Visit Riquewihr (Alsace, France)
Riquewihr, officially one of the 'most beautiful villages of France', is found 12 kilometres north-west of Colmar in the heart of Alsace. Riquewihr is indeed a very beautiful village and appears to have remained unchanged over the centuries, providing the visitor with a real feeling for how a village in the region would have looked 400 years ago.
This village really does seem to have everything that you hope to find in a traditional Alsace village: fortified walls, stone entrance gates, cobbled streets lined with brightly painted half-timber houses, carved wooden beams and stone doorways, wrought iron signs for the shops, lots of flowers....Riquewihr almost looks as if it has just dropped out of a fairytale.
Several of the most interesting houses and buildings are along the main street, the Rue du General de Gaulle, in Riquewihr. These include:
- the 'skyscraper' (no. 14), a five floor house which is one of the tallest in Alsace
- the Courtyard of the nobles of Berckheim (no.38), a stone house with mullion windows and a hexagonal turret with a sun dial
- the gourmets house (no. 42) is the house with the most ornately decorated facades in Riquewihr
- the nail-maker's house (no.45), whose timber frame has corner posts carved into statues of men
Among the other historical monuments in Riquewihr you can see the Dolder - this tower is also the upper gate of the town and the belfry. This is part of the original fortifications of the town.
The fountain in front of the Dolder tower was originally used to check the capacity of wine barrels hence its name, the fountain of gauging.
Another important tower is the Thieves Tower, pentagonal on the outside and square on the inside! You can still see the torture chamber inside the tower
Take a look at the reproduction of an engraving of Riquewihr made in 1644, it shows just how little has changed in Riquewihr over the ages. The town has also retained much of its medieval fortification and a castle. Unusually for the region, it largely escaped damage during the second world war - and also has a couple of very good museums.
The tourist office in Riquewihr is about halfway down the Rue du General de Gaulle - the main street. Pick up their tourist map to make sure you don't miss any of the main places of interest.
Really though the charm of Riquewihr is simply to amble through the streets admiring the fine houses many of which date from the 16th and 17th centuries, and still have the attractive courtyards and fountains from that time.
Riquewihr is also an important part of the Alsace wine-growing region, and wine-tasting is a popular activity in the town!
This part of central Alsace has many picturesque villages to explore, several of them very close to Riquewihr. The most popular way to explore the area is by following part or all of the Alsace Wine Route - which will of course also introduce you to the renowned wines of Alsace.
Photos of Riquewihr
Click any picture to start the gallery
Tourist classifications for Riquewihr
Riquewihr is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)
Address: Riquewihr, Kaysersberg, Ribeauvillé, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, 68340 || GPS: latitude 48.166, longitude 7.2972
Map of Riquewihr & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Riquewihr, France
- Hunawihr - most beautiful village
- Parc du domaine de Schoppenwihr - remarkable garden (3km)
- Ribeauville - ville fleurie 4* (4km)
- Bergheim - ville fleurie 4* (6km)
- Colmar - secteur sauvegarde (10km)
- Parc du château de Kintzheim - remarkable garden (12km)
- Cigoland - zoo or wildlife park (14km)
- Eguisheim - most beautiful village (14km)
- Marckolsheim - ville fleurie 4* (18km)
- Soultzmatt - ville fleurie 4* (23km)
Market days in Riquewihr: Regular market(s) are held in Riquewihr each Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Riquewihr (Francais)