Fun things to do in Alsace

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    Strasbourg

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated May 4, 2015

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    Strasbourg - the largest city and capital of the Alsace region. To this day, its well-preserved oldtown gives testimony to the fact that the Alsace was a very prosperous region in the Middle Ages.

    The magnificent cathedral (Straßburger Münster) dominates the city. There are many fine ensembles of half-timbered architecture, especially around the beautiful cathedral square and the "Petite France" area with the "Gerberviertel" (tanner`s quarter). As the Old Town (Ile de la Cite) is built on an island, many canals of the River Ill flow through the city (you can do boat trips, too). On its eastern side, Strasbourg borders on the Rhine River.

    The Beaux-Arts Museum in the Rohan Palais features many fine pantings. Strasbourg is also seat of many European and international institutions, like the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Court of Human Rights.

    Strasbourg
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    Zoo Mulhouse

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated May 4, 2015

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    I can only give a mixed review on the Mulhouse Zoo. The setting, in a tranquil park-like location of Mulhouse, is just wonderful; several themed gardens are integrated into the zoo. Especially beautiful (when in bloom) is the Rhododendron Garden. Most animal enclosures are O.K., but with few exceptions, the overall impression is not very modern, compared to other zoos. A few enclosures are pitifully small, like the Asian Lions enclosure, and there are a some animals with stereotypical behauvior. On the plus side, they keep some rarely shown animals like small cats and the South American Bush Dog. All in all: worth a visit if you`re there, but the zoo urgently needs a modernization.

    Zoo Mulhouse - Bush Dog

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    Kaysersberg

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated May 4, 2015

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    Kayersberg is an idyllic Alsatian village (ca. 2700 inhabitants, ca. 10 km north of Colmar). It became part of France in 1648. The oldtown has colourful half-timbered houses; two paths lead to the ruined medieval castle that overlooks Kaysersberg; great panoramic views from here.

    The most famous local is probably Albert Schweitzer, the doctor who worked for many years in mission stations of Central Africa. A museum dedicated to the life of Albert Schweitzer can be visited in Kaysersberg.

    Kaysersberg

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    Riquewihr

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Apr 30, 2015

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    The small village of Riquewihr (ca. 1200 inhabitants, ca. 12 km north of Colmar) has a perfectly preserved historic oldtown with complete city walls. A significant landmark of the oldtown is the "Dolder" gate tower. This village dates back to the 6th century, but only became part of France in 1793, in the aftermath of the French Revolutionary wars. Riquewihr was awarded as one of the prettiest villages of France. Today, it is extremely popular with daytrippers, so better visit early or in the late afternoon.

    Riquewihr
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    Haute-Koenigsbourg

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Apr 29, 2015

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    The Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg is a medieval castle 10 km distant from Selestat/Alsace, and one of the most popular visitor attractions in France. The historic castle, dating back to the 12th century, was in ruins till the start of the 20th century, when it was reconstructed according to the wishes of German Emperor Wilhelm II between 1901-1908 (Germany ruled the Alsace region between 1871-1918). Great panoramic views from the castle on the surrounding vineyards and the Vosges mountains.

    Haute-Koenigsburg
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    Colmar

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Apr 29, 2015

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    Colmar is a historic city in the Alsace region, with a medieval and renaissance heritage that is very visible in the city. The oldtown of Colmar is characterized by a complete ensemble of colourful half-timbered houses; especially in the so-called "Tanner`s Quarter".

    Another picturesque area is "Little Venice" with historic houses and bridges along the Lauch river. Other remarkable buildings include the medieval customs station and the "maison de tetes", a building with over 100 sculptured heads.

    The main church is the gothic "Martinsmünster", with a 71 metre high bell tower. The "Dominikanerkirche" dates back to the 13th century and features fantastic stained glass-windows from the same period. In the same church, one can find the famous medieval painting "Madonna im Rosenhag". The Unterlindenmuseum has an extensive collection of medieval art & sculpture, among them the famous crucifixion altar scene by Grünewald. The museum is closed in 2015; some artworks can be found in a temporary exhibition in the "Dominikanerkirche".

