Alsace is one of the tiniest and most densely populated provinces in France. Located in the upper east corner of the country, Alsace shares its borders with both Germany and Switzerland. The Upper Rhine River cuts across its eastern border and the Vosges Mountains lie to the west. The word Alsace is derived from an Old High German word meaning “foreign dominion.” It’s an apt word for this small parcel of land. From as far back as the Roman Empire, Alsace has found itself an unwitting pawn in the game of empire building. Great armies have swept across this land in search of the treasures and wealth found in Paris. WWII was particularly destructive as many of its priceless cathedrals and castles were destroyed. This tug-of-war resulted in Alsace effectively becoming its own region within the Republic of France. Its capital, Strasbourg, is a hub of political activity. Dozens of international organizations are based here making it the one of the most important regions within the European Union. The region has always been known for its fine wine. Roman soldiers returning from this area spoke highly of the quality of wine they found here. Today wine remains one of the top reasons visitors flock to this area. The ‘Route de Vin’ is a small road that connects the wineries and vineyards with cities and towns. Alsace is a particularly beautiful part of Europe. Castles and ruins dot the hillsides. Though heavily damaged, the towns retain the old European look and feel lost in so many contemporary cities. Given its history as a stepping-stone to lands beyond, tourists will find nearly as much German influence as French. Restaurants serve some of the finest sauerkraut and beer found outside of Germany.  Alsace has much for the tourist to do. In addition to wine tasting, the picturesque countryside makes for delightful sightseeing and day trips. Many excellent museums are here detailing the history of this area. The food is diverse and particularly good. TABLE OF CONTENTS: Introduction to Strasbourg & The Alsace Region Overview Culture Location & Orientation Climate & When to Visit Sightseeing Highlights Strasbourg Kammerzell House Strasbourg Cathedral Hunspach Mont Sainte Odile Colmar Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg Mulhouse Palais Rohan Alsace Wine Route Recommendations for the Budget Traveler Places to Stay Hotel Kyriad Mulhouse Centre Hotel des Vosges Aux Trois Roses Ciarus Hotel du Rhin Places to Eat and Drink Au Koïfhus Zum Strissel Au Tire-Bouchon Le P’tit Cuny Places to Shop Christmas Shopping in Strasbourg La Fromagerie Saint-Nicolas Bookworm Atac Supermarket Chamonix



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