At first this pink building was a market hall, then the town hall. In 1575 the building was given to the corporations who kept here objects necessary to the life of the corporation, as well as the objects for the processions. Later it became a school, a police station and now the tourist office.
An imperial eagle decorates the pinion wall, and the bell-tower shelters a bell going back to 1658.
In front of the Corps de Garde stands a nice fountain called "Stockbrunnen" from the 18th century surmounted by a Virgin with Child. The fountain is fed by a source.
A local regulation from 1667 did prohibit to wash linen and to water animals at this fountain in order to keep the water clean.
Of the three tower-gates encircling Turckheim, the Porte du Brand had the most defensive vocation. The tower dates from 1377 and was equipped with a harrow, a drawbridge over a ditch and a double door which was kept carefully closed, except at the time of the season of the grape harvest. Indeed this gate was leading to the famous Brand Grand Cru vineyards of Turckheim.
The Porte du Brand was restored in 1843 and again in 2006
Inside the town this gate leads to the Rue des Vignerons with has many half timbered houses.
It simply won't do to put a simple sign up giving the name of your business. The true entrepeneur in Turckheim has a wonderful hanging sign that is a little sculpture describing the business. These are nearly all little works of art, most cut from iron and painted. It makes the village quite picturesque and certainly fun to photograph.
A nice part of Turckheim is that with the Church St. Anne and the square in front of the church with the town hall.
From the Romanesque church, which goes back to the 12th c., only the tower remains (photo n° 1). Chorus and Nave were built in the 19th century in a neo-classic style to replace the old Romanesque church.
The Hotel de Ville - Town Hall is from the 17th c. (left part of photo n°2)
In December the church square is decorated with the three colourful houses you can see on my photo n°3.
This is in my opinion the nicest building in Turckheim. The building is a pearl of the romantic Alsatian renaissance style. It is a classified historic monument going back to 1540. In those times it was called "l'Aigle Noir" (black eagle). Among the owners was a Hans Ulda who renovated the hotel and whose wife was accused of sorcery and burned in 1628 (see my tip on the Munster gate)!
Historic personalities lodged here: Albert Schweitzer, General Leclerc and General de Gaulle.
The hotel is located in a very nice part of Turckheim in front of the town hall and close to the square at the feet of the church St-Anne.
The comments in Trip Advisor about this hotel are generally positive.
The Porte de Munster stands at the western end of the Grand Rue which is the main street of the town.
The Tower-Gate of Munster, built in the 14th century, had a bad reputation and was called "Porte de Supplices - Torture gate" as many condemned to death, often for sorcery, passed here on their way to the place of execution, called Wann, located at a few hundred meters.
The small bell tower had a clock warning for storm.
It is by this gate in 1675 that Turenne, Marshal of the Kingdom of France, seized Turckheim which belonged to the Hapsburgs emporium.
The Porte de France was the main tower-gate and oldest (1315) of the town. She is also called Porte Basse "Niedertor".
All trade of Turckheim passed by this gate and still does as we could see from some traffic jams by delivery lorries and vans.
You better leave your car in the large free parking on the right of this gate.
In old times the double door was closed at the Evening Angelus and opened at the Morning Angelus. On the inside of the gate is the Place de Turenne with nice houses in the typical Alsatian style and colourful palette.
Remarkable is the stork nest on the top of the roof. A white stork (Ciconia ciconia) was occupying the nest in December although it was freezing; I thought that storks were migrating to southern countries in wintertime.
Actually more and more sedentary storks are observed in Alsace probably because people feed them. Scientists are studying this new behaviour of storks and the effect on their reproduction.
From May 1st till October 31 at 10 P.M. the nightwatchman ,tradionally dressed (with halberd,lamp and horn), makes his tour in the city.
He sings a song at every streetcorner.
Just follow him - It's a plaesant way to finish the day with an instructive and healthy walk.
As you wander through town, notice all the different windows, all beautiful. There are plain shutters, varnished shutters, stenciled shutters and flowers everywhere.