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Alsace Lorraine France

The Alsace Champagne-Ardenne Lorraine is the newly created Region that as of January 2016 merged three French Regions. Formerly, the Alsace was often referred to as the Alsace- Lorraine  even though it was just the Alsace. The former Alsace Region of France, sandwiched between the former Lorraine region of France and the German border, was the smallest region in France before the administrative move to combine the three Regions. This page is going to look at some of my favorite parts of the old Alsace Region.

 

Alsace Region, Ribeauville, France

Alsace Region, Ribeauville, France

In the Alsace Champagne-Ardenne Lorraine of France, half-timbered houses with window boxes of cascading geraniums and other flowers as well as storks perched in nests high on rooftops are familiar sights. To me, the houses have a “story-book” charm that I love. They look very much like the houses we saw in Austria.

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Keep an eye toward roof-tops where you will see stork nests. It was the raucous clapping-like sound that alerted us to their presence of the storks.

Taking full benefit of my 200zoom lens!

Taking full benefit of my 200-zoom lens!

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Beautiful red tile roof with a stork nest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite meal to order when we were in this part of France was the  Flammekueche, which is a cross between a pizza and a savory tart. The crust is very thin and usually topped with crème fraiche, onions and bacon. Since Friday night is ‘pizza night’ at our house, we frequently make this Flammekueche recipe instead of traditional American pizza.

We concentrated our brief visit in the former Alsace Region of France to the Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr area. Riquewihr is nestled in the Vosges mountains and is designated as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Car traffic is prohibited on the main streets.

 

Riquewhir, Alsace Champagne-Ardenne Lorraine

I love Riquewhir as it is a wonderful example of a Middle Ages village. The layout and architecture of this village have changed little since that time period. The wells, fountains and old wrought iron sign-work are fascinating.

Wrought-iron signwork in Riquewihr, France

Wrought-iron signwork in Riquewihr, France

 

Riquewihr, France: Alsace Region

Medieval timber houses in Riquewihr, France: Alsace Region

 

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Dolder Tower

 

 

The Dolder Tower and belfry is the upper gate of the town, part of the original town wall fortification. In front of Dolder is the fountain of gauging which was used to check the capacity of wine barrels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pain de Compagne

Pain de Campagne

 

This pain de campagne is a dense whole grain bread that is designed to last for several days even though it has no preservatives. You merely purchase a piece of the loaf as the length of the loaf is about 5 feet. It is dense and hearty and makes excellent sandwiches!

Riquewihr is considered one of the gems of the vinyards in this area of France and the neighboring village of Ribeauvillé is a wine producing village. There is nothing like vineyards to boost the tourism quotient.

 

Ribeauville, France

Ribeauvillé, France

Ribeauvillé, Alsace Champagne-Ardenne Lorraine

This wonderful little village of Ribeauvillé, known for its Riesling wine, is picturesque – one of many beautiful villages in the Alsace Champagne-Ardenne Lorraine Region. The fountains and wells found in Ribeauvillé were delightfully curious.

Ribeauvillé Fountain

Ribeauvillé Fountain

 

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Detail of fountain

 

Another fascinating Ribeauvillé Fountain

Another fascinating Ribeauvillé Fountain

This tower is known as the Butcher’s Tower because of the abattoirs and butcher’s stalls that were beside it in days long gone. It separates the old town from the middle town.

Butcher's Tower

Butcher’s Tower

There are 16 different hiking trails in this area of the Alsace Lorraine France and the walk from Riquewihr to Ribeauvillé is an easy 1.8km. If you are looking for peaceful tourism idea, then plan a day that allows for a hike. The Ribeauvillé – Riquewihr tourism site  has additional information to assist you.  Some of the most beautiful fortified villages are in the Alsace Lorraine France around Riquewihr-Ribeauville.

The Christmas season in France sees these villages become even more picturesque than at other times.