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Alsace

Self Catering Holiday Homes in Alsace, France

Alsace holiday homes to rent in France - Rent-in-France holiday directorySearch Rent-in-France to find self catering property to rent in Alsace, France. Travel to Alsace and rent self catering holiday homes, cottages or gites in either of the two departements. Bas-Rhin which constitutes the northern half of the Alsatian region, and the Haut-Rhin departement which covers the southern half of Alsace. The 3 main cities are Strasbourg, Colmar and Mulhouse.

Alsace is the fourth-smallest of the 26 regions of France in land area (8,280 sq km), and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the sixth-most densely populated region in France. Alsace is located on France's eastern border and on the west bank of the upper Rhine adjacent to Germany and Switzerland. It is known as one of the most friendly and welcoming regions of France, although the local dialect can often be hard for outsiders to understand. Alsace was part of the German-speaking area of central Europe and a large proportion of the population still either speak or understand Alsatian - a language which is closely related to other nearby Alemannic dialects, such as Swiss German, Swabian, and Badisch. Over the last two centuries, Alsace has switched from being part of Germany to belonging to France, and back again. Alsace historically was part of the Holy Roman Empire and the German realm of culture. Since the 17th century, the region has passed between German and French control numerous times, resulting in a cultural blend. Germanic traits remain in the more traditional, rural parts of the culture, such as the cuisine and architecture, whereas modern institutions are totally dominated by French culture.

The political, economic and cultural capital as well as largest city of Alsace, is Strasbourg. With 702,412 inhabitants in 2007, its metropolitan area is the ninth largest in France. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department. Strasbourg itself is one of the finest cities in France. With its historic centre and a magnificent gothic cathedral, which plays host to an annual Christmas market held around it, Strasbourg attracts a large amount of tourists. Being one of the two seats of the European parliament is another reason why international visitors flock to this great city.

 

Strasbourg is the capital of the Alsace region and has over 700,000 inhabitants.
Strasbourg

 

Strasbourg Cathedral
Strasbourg Cathedral

Having been early and always densely populated, Alsace is famous for its high number of picturesque villages, churches and castles and for the various beauties of its three main towns, in spite of severe destructions suffered throughout five centuries of wars between France and Germany. Furthermore, Alsace is  famous for its vineyards and the Vosges mountains with their thick and green forests and picturesque lakes.

The Vosges Mountains
The Vosges Mountains

Alsace has a semi-continental climate with cold and dry winters and hot summers. There is little precipitation because the Vosges protect it from the west. The city of Colmar has a sunny microclimate; it is the second driest city in France, with an annual precipitation of just 550 mm, making it ideal for vin d'Alsace (Alsatian wine). Alsace is an important wine-producing region. Vins d'Alsace are mostly white and display a strong Germanic influence. Alsace produces some of the world's most noted dry Rieslings and is the only region in France to produce mostly varietal wines identified by the names of the grapes used (wine from Burgundy is also mainly varietal, but not normally identified as such), typically from grapes also used in Germany. The most notable example is Gewurztraminer. Alsace is also the main beer-producing region of France, thanks primarily to breweries in and near Strasbourg. These include those of Fischer, Karlsbrau, Kronenbourg, and Heineken International.

 Colmar
Colmar
One of Alsace's Grand Cru Vineyards
One of Alsace's Grand Cru Vineyards

Other Main tourist attractions in Alsace include:

Mulhouse - the largest city in the Haut-Rhin department, and the second largest in the Alsace region after Strasbourg.
Colmar - Situated along the Alsatian Wine Route, and the capital of the Haut-Rhin department.
Vosges mountains - a range of low mountains in eastern France, near its border with Germany. They extend along the west side of the Rhine valley in a north-north-east direction, mainly from Belfort to Saverne.
La Route des Vins - The Alsace wine trail is an approximately 170 km long road, crossing the main wine producing areas of the region.
Marmoutier and Neuwiller-les-Saverne - communes in the Bas-Rhin department.
Mont-Sainte-Odile - The popular hilltop Pilgrimage destination. It is a peak of the Vosges Mountains. The mountain is named after Saint Odile.
The Chateau d'Andlau - a medieval castle in the commune of Andlau, in the Bas-Rhin departement of France.
Haut-Koenigsburg castle - Legendary hilltop castle in the Vosges mountains, constructed in the 12th Century.
Neuf Brisach: The town's name means New Breisach, referring to the German town Breisach, located on the other side of the Rhine. In 2008, Neuf-Brisach was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Mulhouse
Mulhouse

Mont Sainte-Odile
Mont Sainte-Odile
  

 

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