Riquewihr – the fortified city around 1500 AD. JC.
Reproduction issue du Livre illustré : Villes fortifiées d’Alsace et châteaux de plaine de Guy Trendel (Auteur), Christophe Carmona (Illustrations)
Publisher: ID Publishing; Illustrated Edition (April 1, 2016)
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Riquewihr takes its name from its first owner in Roman times, “Riko”, who realized the potential of the land. From the name of his domain “Richovilla”, the name of the city will become “Richovilare” then Riquewihr.
The first mention of Riquewihr dates from 1094, the village was then a possession of the counts of Horbourg who built the first fortified enclosure in 1291. A second enclosure was added later and the village obtained city status in 1320.
Riquewihr was sold in 1324 by the Counts of Horbourg to Ulrich X of Württemberg.
The city remains in the lordship of Horbourg-Riquewihr until the Revolution. The golden age of the city is in the 16th century, a period during which it grew rich thanks to the vineyard. The city was attached to France in 1796. The city suffered little damage during the two world wars, which explains its extraordinary state of preservation.
Riquewihr is one of the best known villages in the region, and probably the most visited. Its location in the middle of the vineyards gives it a crazy charm. The village obviously has many half-timbered houses, superbly displayed and decorated with flowers, and the very well-preserved ramparts surround this pearl of the vineyard.
Rue du General de Gaulle – Rue de la Couronne
Approach the town from below and walk up the main street: rue du Général De Gaulle.
This street which goes from the town hall (dated 1808) to the Dolder (former belfry of the town), is lined with magnificent Renaissance and half-timbered houses.
Note at n°13, a beautiful house with oriel windows from the 16th century and at n°14 the one which is said to be the tallest half-timbered house in Alsace.
Other very beautiful houses, often very flowery, are on your way to the Dolder.
Take on your left in the rue de la Couronne
Go back to rue du Général de Gaulle and continue your walk…
You approach the second part of this main street…
The old belfry built in 1291 which dominates the city from its 25 meters high.
It now houses a city museum (paid access) presenting objects from the life of the inhabitants of the city such as a ceremonial mace of the master coopers or a drinking horn.
Cross the Dolder and exit the city. From there, there is a fine view of the ramparts and its very well-preserved drawbridge, surmounted by the city’s coat of arms.
A view of the upper door of Riquewihr
View of the ramparts…
Return to the city and take, just after the Dolder, on the left, the street of the Jews, which housed the old ghetto of the city and go to the museum of the thieves’ tower.
Thieves’ Tower with the old city dungeons.
The tower, 18 m high, houses period dungeons, with a torture room and a caretaker’s room.
Return by rue des Juifs and cross rue du Général De Gaulle to take rue du Cerf then rue Saint Nicolas. This district is also rich in magnificent Renaissance and Alsatian houses.
Then take the rue Latérale then right towards the rue des Remparts, go down to the castle of Wurtemberg
On rue de la 1ère Armée, visit the Cour de Strasbourg, then take rue des Remparts which will take you to the esplanade in front of the castle.
Built under Georges de Württemberg in the middle of the 16th century…
Leave the city by the gate of the Hôtem de Ville and go left towards the eastern ramparts of Riquewihr…
View on the vineyard of Schoenenbourg…
Riquewihr is one of the “Most Beautiful Villages of France”.
A bit of gastronomy…
Restaurant La Grappe d’Or
A beautiful gastronomic address in Riquewihr, to discover absolutely.
1, rue des Ecuries Seigneuriales, 68340 Riquewihr
Telephone: (int+) 03 89 47 89 52
Restaurant Grappe d’Or – Find out more
Restaurant La Table du Gourmet *Michelin
A beautiful starred address in Riquewihr, discover Jean Luc Brendel’s approach to organic and the own cultivation of the plants used in the kitchen.
5 Rue de la 1E Armée, 68340 Riquewihr
Telephone: (int+) 03 89 49 09 09
The Gourmet Table * – Find out more
An original and creative gastronomic recommendation, to discover absolutely.
2 rue de la Piscine, 68340 Riquewihr
Telephone: (int+) 03 69 34 14 59
AOR Restaurant – Find out more