    Colmar
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    Chateau de Rohan, Saverne

    by gwened Written Feb 3, 2015

    This is another imposing castle in the saga of the Rohan. I past by here and as we have a Rohan decided to take a quick look.

    It is done in the neo classic style as the end of the 18C. The gardens are along a canal with a nice walk. The castle has an interior decoration that was not completed due to the French revolution.

    Inside it is now the musée municipal d’Alsace. It houses rich collections of archeology and history perhaps only bettered by those in STrasbourg and Colmar. The Espace Rohan - Relais Culturel de Saverne,welcome every year a varied program in its salon room of 500 seats.

    After a fire in 1779, the cardinal Louis-René Edouard de Rohan-Guéméné had it rebuilt and worked began in 1779, interrupted by the FRench revolution and the nationalisation of the castle in 1789. During the first half of the 19C the castle in ruins was saved from demolition. Between 1853 and 1857,emperor Napoléon III had it restored to house a home for the widows of public employees and military. After the war of 1870,the castle was put into a military barracks. After been acquired by the city of Saverne in 1952. Today it houses the museum, a cultural center, a primary school and and youth hostal.

    a wonderful property in city center.

    Chateau de Rohan patio to garden of chateau de Rohan
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    Abbatiale St Pierre et St Paul, Wissembourg

    by gwened Written Jun 25, 2014

    wonderful abbey in picturesque nice town of Wissembourg. Open for visits april to October from t. 9-18h, November to march from 13h30-16h30.wow whre to begin!!!

    It has superb elements of the gothic style construction that makes the second building of its kind in Alsace after the Cathédrale de Strasbourg. The furniture is from a copy of the 11C today no longer made or elsewhere... and inmense frescoes from the 14C representing Saint Christophe,decorated on the wall of the church, and a statue to king Dagobert, that was the founder of the abbey. The bells square and a passage chaple on the north of the church both of romanesque style from the 11C;just a superb building all around,a must to visit.

    It is here cited since the year 661 AD! many renovations and donors later still beautiful. The organ is from 1766;stained glass from the 11C,more

    The Church was built originally by the Abbot Edelin (1262-1293) to the famous benedictine princely Abbey of Wissembourg, whose origins date back to Dagobert 1 to 623.
    It was unfortunately destroyed in large part under the Revolution to be used as a fodder store. In 1803, it became the Catholic parish church.
    The stained glass windows of the choir and escutcheons date from the 13C.
    The large Crown Golden of the crossroads, back to the Revolution, is now replaced by a chandelier.
    The former cloister on the north side was never completed, but it is said to be "the most beautiful of the whole valley of the Rhine". Large funerary slabs, graves of the Abbots of the 14-15C, are visible.
    Behind the sacristy is a Romanic Chapel of 1033, now Deconsecrated.
    The square Tower, on the side of sub-prefecture, is a remnant of the Abbey Church, built around 1070.
    A huge fresco depicts St Christophe holding the child Jesus in her arms between the right Chapel and the choir. It was discovered and restored recently. And with its 11 to 12 meters high, is the largest painted character of France.

    Abbey St Pierre et St Paul arriving at abbey with hotel de ville on right
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    Church Saint Georges ,Sélestat

    by gwened Written Jun 25, 2014

    a wonderful church sometimes call a Cathedral by the locals. built for the first time from the 7C AD.
    Charlemagne visited in 775AD. The portals are from the 13C,statues from the 17c to the 19C inside so many to mention. an organ done from 1896.Painting dating back to 1789 abound. Stained glass from 1430 onwards. funeral monuments from the 11C;;;monumental clock dating from 1822.A calvary from 1817.

    its a wonderful building worth seeing in beautifully preserve Sélestat. You must see it.

