Presentation of the Alsace village of Eguisheim
|Eguisheim, the birthplace of winegrowing in Alsace, has 1850 inhabitants and nestles between gentle hillsides covered with 339 hectares of vines.
In the heart of the Alsace wine region, at an altitude of 210m, it is only 5kilometres from Colmar and close to the European capital of Strasbourg, Freiburg and to Basel. Pope St Leo IX was born here, and Eguisheim enjoys an international reputation.
Thanks to its winegrowers' skill, its remarkable soils and exceptional microclimate, Eguisheim's "Eichberg" and "Pfersigberg" slopes have been officially classified as "Alsace Grand Cru" vineyards.
Eguisheim is an active village, dynamic both commercially and gastronomically. Top-quality restaurants reflect Alsace culinary tradition at its best.
Throughout the year, its associations organise many convivial festivities including the annual and prestigious "Fête des Vignerons" during the last weekend of August.
Fortified in 1257, Eguisheim is proud of its picturesque and concentric narrow streets lined with half-timbered houses and rich floral decoration (French "4-flower" rating and National Grand Prix award holder since 1989 and European "Entente Florale" gold medal winner in 2006). Its 16 tithe courts, fountains and a church (containing a Callinet organ) all contribute to the historic personality of the village.
The parisch church is dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Rebuilt in gotic style in 1220, the only surviving part of the original Roman Church is the belfry. In the belfry, the 14th century roof structure support 4 bells, the largest of which came from the Abbey of Marbach. The doorway of the Church houses a sculpture in polychromed wood, called "the Opening Virgin". This work dating from 13th and 14th centuries, is one of only 2 surviving examples in Alsace, the other being in Kaysersberg.
The lower castle of Eguisheim, on the Saint-Leon square, is built against the distinctive 13th century octogonal ramparts of bossed stone.
The castle is accessible only during the guiding tours organised by the Tourist Office.
The welcome offered to visitors is of the same high standard as the remarkable cultural and architectural heritage of Eguisheim.
In Eguisheim, it is pleasant to stroll in the narrow streets in a warm luminosity that varies with the season and enhances the colourful palette of houses nestling up against its ramparts. A visit not to be missed!
- Every Thursdays at 5:00pm from mid-June to mid-September. Free guiding.
- Throughout the year on booking at the Tourist Office, in french, german and english. Payable guiding, 70€ per visit.
- Eguisheim castle (8th century), birthplace of Pope St Leo IX (1002-1054). Octagonal outer wall of the castle, a classified historic monument.
- St Peter & St Paul church, with belfry (1220) and Romanesque tympanum (13th century), classified historical monuments.
- St Leo chapel, where relics of Pope St Leo IX are conserved.
- Market square fountain (1557), a classified historical monument
- Fountain of the Virgin (1563)
- The Lower Gateways Foutain (1841)
- St Leo fountain (1834), one of the biggest in Alsace with a capacity of 80000 litres.
- Unique example of 15th century civil and military architecture. Narrow streets around the former ramparts are lined with half-timbered houses, balconies, bow-windows and pointed gables. Monastic tithe courtyards.
- The "Three Castles" on the Schlossberg hill: the 11th century Weckmund and Wahlenbourg, and the 12th century Dagsbourg.
- 13th century polychrome opening statue of the Virgin.
- Stained glass windows in St Peter & St Paul church and in the St Leo chapel.
- Numerous carved inscriptions in the stonework of houses around the ramparts.
Leisure facilities nearby : Children's play area ; Château ou fortification ; Hiking trail ; Location de vélos / VTT ; Patrimoine religieux ; Cycle lane ; Pétanque area ; Outdoor tennis courts ;