Alsace: The region and places of interest





Embraced by the Vosges Mountains and the remainder of France to the west and the Rhine River and Germany to the east, the geological complexities of Alsace have been a major factor behind the wide range of wines fashioned in this relatively small region.
 
Produced under three different Appellations d'Origine Contrôlées (AOCs) - Alsace AOC for white, rosé and red, Alsace Grand Cru AOC for white wines from certain classified vineyards and Crémant d'Alsace AOC for sparkling wines - the region has a strong Germanic influence and is widely regarded as a white wine region noted for their famous Rieslings and highly aromatic Gewürztraminer wines.
 
 

Like the vast majority of France’s famed wine regions, Alsace boasts far more than a viticultural history of note and it remains a hugely attractive destination for tourists keen to experience the breath-taking views, important cities like Strasbourg, historical castles and the quaint little villages dotted majestically along the area’s iconic Wine Route.

The aforementioned Strasbourg is the capital of Alsace and its historical centre was the first city in France to be classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its plethora of beautiful buildings is a testament to its lofty standing. Home to the European parliament and resting quietly on the banks of the Rhine River, the gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame and its eye-catching spire is a totem of the region’s rich heritage.
 
Image by flosch42  
 
Image by Nathan Guy 
 
The city is also home to Le Palais Rohan – a shining example of baroque architecture and since the end of the 19th century, residence to the three most important museums in the city: the Archaeological Museum (Musée archéologique, basement), the Museum of Decorative Arts (Musée des Arts décoratifs, ground floor) and the Museum of Fine Arts all of which remain hugely popular.
 
Image by Spiterman
 
The town of Eguisheim, listed as one of Les plus beaux villages de France (Most Beautiful Villages of France) in the Haut-Rhin department near Colmar in Alsace, looks like a creation from a fairy-tale, with its idyllic cobbled streets and half-timbered medieval buildings. The Rue du Rempart Sud and the 8th century chateau are places of note to take in on your travels, while the peaceful surroundings of the two Renaissance fountains are equally picturesque.
 
Image by Russ Bowling 
 
The town of Colmar, like Eguisheim, has a mythical charm to it and it remains the epicentre of the wine trade in Alsace as well as home to some notable pieces of art that mostly reside in the Unterlinden Museum. 

Le Chateau Haut-Koenigsbourg, west of Sélestat, is an imposing 12th century castle that is one of the most visited attractions in Alsace, not only for its remarkable architecture but also for the stunning views which are amongst the best in the entire region.
 
 
Image by Vincent  

While Alsace’s reputation for producing fine wines often dominates the region’s position on the tourist trail, the areas varied and at times chequered history makes it an intriguing place for those not solely interested in the nuisances of terroir. The mountain scenery of the Vosges and the array of towns, eye-catching architecture and numerous notable museums are a testament to Alsace’s intrigue.
 
 Image by Vincent 
 
Main Image by alh1 

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