Articles avec #alsace tag
Riquewihr is surrounded by vineyards and one of the most beautiful town of Alsace.
It already existed in Roman times, then was a property of the Dukes of Alsace. Nowadays it is well known because of its wines and its Christmas market.
Riquewihr was nearly not damaged during WW2 so we can still admire the fortifications, the Dolder (a former defensive tower) where the guard of the town used to live and, above all, so many half-timbered houses.
I enjoyed walking in the streets and discovering plenty of specialities of Alsace : wines, cakes, biscuits, but also embroidery, crockery, dolls... There were so many things making me think about Alsace.
I came back home with wine (a very good gewurztraminer), a kugelhof, biscuits and a few typical goods of the region.
Riquewihr is so typical. I don't remember seeing so many traditional food and goods in such a small place. It was a complete change of scenery. So pleasant.
Last Wednesday morning we watched glass blowers making Christmas baubles in Meisenthal in Moselle and in the afternoon we visited the new museum dedicated to Lalique work in Wingen-sur-Moder in Alsace.
It is the only museum about Lalique creations in Europe and there is only another museum about Lalique in the world, in Japan.
An old glassworks has been restored and a new modern building added to it to make a beautiful and pleasant museum.
Our guide was very lively. She explained about Lalique family and how they have diversified their creations from jewellery to perfume bottles and then to other things.
René Lalique was asked to create the front of a perfume bottle for François Coty in 1908. He was not happy with his own work, just stuck on the front of the bottle, and chose to change the whole bottle. The first bottle is on the left on the picture, and the second one René Lalique decided to make and François Coty chose on the right on the picture.
It was the beginning of a long collaboration.
The work of the Lalique family includes dishes, carafes, and other things for the table, but also bigger or very big objects like fountains, chandeliers or even objects for chapels and churches.
At the museum shop we saw colourful fish and necklaces with information about Lalique, then some of us had a drink in the nearby café which shows beautiful chairs with a green top similar to Lalique work (no picture, sorry).
We enjoyed the tour in the museum, the explanations of the guide and also the surroundings of this place. It was not boring at all and really deserved the time we spent there.
After visiting the troglodytic houses in Graufthal, we walked down to the Protestant church at the bottom of the cliff. The door was open and people going out of it.
The building has to be repaired and notice boards explain what could be done inside. Nearly everything has been taken away apart from an old stove. As the place is not very big, a "normal" stove would have seemed alright, but we discovered something unusual.
The stove was made by De Dietrich, it is not an earthenware one as you can see in lots of places in Alsace. Instead of having a simple pipe going from the stove into the wall, there are plenty of parts added where the smoke and heat go before arriving in the pipe. They help to diffuse more heat in the building, clearly more surface means more air heated by the metal. We found it clever and had never seen a stove like that before.
I don't know if it will be restored, but I hope it won't be thrown away. It was another surprise in our trip day.
Graufthal is a hamlet near Eschbourg in Alsace, in the north of the Vosges mountains. I have known for ages that there are troglodytic houses there but I had never visited them.
When we left Réhaupal last week, we went to La Petite Pierre to see one of my husband's colleagues, then we drove to Graufthal a few miles away.
The houses are external built parts that lean on the cliff, painted in blue, so you see them very clearly from the road. They have been inhabited for about two centuries, but built at first in the Middle Ages to be used as attics.
Three families with children have lived in these small houses. Only one room has a wood floor, all the others have kept the stone to walk on. We saw two (or three) bread ovens. The rooms are small and a "first floor" has been built for the children to sleep on.
The last person living there died in 1958. It is hard to imagine how she coped, having to stay in such a small space, but, above all, such a low space. My husband was not able to enter any of the houses without bending and, inside, his head was not far from the rock.
We have visited troglodytic habitation in Turkey which were very different, nearly built completely in the rock, and also in Touraine in the Loire Valley. The latter looked as the ones in Graufthal but were higher inside and really more "comfortable". In fact, we have thought we could stay in one of them for a week, as some are used as gîte, and visit the Loire Valley again.
When we were in Eguisheim in August, we saw the whole Alsace in a window (my article dated September 24th). The second window of the same shop was about Christmas time.
In quite a small space, where red and white were the most visible, there were all the main things for an Alsatian Christmas. On the right you could see the traditional Father Christmas wearing a green coat, not the "modern" red and white coat, but the new Father Christmas was driving little cars on the left just near Christmas trees. Angels were singing not far from children dressed with winter red and white clothes. And, of course, there was a wood "tower" ready to receive candles which will make blades move at the top.
To remind you traditional food a goose and also different decorated mannele were standing in the same window.
On Sunday a lot of Alsatian homes will light the first candle of their Advent wreath, a first step towards Christmas. The houses show more decorations outside than in Lorraine, the tradition started there a very long time ago.