Alsace : at the heart of Europe
On the border of Switzerland and Germany, Alsace benefits from a privileged position at the heart of Europe. The harsh winters are conducive to the Christmas festivities, and the hot sunny summers are what make this region ideal and prosperous in terms of winemaking.
The smallest of the French regions has been benefiting from strong cultural and commercial activity since Antiquity, thus creating its dynamism. Its strong regional identity does not prevent it from being at the heart of the construction of Europe and is in fact home to several European institutions.
The Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg
Built in the 12th century at 800m of altitude, it dominates the plain of Alsace. Expanded in the 15th century, its modern defence system was the prototype used for fortified castles in the mountains in the Middle Ages. It is one of the most visited French monuments.
The Cité de l'Automobile
With more than 400 models exhibited over 25,000m², it is one of the largest automobile museums in the world. Here, Bugatti, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce and Maserati compete to seduce visitors. The exciting history of the automobile is presented through films, interactive animations and simulators.
A well impregnated tradition
The traditional festivals are many and Alsatian is still widely spoken. It can be heard in the famous breweries or at the local Winstub (literally “room where one can get wine”), a typically Alsatian restaurant with red tablecloths and plenty of conviviality.
The wealth of the land
Gugelhupf, Bredele and gingerbread will delight all those with a sweet tooth. Those who have a more savoury palate will prefer a cheese from Munster, a flammekueche or choucroute (sauerkraut). All of it served with one of the 51 Grand crus from the vineyards of Alsace, schnapps or beer.
Every 6th December, St. Nicholas day is celebrated with songs and legends, and precedes the beginning of the Christmas Markets and their festive ambiance. The fragrance of cinnamon and biscuits then fill the lit-up streets.