November, 2010

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The Maison’s appeal is reflected in the colorful, old-fashioned charm of this French/Bavarian region where lodging with full board is about $60

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

The Maison is quartered in a lush wooded valley on a site once occupied by a Cistercian monastery.

The Maison is quartered in a lush wooded valley on a site once occupied by a Cistercian monastery that played an important role in the region. Historically, and until the French Revolution, the village belonged to the Cistercian abbey. The town’s coat of arms is derived from the monastery’s seal. Today, however, the only remains of the Cistercian complex are a part of the walls, a stone portal and some 17th century caves.

Alsace has the look and feel of a foreign, non-French country. The older half-timbered houses, many with wooden balconies, are identical to those across the Rhine in Baden. To see Alsace at its most typical, follow the Route du Vin through scenic terrain dotted with wine-producing villages. Since Roman times, the Alsatians have tamed the hillsides that are crisscrossed with footpaths through the vines. Local costumes, wine festivals and much of the region’s wine product reflect the area’s Germanic roots.

The town of Eguisheim is an easy day trip from the Maison. Located on the Route du Vin, the town dates to the Middle Ages. Its charm resides in its fountains, winding flower-filled alleys and the beauty of the countryside. The name of the city comes from “home of Egino” the Count of Eguisheim. Archeological research reveals that tens of thousands of years ago, homosapiens from the Dordogne lived in the region. At the core of the fortified city are traces of a 13th century castle and three towers. The castle was built by Count Eberhard, nephew of Sainte-Odile. In 1049 Bruno of Eguisheim was born in the town; years later he became pope.

For more information go to: Monasteriesof france.com