Attractions in Alsace

In every season and on every occasion, Alsace is amazing: at times gloriously gourmet, festive and cultural, and at other times simply natural and vibrant, but above all else, always welcoming! France’s smallest region, Alsace is constantly renewed by its changing beauty! All year round, Alsace awaits: come explore this rich and colourful region!

Alsace is the smallest region in France and now belongs to the Grand Est region along with Chamagne-Ardennes and Lorraine. Alsace is located on France’s eastern border and on the west bank of the upper Rhine adjacent to Germany and Switzerland.  The capital, as well as largest city of Alsace is Strasbourg.  Historically speaking, Alsace was part of the German-speaking area of central Europe, and to this day a large proportion of the population, of all generations, speak or understand Alsacian, a dialectal form of German closely resembling the German spoken in Switzerland. It’s Germanic heritage can be seen in its attractive villages of brightly-painted, steep-roofed and half-timbered houses. Alsace also has some of the most beautiful cathedrals and churches in Western Europe. Attractions in Alsace include the stunning Strasbourg Cathedral, a unique example of a mix of Roman and Gothic architecture and has the peculiarity of having one tower only and of being built with pink Vosges gres. The local culture is distinct, and the region offers historic cities and castles, and interesting countryside. A popular itinerary is the Alsatian Vineyard Route – fabulous for walking from town to town sampling the local wines.

see also: Cities in Alsace

Attractions in Alsace– Fortified castles highlighting the foothills of the Vosges, bunkers of the Maginot Line, the fortifications of Vauban listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, just like Strasbourg and its Grande Ile. The Roman temple of Mountain Donon will take you to a timeless universe and nearby, the majestic Mont Sainte-Odile, patron saint of Alsace, still intrigues with its Pagan wall. The towns of Obernai, Thann and Wissembourg have been awarded the Plus beau détour de France label. It is in Wissembourg, at the border France and of the Regional Nature Park of the Northern Vosges that you can visit the Saints Pierre and Paul Church, the second Gothic building in Alsace…..

Strasbourg

Strasbourg

Strasbourg boasts a unique cultural and architectural heritage, standing as it does at a crossroads between the Latin and Germanic worlds. As France’s seventh-largest city, Alsace’s capital celebrated its 2000th anniversary in 1998.

The château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg is located at Orschwiller, Alsace, France, in the Vosges mountains just west of Sélestat. The castle is nestled at a strategic location on a high hill overlooking the Alsatian plain; as a result it was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years’ War when it was abandoned.

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Ouvrage Schoenenbourg is a Maginot Line fortification. It is located on the territory of the communes of Hunspach, Schœnenbourg and Ingolsheim, in the French Département of Bas-Rhin, forming part of the Fortified Sector of Haguenau, facing Germany.

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Mulhouse

Mulhouse was open to the ideas of the Enlightenment and of the Encyclopédistes as early as the 18th century, drawing inspiration from these sources for scientific and technical projects. Second only to Paris, Mulhouse is now the city in France with the highest volume of visitors to its museums. Thanks to traditional alliances with the neighbouring countries of Switzerland and Germany, Mulhouse has a history of openness to the world, freely flowing ideas and a multidisciplinary approach, decisively uniting science, technology and culture.

Natzweiler-Struthof.  Natzweiler-Struthof was the only concentration camp established by the Nazis on present-day French territory, though there were French-run temporary camps such as the one at Drancy.

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The Protestant St. Stephen’s Church –Temple Saint-Étienne – is the main Reformed church of the city of Mulhouse in Alsace, France. Because of its central location on the main square of Mulhouse, the Place de la Réunion, and its 97 meter high bell tower (the highest steeple in the department of Haut-Rhin), it is sometimes referred to as the “Cathedral of Mulhouse”

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Strasbourg

Strasbourg boasts a unique cultural and architectural heritage, standing as it does at a crossroads between the Latin and Germanic worlds. As France’s seventh-largest city, Alsace’s capital celebrated its 2000th anniversary in 1998. The historical town centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its many attractions can be discovered on foot, by riverboat, by mini-tram or by bicycle.

