Surrounded by vineyards set at the foot of the Haut-Koenigsbourg, colourful half-timbered houses and home of the Rouge de Saint Hippolyte or Pinot Noir of Alsace cultivated since the Middle Ages.
After that lunch in Osthouse, it’s time to continue the journey.
We set the GPS for Colmar, 50 minutes, it says. “That’s too far. I don’t want to keep driving endlessly in the motorway.” says H. But more than halfway to Colmar we saw a brown sign ,”Haut-Koenigsbourg”. I remember reading an article in our monthly town newsletter about this medieval castle in Alsace, one of the most visited monuments in France. ” Let’s go there!”
We saw the silhouette of the castle perched high on the mountain before us but what caught our attention was the town that we were passing through.
Saint Hippolyte, Alsace
This medieval-looking tower is the first to welcome you upon entering the town. It is the lone survivor of the 14th century fortified wall that protected Saint Hippolyte from enemy invasion. Named “Stork Tower” because of a stork that used to nest there.
The domed steeple of the 14th century Parish Church of Saint Hippolyte.
The main road where it’s highly recommended to explore every alley on foot as there are plenty of interesting buildings to discover: 16th century Rennaissance and 18th century Baroque houses as this town used to be the home of the Dukes of Lorraine.
This blue house reminds us of Hansel and Gretel’s cottage in the woods.
On the left is the 16th century fountain of red sandstone, now a historic monument.
Doors on the ground floor are normally wide for easy transporting in and out of materials for wine production.
These small windows are fascinating. My guess (1) that they are source of lights in the cellars of the house, (2) or they are made small so that passers-by couldn’t see what’s going on inside.
As soon as I find the answer, I shall post it here.
Signs of a wine-growing region is apparent in the facades of houses.
The Germanic influence is so strong as you can see on the metallic signs and even in the size of houses.
One of the many wine cellars of the town.
Wine cellars competing for attention.
Here is Charlie posing amongst the vineyards.
We shall return at Springtime when the leaves on this vines are out, and again in the summer when they get heavy with grapes.
Done (for now) with the town, we drove up to Haut-Koenigsburg but it started to rain and visibility was getting bad so we promised to come back when the weather is better.
But I couldn’t leave without taking a photo of the castle!