Discovering Alsace We discovered Alsace whilst reading the “Stars and Stripes”, the American military newspaper printed for US Forces overseas. Since my transfer to Frankfurt in 1980, we enjoyed driving to the little villages for our Sunday lunch. Our first trip to Alsace was to WISSEMBOURG, a quaint little village, just across the German border where we had our first Sunday lunch at a one star restaurant. This was it, we were hooked. This was the beginning of a 20 year gastronomic journey through Alsace. There are few Sunday drives more charming than the one that takes you on the small roads that weave through the vineyards of Alsace. The scenery is idyllic, and one meanders ones way past ruined fortresses while traveling through romantic towns that retain much of their medieval charm. And in every direction one looks, one is surrounded by vineyards. The wine is white and the major differences between the wines of Alsace and those from Germany is the Alsatian vine is dryer and has a fresh, flowery bouquet, while the German wines are sweet. Alsace is unique, among French regions, due to its dual Franco-Germanic cultures. The majority of the population speaks French with a decided German accent, the cuisine is an able blend of French and German cooking and many of the towns of the region have German names and the village architecture delights in a pronounced Germanic influence. Alsace has more 3*** star restaurants than the entire rest of France. The food is first class and after the first taste, one keeps going back for more, even in none rated restaurants. The second reason this area has magnetized us is that they speak German, my mother tongue. After familiarizing myself and becoming acquainted with the restaurants, I began to introduce and persuade several of my friends to the Alsatian cuisine. I managed to organize two groups of my coworkers in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to take the initial step to eat and explore Alsace. One restaurant & hotel (nine rooms) called Anthons, was in Obersteinbach , a charming village in the heart of the Northern Voges Mountains. We traveled with Ron and Carolyn to “ Le Cerf**” in Marlenheim as well as on another trip with my Pan Am boss Bud (May he rest in peace) and his wife Vivien. I introduced my boss from Moscow, Jennifer and her husband Rick, to “Aux Armes de France” in Ammerschwir , which was followed by many more visits to Alsace. My Pan Am work colleague, Hank and his wife Marjorie joined us on a trip to “Le Chambard**” in Kayserberg. A further trip ensued with our dear friend Mayer, to “Auberge de l’ll***” in Illhaueusern. Auberge de l’ll***” is one of the most famous French restaurants. After much persuasion, our good friends in Houston Tcxas, Cile and Les visited us in Frankfurt and of course, Alsace was on the calendar, and we ate at “Le Buerehiesel***” in Strasbourg, placed in an authentic, half-timbered farmhouse, restored in 1904, and its modern glass roof nestle under the foliage of Orangerie Park. A paradise of Alsatian gastronomy! At the Ecrevisse in Brumath , managed for 7 generations by the Orth family served our friends Karen and Martin and ourselves their specialized lobster range of dishes. My Uncle Leon and his wife Bernice (May they rest in Peace) came to visit us in Germany and off we were again to Colmar, eating in Schillinger** with its elegant and quiet Louis XVI decor, and on the second day we ate at the Auberge de L’ill***. But remember if you would like to eat at Auberge de L’ill*** in the village of Illhausern you will have to make a reservation 3 months in advance. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of visiting France, I hope this trip will tell you something of the beauties of the towns and restaurants that may be found there.
Alsace is one of 26 French regions, located on the eastern border of France, on the west bank of the Upper Rhine, adjacent to Germany and Switzerland. Alsace was part of the Holy Roman Empire and is still inhabited by people speaking a dialect of Upper German. In the course of the 17th century, Alsace was gradually put under French sovereignty and made one of the provinces of France. Its capital and largest city is Strasbourg. "La Marseillaise" the French national anthem was written and composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle at Strasbourg on April 25, 1792. The Flag of Alsace
Jews lived in Alsace from around 1170 C.E. Alsace became part of France in 1648 with the Treaty of Westphalia, but it was only after the French Revolution that Jews were granted civil rights. Following emancipation Jews began to move from small towns to larger cities, and Strasbourg, which had a Jewish population of about one hundred before the Revolution, grew to over 1,000 by the beginning of the nineteenth century. It was during this emancipation, that 176 synagogues were built between 1791 and 1914 in almost every town and village. Jew Lane Jewish School Lane The town of Ottrott-le-Haut, in the Vosges Mountains, Alsace Jewish connection to Alsace, France
Replica of the Statue of Liberty in the Bartholdy museum in Colmar, Alsace Colmar,is the birthplace of Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904), the French sculptor who designed and constructed the world-famous Statue of Liberty that stands guard in New York Harbor.