Information About Alsace
Alsace has an area of 8,283 km sq, making it the smallest région of metropolitan France. It is almost four times longer than it is wide, corresponding to a plain between the Rhine in the east and the Vosges mountains in the west.
It includes the départements of Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin (known previously as Sundgau and Nordgau). It borders Germany on the north and the east, Switzerland and Franche-Comte on the south, and Lorraine on the west.
Several valleys are also found in the region. Its highest point is the Ballon de Guebwiller in Haut-Rhin, which reaches a height of 1426m.
Strasbourg is by far the largest and most important city in this region. As the name suggests, a city on a highway, the highway being the east–west trade and invasion route and the north–south river for commerce. Today, it is the headquarters of the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights, but it is rich in historic monuments and architecture and a magnificent cathedral.
Throughout Alsace there are artisans workshops, including glass and wood painting at Wimmenau and pottery in Betschdorf where studios and shops are open to the public. Organised walking tours that include overnight stops and meals en route are arranged from Colmar and Mulhouse. Bicycle trails are marked along the Rhine, where bicycles are readily available for hire.
The department of Bas-Rhin constitutes the northern half of the Alsacian region. The department is bordered by Germany to the north and to the east, the departements of Haut-Rhin and Vosges to the south and by the departements of Moselle and Meurthe-et-Moselle to the west.
Haut-Rhin is bordered by the Territoire de Belfort and Vosges départements and the Vosges Mountains to the west, the Bas-Rhin département to the North, Switzerland to the south and its eastern border with Germany is also the River Rhine.
Alsace food and drink
The wines of Alsace have a long history, the Alsatian grapes were planted before the arrival of the Romans. It has never been clearly understood where they originated and unlike other French wines, these depend more on grape type than soil or processing.