Alsatian Vacation

Back in April we spent a weekend in the Alsace region of France, visiting a few little villages along the wine route, on our way to the Colmar Spring Festival.

First we stopped in Riquewihr, a darling little village of only 1228 inhabitants. It looks more or less as it did in the 16th century with cobbled stone streets and half-timbered houses and shops.


We spent the weekend in Colmar for their annual Fête le Primtemps (Spring Festival). Our bed and breakfast was housed in a 14th century building (updated and modernized of course), right near the Saint Martin Cathedral.

On our last day we visited the village of Ribeauvillé which dates from around the 8th century. I really loved this village, it sits at the foot of three castle ruins and the forest of Ribeauvillé is home to the largest giant sequoia outside of the U.S.

After we left Ribeauvillé, we drove up the mountain to visit The Château du Haute Königsbourg. The first records of a castle built on this site by the Hohenstaufens date back to 1147. It has been destroyed and re-built several times throughout history. But in 1900 a Berlin-based architect and historian was commissioned by Kaiser Willhelm II to rebuild the fortress completely, just as it would have been in the 15th century. The project took 8 years to finish and it really is an amazing feat of construction and technology of the time.

I absolutely love this castle. We did a self guided tour and learned a lot about the history and construction of the castle. Here in Germany, we have a lot of castle ruins, which are awesome in their own right, but it is really something amazing to see an “intact” castle with furnishings and everything so you can really imagine what life might have been like living there.



And the topper to the weekend was that we saw two storks in a nest onto of a building in Ribeauvillé. The stork is the symbol of Alsace and are seen everywhere on signs, souvenirs, storefronts, etc. But this was our first sighting of an actual stork.

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