Alsace is the Germanic region of France. It is a region lying on the west bank of the river Rhine, between the Rhine and the Vosges mountains. To the north and east it shares a border with Germany; to the south with German-speaking Switzerland, and to the west with Lorraine and Franche Comté. Historically speaking, Alsace was part of the German-speaking area of central Europe, and to this day a large proportion of the population, of all generations, speak or understand Alsacian, a dialectal form of German closely resembling the German spoken in Switzerland.
In the last two centuries, Alsace has passed from Germany to France and back , and back again; consequently, it is a region that was not part of France at the time of the makings of the modern-day nation, and has held on to a number of institutional differences, particularly concerning religious affairs.
Eguisheim is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine in north-eastern France. Eguisheim produces Alsace wine of high quality.
Human presence in the area as early as the Paleolithic age is testified by archaeological excavations. In early historic times it was inhabited by the Gaul tribe of the Senones; the Romans conquered the village and developed here the cultivation of wine.
In the early Middle Ages, the Dukes of Alsace built here a castle (11th century) around which the current settlement developed. The commune was the alleged birthplace of Pope Leo IX in June 1002.
The village centre receives many tourists, as the Alsace “Wine Route” passes the village. The village is also a member of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (“The most beautiful villages of France”) association. (Its 2013 election is expected to increase visitation by up to 70%.)
Colmar is a city in Alsace, France. It was the last town in France to be freed after the second World War, on February 2nd, 1945. All of Colmar’s attractions are concentrated in its old town. For a medieval city, it is surprisingly big, but you can nonetheless get around on foot with no difficulty.
Although Colmar was French for most of its modern history, its population used to be predominantly German. Alsace changed nationalities many times in the course of history between France and Germany. During WWII Hitler reclaimed Alsace. Notwithstanding, you will still hear a lot of German spoken in Colmar, some because of the numerous tourists from neighbouring Germany and Switzerland, but some spoken by native Alsacians, speaking their German dialect called Alsatian. Colmar lies between Basel (French: Bâle) and Strasbourg. There is a direct train connection from both cities. Be sure to sit on the right side of the train to enjoy the wonderful views of the Vosges Mountains if coming from Strasbourg.
Kaysersberg is a former commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France. On 1 January 2016, it was merged into the new commune Kaysersberg-Vignoble. Kaysersberg lies north-west of Colmar, on the eastern slopes of the Vosges mountains.
The inhabitants are called Kaysersbergeois. The name means Emperor’s Mountain in German. The high fortress that dominates the city serves as a reminder of both its strategic importance and its warlike past. Together with the rest of Alsace-Lorraine, Kaysersberg was part of Germany during the period between the Franco-Prussian War and the First World War. Kaysersberg is one of the finest wine growing areas in Alsace. The first vines were brought here in the 16th century from Hungary, and wine production is still an important aspect of the town’s economy today. Wine produced from the Pinot gris variety is a local specialty.