Eguisheim The Gingerbread Village
Eguisheim, the village which is known for its high-quality Alsace wine and hectares of vineyards. Situated in the Haut-Rhin department in Grand Est in north-eastern France. In fact Eguisheim is now almost a part of Colmar, but historically it is a separate town, and it has its own separate identity.
The village wonderful highlight? except with wine, you can also adore its beautiful and tasty looking gingerbread houses all over the place. This commune has received zillion awards from its visitors and French local tourists.
An active village, dynamic both commercially and gastronomical. Top-quality restaurants reflect Alsace culinary tradition at its best.
Eguisheim The Most Beautiful Village of France
This small village was named the Most Beautiful Villages of France since 2003, it has also bagged the prize of the National Grand Prix of flowering since 1989.
Gold medal contest of the European Entente Floral in 2006. Eguisheim, the cradle of the Alsatian vineyard, wrapped in concentric circles and multicolored around his castle, no longer has his titles of nobility.
The village is also holder of the prestigious 4* ville fleuri award (the highest award) for its town garden planting and is full of flowers in the summer.
We’re not done yet, among other awards this gingerbread village received. Did you know that It was also named as the “Village préféré des Français” or “Favorite French Village” in 2013?
History of Eguisheim
Eguisheim, historical city: In the year 720, Count Eberhard, duke of Alsace and nephew of Sainte Odile, built his castle which still occupies the center of the town and it is this line that was born in 1002, in this same Castle one of the noblest sons of Alsace, this reforming Pope St. Leo IX, promoter of the truce of god, whose memory is here piously preserved.
Once the era of boiling pitch and molten lead has passed, the village has been fortify and it is what gives it its original appearance: concentric streets around the castle, the facades of triple thickness, Outside and pierced with loopholes.
This did not prevent the Eguishians from lovingly caring for a land planted with vines and fruit trees. For the virtues inherent in this terrain are summed up in the humanism of the vine and the wine.
Birthplace of winegrowing in Alsace has 1850 inhabitants and nestles between gentle hillsides covered with 339 hectares of vines.
In the heart of the Alsace wine region, at an altitude of 210m, it is only 5 kilometers from Colmar and close to the European capital of Strasbourg, Freiburg and to Basel.
Have you already heard of “Alsace Grand Cru”? if not then you should know that the winegrowers skill from this town, its remarkable soils and exceptional microclimate, Eguisheim’s “Eichberg” and “Pfersigberg” are officially classified as Alsace Grand Cru.
Pope St. Leo IX
Born Bruno of Egisheim-Dagsburg, was Pope from 12 February 1049. He was a German aristocrat and a powerful ruler of central Italy while holding the papacy. He was regard as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, his feast day celebrated on 19 April.
Leo IX is widely considered the most historically significant German Pope of the Middle Ages.
What to visit?
There are multitude places to visit in this small gingerbread town. But it always depends on how you wanted to spend your day here. In our case, we spend about 6 hours in this village and the result? Satisfied but we wanted more.
Top Places to visit outside the village are three castles dating from the 10th-12th centuries: Le Wahlenbourg, Le Dagsbourg, and Le Weckmund.
Inside the village, however, since it’s not the huge you can start with Rue du Rempart Sud, then Grand Rue in Eguisheim, after that there’s Place du Chateau with its Chateau, church, colorful houses, fountain, and storks! (Yes, there are storks)
On the other hand you can always wander around narrow paved streets full of beautiful old half-timbered (gingerbread houses) with geranium-bedecked wooden windows and balconies.
Lastly, Above all don’t forget to taste the local wine, which is available everywhere. Of course the tasty and delicious local foods.
We started our adventure by parking the car just before the entrance of the famous village. Take note the parking fee is to give for the betterment of the town. It was 12:00 pm after a long road ride of 4 hours to arrive at our destination.
Once we entered, those narrow streets were visibly stunning and blooming flowers startled us. This was the first time for me to come here, I never heard of this village before so it’s really exciting to explore.
If you haven’t live the real fairy tale life? you’ll experience it here for sure.
Wandering in the narrow paved magical streets, we bumped into these oodles shops along the way. The first one was the “Saucisse” shop will full of a various type of meat processed and made into sausages. We resisted not to buy anything yet since it was just 5 minutes since we arrived in the town.
Advancing further, there were some souvenirs shops will full of artisanal products made of “Pate de Sel” and Pates de Mais” It was the most interesting shop so far. Not just some magnets and souvenir figurines but also bags made of old pants (Yes old jeans)
I cannot repel myself not to buy, I’m taunted not to. So yes for the first time after just some minutes souvenirs are already packed.
