmosphere here is very cosmopolitan that someone has nicknamed her as the “Manchester of France”.
Eguisheim is very near to Colmar in Alsace. Although is almost a part of Colmar now, historically it is a separate town with its own identity.
The cobbled streets are lined with traditional medieval brightly painted buildings. This thing is so common in Alsace. Thanks to its own charme, it’s not listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. There are lots of flowers, fountains and storks. Yes, storks! There are lots of nests in the medieval city center and it’s beautiful to see how the local people are trying to reintroduce them to the region.
At the heart of the Alsace’s vineyards, Riquewihr represents a perfect stop on the wine route. The village with its tiny streets has been very lucky to survive war and destruction. Surrounded by ramparts, the old 16th century houses are immaculately preserved as well as the fortified walls. Also in here there are lots of flowers and decoration.
Kaysersberg is a small town between Riquewihr and Colmar. It’s considered to be one of the most impressive cities in Alsace due to its medieval center.
Nonetheless, the landscape here is very picturesque: a valley surrounded by vineyards and hills with forests.
In fact, there is a pleasant main street, lots of painted houses, historical buildings and a pretty river that crosses the city. Very lovely scenery.
That’s all, if you need any other tips or suggestions don’t hesitate to write me below. Thanks!