Alsace Lorraine France
The Alsace Lorraine is now the newly created Grand-Est Region which merged three regions, the Alsace, the Champagne-Ardenne and the Lorraine. 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. Let’s look at some of my favorite parts of the old Alsace Region.
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.
Keep an eye toward roof-tops where you will see stork nests. The raucous clapping-like sound alerted us to the presence of the storks.
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. Our Friday night is ‘pizza night’ at home frequently includes 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.
Riquewihr, Alsace Lorraine
I love Riquewihr as it is a wonderful example of a Middle Ages village. The layout and architecture of this village remain much the same since that time period. The wells, fountains and old wrought iron sign-work are fascinating.
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.
This pain de campagne, a dense whole grain bread, will 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!
Locals and tourists alike consider Riquewihr one of the gems of the vineyards in this area of France. The neighboring village of Ribeauvillé is also a wine producing village. There is nothing like vineyards to boost the tourism quotient.
Ribeauvillé, Alsace 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.
The abattoirs and butcher’s stalls beside the Butcher’s Tower in days long gone gave the tower its name. It separates the old town from the middle town.
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. The Ribeauvillé – Riquewihr tourism site provides more information to assist you. Some of the most beautiful fortified villages are in the Alsace Lorraine France around Riquewihr-Ribeauville.
These picturesque villages take on a story-book quality during the Christmas season.