The Central Square
When we stepped into the Central Square, it was like in a dream, which I wish not to be awakened. It was so enchanting that you could see yourself living in the place where Cinderella and Belle live.
The square composes of the Fountain of Saint Leon IX, Old Castle, and the Chapel. Surrounding the area are these wonderful and marvelous half-timbered houses.
Storks are also present in the neighborhood. I didn’t pay attention at first since for me it was kinda normal to see storks around. But as we explore the village more, it was more and more present and I cannot help myself not to take photos of their nests.
Castle and the Church of Saint-Peter and Saint-Paul
Looking at the topmost part of the Castle and the Church of Saint-Peter and Saint-Paul, you will actually see those storks nests. There is a Stork Sanctuary on the edge of the village where they are hoping to breed and re-introduce storks to the region.
The little church next to the Chateau has a very colorful interior view, unfortunately for us, we didn’t have much time to visit the both of these two historical places.
Former State Court of Unterlinden
The different sides and views are overwhelming to discover, every single corner of the street has it own specific and unique colorful designs of houses.
After the a while, we have decided to eat and had our finest local food with local wine. The white cheese called “bibalakass ail” is like cheese with garlic flavor and I find it delicious, coming from me who doesn’t love cheeses at all.
The tour didn’t end there, walking around was really great. Visited a bunch of shops and even ate a “red boudin” and tasted some fresh “dried fruits” and bought a lot of local food with us.
I’ll be featuring food tour separately as usual, I love how we enjoyed the experience in this small village. People were so kind and respectful.
Events and Festivities every year
Normally in September, the village will celebrate the Festival des Saveurs Musicales combines quality wine and music in the prestigious setting of the church of Saints-Pierre-et-Paul with its Romanesque bell-tower of the 13th century.
In December, the Christmas market of Eguisheim is one of the most traditional of Alsace. During this period the animations are many and the magic invades the village which sparkles with a thousand fires.
Finally, the festival of Winegrowers of Eguisheim is the oldest wine festival in Alsace. takes place on the last weekend of August that the Eguisiens celebrating more than 30 years of friendship.
During two days, the courses and the cellars are open to all for the tasting of the grape varieties of Eguisheim and Alsatian specialties. Orchestras of Alsatian folklore, jazz, and French varieties make dance young and less young until the end of the night.
How to reach Eguisheim
By train, Eguisheim is 7 km from the Colmar railway station (Gare de Colmar). From Paris East train station to Eguisheim will take you about 4 hours. Trains from Basel will be the best option, it will only take you about 2 hours and would cost 20-35 euros.
By Bus, one of the cheapest options however it will take you longer than expected. Busses that comes out for Basel will take 3 hours but only cost 5-11 euros. However, for those who are staying in Paris, this is not the best option.
Car, from Basel to Eguisheim, it will only take you more than half an hour. Coming out from Paris will be longer which is 5 hours (depending on the traffic) If you’re coming out from Zürich it’s gonna be 1 hour and 30 mins only. In our case, it took us 4 hours from the frontier of Belgium.
Bla Bla Car, I could say the best option if you’re around France. It’s the easiest and fastest among all. Perhaps not that convenient since you’re going to co-riding with someone who’s going to the same direction as you. Tariffs around the cities will start from 25 euros and above.
Eguisheim The Gingerbread Village
Very beautiful pics 🙂 I thought it was a German village from my first look at the main picture!
Thank you so much Marta, Yes, me too the first time I saw a photo of this village I thought it’s in Germany.
oh my gosh! I’ve never even heard of this village but now must go. My husband and I are planning an anniversary trip and now this is on my list. Pinning for later!
Wow, hopefully you guys will come here, it’ll be a magical anniversary. Thank you Meaghan for dropping by
Wow… such a beautiful village…. nice pictures.
This place is like something out of a story book
Thank you Nicola, yes it’s like it only exist in a fairytale story book but actually it does
Ok you have just heighten my thirst for travelling. Thanks for sharing such a amazing photos too. I need to visit this part of France
Thank you CutsfoHim, I guess you don’t have a choice but to travel, my pleasure to share to you this amazing photos.
France will always be in my bucket list.. After reading and seeing all these photos, I am now excited to see them personally.. wow just wow.. 🙂
Thank Macky Benj, France is indeed a bucketlist ideal country, tons of places to visit. You’ll visit it soon for sure.
This town looks straight out of a storybook! Definitely going on my bucket list!
Yes Lauren, absolutely one of those town that you can see of its photos from different fairytale books.
It sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing
Perfect little village to visit. Great article.
Thank you so much Florence.
thank you sharlene 🙂
Never heard about Eguisheim but it is really beautiful city.