    Church of Saint Georges side tower the chair at St Georges Stained glass by the altar at St Georges
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    Maison Pfister, Colmar

    by gwened Updated Jun 20, 2014

    nice house in city center, took my eye both day and night. Kept the night photo.

    The Pfister House was built in 1537 on behalf of the Ludwig Scherer Hatter who made his fortune with the silver trade in the Valley of Lièpvre. Despite its medieval characteristics, it is the first example of the architectural Renaissance in Colmar. With its oriel of angle in two floors, its wooden Gallery, its octagonal turret and its wall hinges that represent scenes biblical and secular, the maison Pfister became one of the symbols of the old Colmar. It owes its name to the family that the restored and occupied it from 1841 to 1892.
    The facade and the roof of this building have been restored in 2012

    maison Pfister night
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    Musée Unterlinden, Colmar

    by gwened Written Jun 20, 2014

    a wonderful little museum me think in Colmar not usual for me to stop by alone to museums but as my drives takes me to all France, well here it is the museum. Open in 1853.

    The Unterlinden Museum is one of the museums of fine arts most visited in provincial France.
    For more than 150 years, it is managed by the Schongauer company that has financial and administrative autonomy, and has the label Museum of France, controlled by the Direction of museums of France. Around the 13C cloister unfold the collections from the 15-18C. The most famous work, the Isenheim altarpiece has found its place in the ancient Conventual Church.

    On the first floor are also presented the collection of decorative arts, remarkable by its diversity (of beautiful pieces of furniture from the 17-18C side by side including a set of earthenware and porcelain from the factories of East of the France of the 18-19C and the treasures of secular and religious jewelry), and the popular arts and traditions of Alsace (objects testifying to the Alsatian culinary tradition from the 17-19C. Alsatian furniture, children's toys from the 17C to the beginning of the 20C.

    In the basement, the archaeological collections offer a pretty much complete overview of the different stages of the evolution of man, through innumerable objects of domestic life or funerary contexts, found mostly in half north of the upper Rhine. Examples include a Gallo-Roman mosaic dating from the 3C discovered in Bergheim. The basement also was presented the modern art section.

    nice and historical cozy I found i like.

    entrance museum Unterlinden courtyard museum
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    Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg

    by gwened Written Apr 20, 2014

    One of the marvels of France, and could not possibly be missed. I take every opportunity to stop by even when running on business. the official Catholic site for the Cathedral is here
    http://www.cathedrale-strasbourg.fr/

    The Cathedral Notre-Dame of Strasbourg is representative of the Gothic architecture.with 142. meters high ,it was the highest building in the world from 1647 to 1874, she is currently the second highest Cathedral in France after that of Rouen, completed in 1876, and culminating at 151 meters. It is the second most visited Cathedral in France after Notre-Dame de Paris.

    The splendor of the Cathedral is visible from far away in the Alsatian plain and can be seen from as far as the Vosges mountains or the black forest. It is located in an area surrounded by the river Ill, on the place de la Cathédrale, in the heart of the old city center of Strasbourg.

    A bit of history I like
    It is known that a Roman edifice was here , we know that a Cathedral was raised here by bishop Arbogast at the end of the 7C on the base of a temple dedicated to the Virgin of our lady but no traces are found yet. Many followed, until the current one was done between 1176 and 1439. Suffered great destruction during the French revolution; also lots of projectiles during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, and again heavy during WWII.

    Catholic worship is temporarily prohibited in the Cathedral by a decree of Hitler. His personal Secretary Bormann would confie that the Führer had 'transforming the Cathedral of Strasbourg in a national monument since it was claimed both by Catholics and protestants. The ceremony in honour of the victory, mixed with a semblance of religion and organized by the Wehrmacht at the beginning of July, 1940, corroborates these projects. In 1944, an American bombing damaged cross Tower(Croisée) and the north aisle.
    Tthe city of Strasbourg finally liberated in 23 November 1944, Maurice Lebrun, spahis of the 1st RMSM of the 2nd Panzer of general Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, deploys the French flag at the top of the Cathedral, following the oath of Kufra (February 28, 1941 , where future Maréchal Leclerc made the oath with his soldiers to not lay down their arms before he saw the French flag float on the Strasbourg Cathedral.

