We had just finished dinner and were headed to the apartment when we passed through the Cathedral Square and noticed a huge crowd. Since it wasn´t even 9 at night and we weren´t in a hurry, we decided to wait to see what was going on. The facade of the cathedral was lit up like the rest of the various monuments of the city and suddenly, all the lights went out and the best known part of the 4th movement, Allegro con Fuoco of the Symphony of the New World by Dvörak started playing very loudly. Different colors began to illuminate the facade and the interior of the cathedral. It was truly an extraordinary spectacle. Unfortunately, our photos aren´t great but it was super beautiful.
Alsace is one of France's prettiest regions, with tons of fairytale villages that look like something out of a Grimm story. I'd recommend getting lost in the streets of Colmar, enjoying the colorful wooden homes and the cute storefronts, or taking a canoe trip then settling down to a nice dinner with a bottle of a good Alsatian wine like a Riesling. You can't miss the "Petite Venise" or the "Muelle de la Poissonerie".
La Petit France is the most beautiful district of Strasbourg. There are small cobbled streets that curve around the river that cuts through the city and beautiful, typically Alsatian style houses with limestone roofs and wooden windows. It´s a place to just wander around in, to relax, to remember in in pictures and to find small restaurants and little corners.
Strasbourg is half French and half German, it's a beautiful city that is a charm at Christmas. It is in the area of Alsace, is huge and is a very nice city with plenty of museums, shops, a huge cathedral and, of course, huge christmas markets, with the typical mulled wine, pasta and chocolates. I highly recommend it if you like Christmas. Also petite france is like a neighborhood that is stuck to the side of Strasbourg and is very nice, you can do a route on the ship where there is a Spanish guide to explain the history of Strasbourg.
Colmar is also called Little Venice because of its similarity to the Italian city. The city lies along the river. A small Turenne Street bridge offers a beautiful view showing the houses along the water. It has a beautiful view, with Alsace typical traditional and colorful half-timbered houses. The boat rides are still available!
It's considered the most beautiful town on the Alsatian Wine Route and, since Alsace is one of France's more important wine regions, visitors can tour many of the towns and wine cellars along the way. Aside from trying a nice wine, the best thing to do is explore the small streets and alleyways which remain as they were in the 16th and 17th century. That being said, it's necessary to leave the car parked outside of town :o)
In france, Mulhouse has the reputation for being cold. But now with the nearby airport of Basel - Mulhouse, more and more people are choosing this destination for a weekend break. And it is not that cold. I recommend going on holidays before Christmas, when there's a beautiful Christmas market in the Place de la Réunion. Mulhouse was once an independent state, but joined France in the 18th century after the French Revolution. The small beautifully-preserved medieval houses give off a Germanic influence, as does the town hall and the cathedral. To get there, it is best to train and remember that taxis from the airport run for 50 euros, and that there's no public bus at night. The city has a public bicycle service and two tram lines.
The Haut Koenigsbourg Castle is not only in the area, but it's the best-located in a strategic point at 800 meters high. All roads through the Alsace Lorraine pass by it, so the views are fabulous. Although the castle was originally built in the 12th century, fires and other unfortunate events forced its rebuilding. The last time it was rebuilt was in the 19th century and gave it its current appearance. You definitely won't be disappointed if you go see it.
This house is the most famous and most beautiful half-timbered house in Colmar. It was built of wood and stone in 1537 in Renaissance style. The house is painted almost entirely in the two plants that compose it. There are also balconies decorated with geraniums and other flowers. It is simply sublime.
Reasons to visit: It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the best preserved medieval cities. The Cathedral of Notre-Dame is one of the highest in the world; the Barrio de la Petite France, with it's houses of wooden beams, channels and bridges and dams is fantastic. It is the site of the main European institutions, they say it's the Christmas Capital where you should visit the Christmas decoration in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The flowers that decorate the facades in summer, are another reason to come to this beautiful French city at different times of the year.