Your post is amazing and each picture is worth stopping by. I felt if I was in Eguisheim myself travelling and watching everything
Thank a lot Pinky, glad to hear that you liked this article
Wow.a really wonderful and clean village which has everything for travelers..Are there home stays available there
Hey Somnath, yes ofcourse! some houses are actually hotels and B&B, even some are turned into boutiques and restaurants
Crazy I’ve never heard of this beautiful place called Eguisheim, steeped in history as well as lovely flowers and cute buildings. I’d like to check out Castle and the Church of Saint-Peter and Saint-Paul and love that they are trying to re-introduce storks to the region. Would definitely like to visit here, thanks for sharing.
Thank you Vanessa, I’m glad to hear that you like it. It was also a surprise for me, I didn’t actually know this village existed until I saw it from my partner’s phone, he showed it to me and proposed to visit it one day. Finally we did and so contented of our visit, due to our limited time we haven’t explored all the corners of the town but surely if you’ll go there save a one day city trip.
Oh my word what a beautiful place and some of the best photo’s I have seen they should be used in a travel magazine! I have never heard or ever read of Eguisheim before, thank you for sharing! I have booked marked.
Wow thank you Lisa, would love to see my photos in the magazine that’s for sure. I’m happy to share this simple experience yet unique in this unfamiliar place, One of the best places indeed in France.
This town looks so beautiful. Your pictures are amazing
Thank you so much Nofar, glad that you like the photos. thanks for dropping by.
Wow! I never knew of such a village. It’s so beautiful and colourful with lovely gingerbread houses.. Looks like a village from some fairy tale movie. Definitely a must visit place. Added to my bucket list. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Hey Shaily, thank you so much for those kind words. I do have the same impression as you have. It’s really like visiting a fairytale place.
This place is hauntingly beautiful owing to a vibe that the cobbled roads, and structures that cut the road in the middle. I have seen a similar road like this in Bombay (India), and fell in love with that place.
Thank you Katchutravels, same here I fell inlove with this place as well.
I never heard of this place! but its worth a visit! Paris is on my list I will landmark this place after looking at your pictures! Its a magical place to visit
Thank you Needa, can’t wait to see you photos as well, it would really be nice to take high quality photos in this village. Apparently mine is only took from my phone, I regret not bringing my canon with me that day.
Just WOW ! This is a beautiful post Lexie. Only sometimes in life you come across something as beautiful as this. All i can say is your four hours long drive was a success, at least am going there when I am in France. No matter how beautiful Eiffel tower looks on the internet, we aren’t big fan of conventional sightseeing, and we are always looking for hidden treasures. I have almost fallen in love with little gingerbread village. Although a difficult name to remember. . Eguisheim.. haha.. but its unbelievably colourful, flowery and postcard pretty. And hats off to you for capturing those shots, you have a photographer in you ! Train from Basel will work best for us i believe, am already excited. Thanks.
Wow, so glad ot hear that Moimehr, I’m sure you guys will enjoy it. It’s a worth to visit place, I think one whole day will be enough except if you want to visit all the vineyards and taste all the wines. I can’t wait to see you photos, happy traveling!
Looks like a great place to visit! So cute buildings! 😊
Thank you so much reachinghot. Yes it is a great place to spend your day.
This looks gorgeous! We’re planning a trip to Europe next winter and are looking for somewhere to have a white Christmas. Any idea if it snows there much?
Hi Mel, Eguisheim will be perfect plus you have some ski resort not too far from the place.
I love a place with so much character to it. This is wonderful!
Hey Farah, I’m definitely with you this is place with character!
Beautiful photos and list here! Must add a few to my travel list now!
Thank you Zoe, it’s a must place to travel!
Very informative post with some beautiful images. All of these towns in this region of France look so gorgeous. It’s made this region climb very high on my must see list! I’m bookmarking this for my future travels!
Hey Lynne, France indeed has tons of small villages around especially in Alsace, there are so many beautiful places to visit. Hope you can come here soon you’ll surely won’t regret it!
Great post with stunning images! I’ve never heard of this village in particular, but definitely saving for a future trip! Looks like a fairytale. Thanks for sharing 😊
Hey Katie, this is a living fairytale town for sure! Happy to share my adventure with you all!
What a beautiful city. I imagine the Christmas market or festivals there would be wonderful
Agree on you Maggie I’m super excited to come here on Christmas season.
This is such a colourful village! I love the way your post is informative and full of amazing images! I’d love to go and visit as I’ve been to many french cities, but only villages in the south west!
Thanks Amber, this is a worth it city to visit. You should come here soon!
Straight out of a postcard… and a fairytale book! It’s too gorgeous there probably is not a bad angle here.
Thank you Lisa, it is a living fairytale place. You should visit it!