Riquewihr

Riquewihr is a medieval village located in the heart of the Alsatian wine country. It has managed to retain its original appearance, largely thanks to the fact that it was entirely spared by the many wars that raged around it during the last few centuries. Indeed, if it were not for the occasional car or small truck making its way through the cobblestoned streets, or the inevitable television antennas, one could easily imagine visiting a place during the middle ages.

The earliest settlements at Riquewihr date back to Roman times, but the real story of the place begins in the year 1291 when the village was protected by a ring wall with several towers; just about all these fortifications exist to this day. There were two entrances to the village: the lower gate, removed in 1804, and the upper gate, known as the Dolder. This gate is located at the bottom of a five-story tower that was used as a lookout to detect any potential foe approaching from the plain.

To today's visitor, exploring Riquewihr is a little bit like walking through the village in the Disney animated movie "Beauty and the Beast", except, of course, that Riquewihr is real. Vicki, Amelia, David, and I spent a few hours in Riquewihr on August 12, 2012, and the images on this page were taken on that occasion.

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The upper gate and the Dolder A first glimpse of the village... ...and we're in.

The upper gate and the Dolder

A first glimpse of the village...

...and we're in.


Timber-framed houses... ...of many colors...

Timber-framed houses...

...of many colors...


...all impeccably maintained... ... and of course innumerable tourists...

...all impeccably maintained...

... and of course innumerable tourists...


...that's what Riquewihr is all about. A more quiet side street

...that's what Riquewihr is all about.

A more quiet side street


Rue du Général de Gaulle... ...is what Main Street is called these days.

Rue du Général de Gaulle...

...is what Main Street is called these days.


The wrought-iron sign of a first... ...and a second vintner.

The wrought-iron sign of a first...

...and a second vintner.


Storks are becoming more common again in Alsace Artisans like this knife maker have their own signs

Storks are becoming more common again in Alsace

Artisans like this knife maker have their own signs


Each house is different... ...in color and style... ...but all are in perfect condition...

Each house is different...

...in color and style...

...but all are in perfect condition...


...and each one is adorned... ...with its own kind of flowers.

...and each one is adorned...

...with its own kind of flowers.


We had a drink under these umbrellas... ...and admired the beautiful color combinations.

We had a drink under these umbrellas...

...and admired the beautiful color combinations.


It's far more quiet away from Main Street... ...but every bit as clean and well kept.

It's far more quiet away from Main Street...

...but every bit as clean and well kept.


Back among the tourists The 'Hôtel de ville' is just a fancy 'Mairie' (city hall)

Back among the tourists

The "Hôtel de ville" is just a fancy "Mairie" (town hall)


4:30 pm: Too early for dinner Only a few steps separate Main Street from the vines

4:30 pm: Too early for dinner

Only a few steps separate Main Street from the vines


Rue du Général de Gaulle This vintner is famous for his Gewürztraminer

Rue du Général de Gaulle

This vintner is famous for his Gewürztraminer


What's with the stag above the gate? The crossbow-archer restaurant Heading for the vines

What's with the stag above the gate?

The crossbow-archer restaurant

Heading for the vines


A vineyard right outside the village A Riquewihr backyard

A vineyard right outside the village

A Riquewihr backyard


Painted shutters Back on Main Street

Painted shutters

Back on Main Street


Heading towards the Dolder Village fountain The Dolder gate seen from inside the village

Heading towards the Dolder

Village fountain

The Dolder gate seen from inside the village


These houses are part of the original ring wall In Riquewihr, every detail is worth a look

These houses are part of the original ring wall

In Riquewihr, every detail is worth a look





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