Fun things to do in Alsace

  • A view from above
    A view from above
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  • Notre Dame Cathedral - Front Entrance
    Notre Dame Cathedral - Front Entrance
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Most Viewed 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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    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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    Sipping the wine

    by rexvaughan Updated Mar 27, 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.

    Hunawihr Ribeauville Jean-louis Schoepfer in Wettolsheim Tasting with our friend Edouard
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    Kaysersburg

    by rexvaughan Updated Mar 23, 2013

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    This is one of the most beautiful villages on the Wine Road, although each one makes you think you have driven into a picture postcard. Of course it is one of the fine wine growing areas in Alsace and wine produced from the Tokay grape variety is a local specialty. It retains a medieval atmosphere which is typified by the marvelous medieval church. It is also home to a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Albert Schweitzer who was an incredibly multi-faceted man who won wide respect as a musician, physician, theologian and philosopher. We were delighted to find that the home where he was born is now a small museum and the small admission fees (2€) go to support the hospital he founded in Africa.

    Albert Schweitzer's home/museum A mix of Alsatian architecture Fountain in front of the medieval church
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    Grand Canal d’Alsace

    by rexvaughan Updated Mar 23, 2013

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    The Rhine is a beautiful river and a major shipping lane but evidently the shallows and swift current in places is a bit of a problem. This channel was built in 1962 to enable shipping between Amsterdam/Rotterdam to Basel/Lyon and also to provide electricity to the area, producing almost a million kwh annually for that purpose.Marckolsheim was supplied with electricity in 1911, with a coal-fired plant located near the Canal du Rhône au Rhin. Since 1962, this role is performed by the hydroelectric plant installed on the Grand Canal d'Alsace. It annually produces an average of 928 million kWh. The locks and power plant are situated on a lovely stretch of the river and we stopped at a good time to see the locks in operation and a long boat coming through.

    Looking from the lock at the hydroelectric plant Boat waitng at the entrance to the lock Not much clearance to get through Through the lock Open lock gate is up
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