    The Cross tower or Croisée is covered with a provisional framework and a roofing in 1945. It will be restored and renovated from 1988 to 1992. In 1945, also held the presentation of the stained glass windows by the Americans who have found them in a salt mine at Heilbronn in Germany.

    The workmanship is remarkable and beautiful, you need to see it I am not good at this, just awesome, and others may describe it better here. You just have to see it.

    Next year ,2015 ,will be the Millenium celebration of the Cathedral and there would be many festivities so plan ahead ,the world will be over here
    http://www.cathedrale-strasbourg-2015.fr/

    as a side in the square or place de la Cathédrale you will find at no 16, one of the most famous woodenn houses in Strasbourg,the maison Kammerzell, built in 1571 in a Renaissance style.

    Cathedral Notre Dame of Strasbourg side belltower of Cathedral of Strasbourg
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    St. Martin Church

    by rexvaughan Written Mar 29, 2013

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    St. Martin Church is sometimes called a cathedral, but it is not as Colmar has never been the seat of a bishopric. However, it is a 13th Century gothic monument built of red and golden stones with colorful tiled roofs which give it a local Alsatian flavor. It is quite tall and is rife with huge columns which give it a very massive appearance. The inside is very spacious even with more massive pillars. The high apse windows, assisted some by interior lighting give it a somewhat airy appearance. One of the windows in the nave features a unique beardless Christ. The interior includes an ambulatory, a rare feature in Alsatian churches, When we visited, there was a funeral in progress so we did not explore the interior thoroughly. As Alsace has been alternately French and German, the church has alternated being Catholic and Lutheran. At the present, the two share the building.

    The soaring interior
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    Musée Unterlinden

    by rexvaughan Updated Mar 29, 2013

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    Due to renovation and expansion, part of the museum is closed from June 2012 to spring 2014.

    It is worth visiting the Unterlinden just to see its two most famous works, the Isenheim Altarpiece and Schongauer’s “Virgin of the Rose Bush” painting. It is housed in a 13th century Dominican religious sisters' convent and, outside the Ile de France, it is one of the most visited museums in France. The Christ in the altarpiece features a rather nasty looking skin condition covered with plaque-like sores as it was done for the Monastery of St. Anthony in nearby Isenheim. The monks there were noted not only for caring for plague sufferers, but also those suffering from skin diseases. The message was that he shared their afflictions. Schongauer was known to include people like those he knew on the streets of Colmar in his paintings. Thus, the Madonna has a very human aura.

    Admission for adults is €8 and includes an audioguide. Reduced prices for seniors, youth and children.

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    Sipping the wine

    by rexvaughan Updated Mar 29, 2013

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    Among many other unique characteristics of Alsace is its wine. I think it is the only wine region in France which names its wines according to the grape variety: Pinots, Muscat, Reisling and Gewurztraminer being major ones. There are several varieties within the groups and wines can be from very dry to a bit sweeter. Most wines in Alsace are white with the exception of Pinot Noir. Though many share characteristics and names with German wines, there are some which are unique to Alsace.
    There are countless organized tours of the “Wine Road” and a trek along it, whether with a tour or on your own, is a wonderful experience. In addition to delicious wine, the road is littered with exquisitely lovely villages. On our first trip, we rented a car in Colmar and spent half a day enjoying the rolling vineyards and villages with a bit of wine thrown in. On our second trip, a friend arranged for one of her childhood friends to show us around his winery which has been in his family for 13 generations, having started in about 1635. One surprising fact was that the winery produces about 50,000 bottles a year and yet its vineyards cover less than 30 acres which is in about 20 locations. As you can tell, I was impressed with the educational part of the tour as well as the sampling of nine of their wines. This kind of venture is best done NOT driving.

    With our friend Edouard in Wettlesheim Ribeuville

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