In the heart of the Alsace vineyard and nestled at the bottom of a vine lined valley, Riquewihr is rightly considered as one of the most precious pearls of a region that is already little short of wonders. Nicknamed the pearl of the vineyard, this fortified town, whose origins date back to the High Middle Ages, offers the walker magnificent 16th and 17th century residences, Renaissance houses made of dressed stone such as half-timbered bourgeois houses, beautiful inner courtyards and galleries, old wells and fountains, and centuries-old cobblestones. A heritage that still lives on, enlivened by the wine-growing activity introduced 2,000 years ago and which, even today, is still making the prosperity of a town, while relying on an important tourist windfall, illustrated by the main street, a long corridor giving direct access to taverns or narrow streets. Property of the Count of Horbourg, Riquewihr has been surrounded by walls since 1291. In 1397, by marriage, the county of Montbéliard passed to the house of Wurtemberg. Thus, Montbéliard, where the regency was located, and Riquewihr remained together until the Revolution. From 1526 to 1529, it is the Austrian domination. The Reformation is introduced in 1534 by Count Georges de Wurtemberg. Two years later, the Latin school is opened, and in 1540, the castle being rebuilt, Riquewihr becomes a seigneurial residence. In the 17th century, the inhabitants experienced a period of prosperity, bequeathing us beautiful residences. Riquewihr, which embraces revolutionary ideas, will be attached to France in 1796. During the last war, when several localities in the surrounding area were completely destroyed in the winter of 1944-1945, Riquewihr was relatively spared, despite the proximity of the front and artillery fire. The geographical situation and the refusal to introduce lesser quality grape varieties explain the value of the local crus: fragrant muscat, noble gewurztraminer, and finally riesling with an insoletely fragrant bouquet come from the various sunny hillsides. Riquewihr has two grands crus: the Sporen and the Schoenenbourg, whose plots can be seen by following the Grands Crus wine trail. This path, which starts near the Tour des Voleurs, and a vineyard path, which crosses these two slopes from west to east, allow you to take in the vineyard and the old town, with its towers and gables. A real gem to be visited on foot, strolling through the pedestrian and cobbled streets, the village is to be discovered as a whole, so harmonious and attractive is it. The main street, rue Général-de-Gaulle, as well as rue Saint-Nicolas, rue du Cheval, rue Latérale and rue des Remparts have superb old houses. The rue des Juifs leads to the Cour des Juifs, a former ghetto, from where the Tour des Voleurs (museum) can be accessed. For in addition to its architectural beauty, Riquewihr has no less than five museums. A record for a city of 1,200 inhabitants. It would be tedious to make an inventory of all the historical treasures of the city, but don't miss the superb old houses, half-timbered houses, wells, galleries that animate the facades, oriels or courtyards that sometimes hide wonders, each architectural or historical element is briefly described by glass plates affixed to the walls. In addition, the tourist office offers free tours of the old town from the end of June to the beginning of September.

The must-see places in Riquewihr

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