The picturesque village of Eguisheim is one of the most beautiful villages in France, a hidden gem amidst vineyard-covered hillsides, which in autumn are aglow with wonderful colours.
If you stroll through the narrow alleyways on uncrowded days, you can immerse yourself in an ancient atmosphere: it will not be at all difficult to imagine carriages clattering over the cobbled pavement, to hear the determined footsteps of knights echoing around the walls or to listen to the dense conversations of the ladies, who walk silently in their rustling crinoline dresses.
Despite its small size, the village of Eguisheim has many surprises in store for visitors: picturesque narrow streets, charming corners, wine cellars where local wines can be tasted and purchased, craft workshops and an old-world atmosphere to savour.
One of the characteristics of the centre of Eguisheim is the double walls, built for defensive purposes in the Middle Ages: a concentric grid of houses starts here.
We advise you to walk unhurriedly through these narrow alleys, overlooked by the typical half-timbered houses, embellished by flower-decked balconies and made even more enchanting by the soft pastel colours of the façades. Don’t forget to look inside the large medieval courtyards: today they are home to many wine houses, which retail the fine Alsatian wines.
If you take a closer look at the houses in Eguisheim, you will see that many still retain the plaques of old trades such as baker, carpenter or vintner, while others were heartfelt pleas for divine protection from fires and military attacks.
Another highlight of the village is the parish church dedicated to Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul: it was built in Romanesque style, but was remodelled with Gothic additions in 1220.
Admire the soaring four-bell tower and the magnificent portal adorned with a polychrome wooden sculpture representing the Virgin Mary.
Eguisheim, like a real fairytale village, also boasts the presence of a castle, the Chateau de Saint-Léon-Pfalz: it overlooks the main village square and is surrounded by an octagonal-shaped wall. It is only open to the public during guided tours offered by the Tourist Office and in conjunction with major town events, such as the autumn fairs or the Christmas markets.
The village of Eguisheim contains enchanting corners and squares, complete with bubbling fountains.
The most beautiful is certainly the Saint-Léon Fountain3, one of the largest in the region, in the centre of the main village square.
Also delightful are the fountains in the Market Square, dating from 1557, and the Fontaine de la Porte Basse, built in 1841.
Looking up at the surrounding rolling hills, you will notice medieval ruins. They are the silhouettes of three elegant manors, of which only parts remain today. These are Weckmund, Wahlenbourg and Dagsbourg Castle, dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries.
To admire them up close, you can follow a footpath to the top of the heights from which they dominate the valley.
In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article
As you stroll through the ancient streets, look up often. You will notice a very curious feature: stork nests built in the most unthinkable places such as bell towers, house roofs and tower spires.
In fact, pairs of storks migrate every year to nest in this village. The villagers take care of the nests, reinforcing them and protecting them from the weather to ensure the return of the storks, an elected protected species and symbol of the region.
The village of Eguisheim is incredibly charming all year round, but there is a time when it transforms into a truly magical place: every street is filled with spicy scents and festive songs resound in the air.
The Christmas markets of Eguisheim have in fact been awarded the prestigious title of Villes et Village de Noel, for the fairy-tale atmosphere that is magically recreated during the Christmas festivities. In fact, the village sparkles with lights and colourful decorations, the streets are filled with wooden chalets overflowing with traditional delicacies and beautiful decorations to buy along with local handicrafts.
Guided tours and shows enliven the small village on weekends in November and December, when it is literally stormed by tourists in search of Christmas magic.
The village of Eguisheim, inhabited by only 1,500 souls, is very small indeed, and the accommodation options are meagre and the prices decidedly high, especially in conjunction with major events such as the Christmas markets.
The wonderful village offers charming accommodation in historic buildings and picturesque half-timbered houses. In addition, just outside the walls, there are B&Bs surrounded by vineyards for very special accommodation.
If you wish to have more choice, you can decide to stay in nearby Colmar, which can be reached in only 15 minutes by car.
What's the weather at Eguisheim? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Eguisheim for the next few days.
Eguisheim is very close to Colmar, which is only 15 minutes away. To reach Strasbourg, on the other hand, it takes almost 1 hour by car and 35 minutes to get to Mulhouse.