Alsace Lorraine

Alsace Lorraine has been shaped by convergent cultures over its long history. Its capital city, Strasbourg, is one of the major port cities on the Rhine River. In the decades after World War II, the city took on a role on the world stage as the capital of major cultural institutions, such as the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights, and the European Parliament.

Between Brittany on the western coast of France, Lille in the north, and the German border to the east, Alsace Lorraine has been a part of France since the end of World War II. This region, known as Elsass-Lothringen in the German, long has been a crossroads of cultures, changing hands many times as governments sparred and changed. As a result, Strasbourg, the other communities throughout Alsace France have forged a culture all their own.

The list of Alsace attractions is diverse as the landscape and cultures that shaped its heritage. In the historic city of Strasbourg, you'll find the stately buildings devoted to government and human rights, a rich array of museums, grand Gothic churches, and historical sites for various eras. In fact, the city has been declared a World Heritage Site like another French treasure, Bordeaux. Many of the Alsace attractions have banded together to create special packages with great rates including museum admissions, tram tours, bicycle rentals, and tours of the main cathedral.

Several of the Strasbourg hotels fill to capacity during the holiday season, which begins in November with the Saint Catherine's Day until Epiphany in early January. Since the 1750s, this city has hosted a Christmas market; Mulhouse and Colmar also have a Christkindelsmärik and holiday attractions to warm your spirits. During the last few weeks of the year, you'll find an array of inspiring things to do in Alsace Lorraine as carols fill the air and twinkling lights brighten the night. Many of the cathedrals open for tours and special Christmas services, the restaurants serve Christmas cookies called Bredele, and the shops unique to Alsace Lorraine are filled with one-of-a-kind treasures.

Things to do in Alsace Lorraine aren't limited to Strasbourg and the holiday season. More than 250 museums are found throughout the region. The Unterlinden Museum in Colmar in known for its religious art, while a classic car museum is one of the cool things to do in Mulhouse. Alsace attractions also include an array of feudal castles; some lie in ruins such as the Hohlandsbourg Castle. The Haut Koenigsbourg, still standing proud, is one of the most visited places in France. Still other places reflect the long tragic history, including the Alsace-Moselle Memorial, the Struthof concentration camp, and the Four à Chaux fortifications in Lembach.

The vast and changing landscapes invite exploration. Activities such as boating on the Rhine, horseback riding, skiing, golfing, kayaking, and cycling are popular ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Many of the Alsace Lorraine hotels offer their own list of activities and packages that combine overnight stays with interesting places to explore and things to do in Alsace Lorraine.

From January to December and regardless of what's included on the itinerary, Alsace Lorraine offers a rich array of experiences that can't be duplicated in any other place.

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