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Alsace: Strasbourg fusion, romantic Colmar and the first wine route
in France
In the early February 2020 we set for a journey through Alsace - to get acquainted with the hotel product, visit Strasbourg and Colmar and, of course, taste the famous wines of Alsace.
The group stays at the hotel Régent Petite France & Spa 5*, situated in an old 17th century mill house in the picturesque district of the Petite France. The hotel comprises 75 rooms, a conference hall and a Michelin starred restaurant Le Pont Tournant managed by Chef Julien Ridriguez, who gained great appreciation thanks to his gastronomical art work.
Hôtel Cour du Corbeau Strasbourg MGallery 4*, a few steps away from the Strasbourg Cathedral, is located in a Renaissance building and considered one of the oldest hotels in France. Today it offers 63 rooms, each with a different décor and some with a private garden.
We will see another Strasbourg hotel: recently opened Hotel Les Haras 4*(only 55 rooms) situated in an old stable building – that is why images of horses dominate in the interior decoration. A group lunch or dinner can be arranged in the uniquely designed Brasserie des Haras.
Since we take our flight from Moscow to Frankfurt, on the way to Strasbourg, the group will stop for dinner in Baden-Baden (about 2 hours' drive from the Strasbourg airport) at the legendary hotel Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa 5* surrounded by the Schwarzwald forests.
The hotel, founded by the Brenner family and belonging to the Oetker collection, has a history of more than 140 years – among its guests were members of the Russian royal family, the Prince of Wells, Otto Bismarck and Charles De Gaulle. The German and French politicians attended international negotiations here.
The hotel offers 103 design rooms and an elegant gourmet restaurant Fritz & Felix.
After inspecting the hotels, we begin acquaintance with Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace. Strasbourg is a true international fusion, the blend of French and German culture. The main symbol of Strasbourg is undoubtedly the Strasbourg Cathedral, the landmark of the Gothic architecture of the 15th century, that remained the world highest Christian temple for four centuries.
The absolute highlight of the cathedral is the unique Renaissance clock. Every day at 12:30 it gives the mechanical performance: a bell ring is heard, the small figures of Jesus Christ and twelve apostles begin to move and then it ends with the procession of ancient Roman gods, symbolizing the days of the week.
The Kammerzelle House in the center of the photo below is the most famous timber-framed building in Strasbourg with the late Gothic foundation dating back to 1427. Today it houses a restaurant.
The most picturesque quarter of Strasbourg, featuring dainty houses built along the canals, is called the Petite France.
After lunch the group visits the second most important city in Alsace, Colmar. It is renowned for its romantic district the Little Venice, colourful and varied architecture, and Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, a native of the city, author of the New York Statue of Liberty. In Colmar his statues can be seen on every street corner.
The Pfister House on the picture below belongs to the most beautiful medieval houses in Colmar. It was built in 1537 for the hatter Ludwig Scherer.
Adjacent to the Pfister House is a timber-framed mansion with the wooden statue of a bearded weaver holding a measuring stick in his hand.
Manneken Pis, the landmark of Brussels, has an exact replica in Colmar. The statue was given as a gift in 1922 by the mayor of Brussels.
Jean-François Reubel, the native of Colmar, is believed to be the first President of France – he was the first to lead the Directory at the time of the French revolution.
In the end of the journey the group drives along the famous wine route of Alsace (the first in France!) and makes a stop to taste the wine at one of the local wineries. Alsace is renowned for its white wines such as Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, and also sparkling wines Crémants d'Alsace. We will taste all of these kinds and snack on Kougelhopf, a traditional Alsace Christmas cake considered the famous dessert of the French queen Marie-Antoinette.