Strasbourg Cathedral or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Strasbourg. The cathedral’s south transept houses an 18-metre astronomical clock, one of the largest in the world.

Strasbourg Cathedral and Astronomical Clock

Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

A leading museum on the European cultural scene, designed by architect Fainsilber. This vibrant space of contemporary culture features remarkable sculptures and reliefs by Jean (Hans) Arp and pioneering works of abstract art (Kandinsky), of masters of surrealism (Ernst Masson), and of major figures of contemporary art (Buren). A photography exhibition room and an auditorium, which focuses considerable attention on cinema and music, make this museum an important centre for dynamic artistic creation.

Grande Île, the historic centre of Strasbourg, France, is an island in the Ill River. Literally “Grand Island”, Grand Île was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.

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Mont Sainte-Odile is a 760 m peak of the Vosges Mountains in Alsace in France. The mountain is named for Saint Odile. It has a monastery/convent at its top called the Hohenburg Abbey, and is notable also for its stone fortifications called “the Pagan Wall.”

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Unique Attractions in Alsace….

Le Musée du Pain d’épices et de l’Art Populaire Alsacien. The museum is the result of more than 40 years of collection by Michel Habsiger. In an eighteenth century barn, set in 350sq.metres there are more than 10,000 objects tracing the history of Gingerbread.

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Colmar – Toy Museum. This is more than an exhibition, the toy museum is a magical setting where you will discover a varied, exciting and unique collection. Here you will find the imposing Cinderella Coach, the Britannia locomotive, a magnificent train network of over 1000 metres and animated displays which will appeal to collectors and ‘children’ of all ages.

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Colmar – heart of the wine country

Some of the most welcoming attractions of the Alsace are its beautiful villages and towns such as Colmar. It’s no wonder that Colmar is so popular. Picturesque, attractive, and situated near some of the finest wine-producing villages. Colmar – situated midway between Strasbourg, Mulhouse /Basel (Switzerland), the Vosges and the Rhine – sums up Alsace perfectly. Alsace’s wine capital and a town of art and history, Colmar is one of the most pleasant and most visited towns of Alsace. Shaped by its prestigious past and brimming with culture, the town has successfully preserved its architectural heritage while conserving a very warm and human feel. Colmar is famous for its historic centre, the Petite Venise quarter and the famous Unterlinden Museum featuring the Isenheim Altarpiece by Mathias Grünewald.

Unterlinden Museum. Thanks to an extension, the Unterlinden Museum now rivals the world’s largest museums. The project, managed by the internationally renowned firm Herzog & de Meuron, doubled the exhibition area, renovated the former Dominican convent and created a contemporary space

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Colmar is situated in the Grand Est region of France and is also the seat of the highest jurisdiction in Alsace, the appellate court. It is situated along the Alsatian Wine Route and considers itself to be the “Capital of Alsatian Wine” (capitale des vins d’Alsace).

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Kayserberg. Kaisersberg is a town on the Alsace Wine Route in north-eastern France. The name means Emperor’s Mountain in German.

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Ribeauvillé is in part surrounded by ancient walls, and has many picturesque medieval houses, and two old churches, of St Gregory and St Augustine, both fine Gothic buildings. The town hall contains a valuable collection of antiquities.

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Wine Lovers Attractions in Alsace….

The Alsatian Wine Route

At the foot of the wooded slopes of the Vosges, towered over by mysterious castles, Alsace’s wine-producing villages, with their surrounding walls, friendly inns with historical signs, and distinctive houses huddled close to the churches, never fail to delight those who take the time to stop off there.

The Alsatian Wine Route winds its leisurely way southwards through the hills of the wine country for a distance of over 170 kilometres. Along the way, paths through the vineyards, winstubs and refreshing, friendly winetasting cellars enable you to discover the seven Alsatian wine varieties, rich in the subtle aromas of each terroir.