In the heart of Colmar, a beautiful Alsatian city, one can find this historic building from the XVII century converted into a charming hotel. It has big rooms, wood beams, patios and breakfast with freshly squeezed juice and cheese. We are in France! It is the ideal place to pamper yourself during a tour of the Alsace.
The history museum of the city of Mulhouse is inside the town hall, which looks like a beautiful red dollhouse-type of meeting place. There we learned that from the ninth century on there's evidence that the plateau of Mulhouse had inhabitants, but that it was really developed in the twelfth century. The German Emperor Barbarossa put the pressure on to build a large church for the city to give it privileges. Mulhouse became an almost independent state. The rich typically bought their freedom to the king, and the king made this an option so that he could have all the votes of the city council. We visited the council chamber, where decisions were made in the city. Still bears the hallmarks of Mulhausen, its German name. The wealth of the city attracts workers from across the region, and Germany and Switzerland route until it arrives. The city becomes a specialist in fabric production. In 1800, Mulhouse had 7000 inhabitants in 1850, is 32000, while Basel was only 25 000. Another part of the museum is about everyday life, with beautiful antique furniture and children's games.
Place de la Reunion is the main square in Mulhouse and is a beautiful old place where there's a cathedral and town hall built in the sixteenth century. The pedestrian-only area has many houses from the 17th century which are painted in bright colors and very well-preserved. Many people think that eastern France is a gray, sad and tatty region with nothing to see. But in reality, everything is very happy there, like something out of Hansel and Gretel. The squat houses seem straight out of a Disney movie. I can imagine it at Christmas time, with the little huts selling regional treats and hot cinnamon tea. There is a "chocoteca" which sells chocolaty delights, cakes, or just hot cocoa, travel agencies, and tourist office in the large, pink Town Hall building. Here, you can find info about two walking routes through the old center with explanations about the buildings, and a small museum about the history of the city. Reunion square marks the time when Mulhouse rejoined France.
The oldest park in the city is a favorite place for lovers, joggers and Sunday strollers. Kids will love the play area too with its circuit of old cars, the mini-farm and the zoo (all free). Storks, on the verge of disappearing before, have been successfully reintroduced to the area. Since 1971 more than 800 babies were born This beautiful bird and the symbol of Alsace can be admired in all seasons. The lake has a romantic waterfall and you can go canoeing. or the Joséphine Pavilion hosts temporary exhibitions and events that you can check out. The Buerehiesel, a beautiful half-timbered house, contains a gourmet restaurant. There is also a little bowling spot and a terrace that give you yet another way to spend your free time.
The European Parliament Building in Strasbourg is the meeting place for the EU parliament. Strasbourg was, in 1952, the seat of the Assembly of the ECSC and EEC. But the area of the Parliament is also a good spot to go for a nice walk from the city centre, as there's a bike path that is quite pleasant to follow, leading you to the edge of the water. You can also see the building from the water if you take a boat.
The "Route des Vins" is an area marked by its precious landscape. Vineyards, fields of corn, wheat, villages hidden among hills, little roads that zigzage between trees and through tunnels. For me, I come from a place where the brown and yellow predominate, so seeing so much green is something exquisite to my senses. The truth is that I wanted to drive through the vineyards, on dirt roads, but the owners have them closed because of people like me ve would spend the day inside their properties. On the other hand, it's understandable on the other side.
Anyway the ones that I saw on the way to Pupillin were enough, there's no need to be greedy, wanting to see everything and while losing a little respect for the residents, owners and caretakers of these beautiful places, one is never happy when you see something as nice .., you always want to see something else. For this day was enough ... :)
As far as I know, this region extends from Strasbourg to Mulhouse, about 160 km from north to south, and from the Vosges Mountains to the Rhine from east to west. It is an area of vineyards, charming villages, and beautiful mountains. There are two unusual museums, the Mulhouse Automobile Museum, which is said to be the best in the world, and the Railway Museum, which is also very interesting. A wonderful region, with great wines.