After spending a few days in the Strasbourg region, one thing became abundantly clear. Throughout the history of the region, the people have alternated between German and French control, which has left the citizens feeling more independent than identifying with any particular country. When our guide drove us down the wine road through some of the smaller towns, he made the statement that he only speaks French or German when he has tourists who speak those languages, otherwise he only speaks Alsatian.
Regardless of the political and cultural conflicts that may exist, the area is truly spectacular for its history and the medieval buildings that can be found throughout the area. We only spent a day traveling through some of the smaller towns, but every moment was a glimpse into hundreds of years of history. Regardless of the actual size of the towns themselves, crowds were in abundance as locals and tourists alike traveled to enjoy the small Christmas markets that each of these locations had to offer. We were able to purchase a Christmas bread, which is a gingerbread loaf, as well as some other handmade items both for Christmas as well as just for display.
Strasbourg also has some wonderful medieval buildings, both the patchwork wooden buildings for the poor as well as the opulent mansions for the rich. There was much to love about our time in Strasbourg, France, and we will focus on those in some upcoming posts, but we thought that we would start with what struck us most about our time in the area and that is the incredible architecture and a true sense of history. It is a different feel than some of the larger, historic cities, it was all about the medieval villages, the castles, and towns surrounded by ancient fortress walls. It is certainly an area that deserves to be visited, although the intense marketing of the wine road has made it a definite tourist destination, so expect large crowds throughout the year.
15 thoughts on “Alsace, Neither German or French”
It is indeed a very particular piece of Europe, and its inhabitants are known both for being staunchly attached to their roots, but also pragmatic thanks to their first-hand experience of the vagaries of History…
Yes, they are definitely attached to their roots and history. It was nice to hear someone so passionate about their history.
Wow what an amazing place, the medieval timbered buildings are absolutely gorgeous! I’m more than a little jealous of your travels :)!
They were very beautiful. We are very thankful to have the opportunity right now to explore Germany and Europe ☺
Beautiful images of Strasbourg and Riquewhir. Been there in Summer and it was very nice too. If you can, please check my pictures at:
Have a nice trip! Roberto
Thank you. It would definitely be wonderful in the summer. Your photos in your article were great.
So beautiful! I fell in love with half-timbered buildings when I was in Germany last year. I think they are so quaint.
Thank you ☺. Seeing these buildings is like stepping back in time.
I have never been to Alsace during Xmas time, your post made me consider
If we had no fog right now, I could almost see Colmar from my office window (30 to 40 km to the East from here)
A lovely post, thanks for sharing! We live in Switzerland but near to the Alsace and often pop over the border for a tarte flambée and a glass of Riesling! I have a poetry blog here on WordPress and today’s poem is about our Saturday in Riquewihr in case you have time to look? Sam 🙂
We wish were that close ☺☺. We will take a look at your site.
Thank you! Have a good day!
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