A seemingly infinite expanse of carefully tended vines bask quietly in the sunlight; the peace and harmony of the vineyards of Alsace bear witness to the immense effort that has gone into shaping them. Worked for over 10 centuries now, the vineyards yield their precious nectar: the Grand Cru wines. As they noticed very early on that certain locations gave special characteristics to their vineyards and wines, Alsatian winegrowers have been making reference to the notion of Grands Crus since the beginning of the 9th century. Thus, the best terroirs were identified through observation and know-how spanning generations of winegrowers. Over time, they found the most remarkable soils, often steep and with ideal sun exposure. At present, 51 areas, delineated according to strict geological and climate criteria, form the mosaic of Alsace Grand Cru wines.

Official website – www.route-des-vins-alsace.com

Wine Route Cycle Path

Taking the same itinerary, but along a parallel route, the Wine Route Cycle Path, running alongside railways, portions of a former Roman road and vineyard trails, takes cyclists through picture perfect landscapes, with ruins of medieval castles, villages in bloom, Romanesque abbeys and undulating vineyards, without missing any of the attractions on the road itinerary. The bike path ends in Thann, the last city at the southern gateway to Alsace, at the base of the “Rangen”, a hill planted
with vines, so steep that the workers picking the grapes have to abseil down it.

A gentle bike ride that will allow you to enjoy the vineyards from a different perspective, without too much difficulty thanks to the many e-bikes available along the route.

Official website – www.alsacevelo.fr

There are Attractions in Alsace for the Little Ones too….

Ecomusee d’Alsace and the Little Prince Park

Together, these two sites form the biggest open-air museum in France and the first aerial park in the world.

Ecomusee d’Alsace and the Little Prince Park

Historical Attractions in Alsace….

Château du Fleckenstein is a castle in the commune of Lembach, in the Bas-Rhin département of France. This fortress, built in the shape of 52 m long boat, has a long history. The castle was built on a sandstone summit in the Middle Ages. An ingenious system for collecting rainwater fed a cistern and a hoist allowed water and other loads to be moved to the upper floors.

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Rohan Castle  is a Neoclassicist monumental building in the city of Saverne in Alsace, France. The 140 meter wide façade of red vosges sandstone is considered to be one of the most impressive examples of its kind.

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Great Treasures are to be found among some of the Attractions in Alsace….

The Humanist Library in Sélestat is one of the most important cultural treasures of Alsace, France. According to a traditional saying, Alsace has three great treasures: Strasbourg Cathedral, the Isenheim Altarpiece in Colmar and the Humanist Library in Sélestat.

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The Isenheim Altarpiece is an altarpiece painted by the German artist Matthias Grünewald in 1506-1515. It is on display at the Unterlinden Museum at Colmar, Alsace, now in France. By far his greatest, as well as his largest work, it was painted for the Monastery of St. Anthony in Isenheim near Colmar, which specialized in hospital work.

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Up-to-the-minute Attractions in Alsace…

Pixel Museum

Have a fun digital adventure at the Pixel Museum at Schiltigheim

A few minutes from Strasbourg, the Pixel Museum opened on 25 February 2017. It is the first museum of video games, connected leisure and video game art in France. From the first arcades to the latest-generation game consoles, the museum presents the history of interactive gaming and anticipates the technological challenges of the future! This one-of-a-kind collection features no less than 25,000 items, mostly from the collections of Jérôme Hatton, director of Ludus Académie, a school dedicated to the creation and development of video games and serious games in Strasbourg. The first temporary exhibitions focus on the famous worlds of Zelda and Mario Kart. A true living heritage, the history of video games is closely connected to local history. In Alsace, Alcatel produced its Visiomatic 101 console, and it was here that Karl Ferdinand Braun invented the cathode ray tube. In addition to exhibiting the collection, the Pixel Museum will also be an R&D space for students and researchers and a co-working space for young developers and starts-ups: the Pixel Factory!

Official website – www.pixel-museum.fr 

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