France has named Kaysersberg as its favourite village in the country in this year’s edition of Le Village Préféré des Français, a programme airing on channel France 2.
It’s easy to see why it took the title. This picturesque medieval village is situated between Riquewihr and Colmar in the Haut-Rhin department of Alsace in north-eastern France, along the Alsace Wine Route. It’s famous for its half-timbered houses and quaint cobbled streets, set in a valley surrounded by vineyards and with forested hills rising above the town. The high fortress that dominates the village serves as a reminder of both its strategic importance and its historic identity – together with the rest of Alsace, Kaysersberg was part of Germany between the Franco-Prussian War and the First World War. It’s also one of the finest vine-growing areas in the region – the first vines were brought here from Hungary in the 16th century, and wine production is still an important aspect of the town’s economy today, especially the pinot gris variety.
Kaysersberg beat 12 other contenders from all over France in a poll conducted for the programme. According to Connexion France, Kaysersberg won the title for its amazing architecture, walkable streets and the friendliness of its locals. With its 2,700 inhabitants, Kaysersberg (which means “mountain of the emperor” in Alsatian) succeeds Rochefort-en-Terre in Morbihan, last year’s winner. It’s the second Alsatian village to win a title after Eguisheim in 2013. The runners-up this year were Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme (Somme, Hauts de France) in second place and La Roque-Gageac (Dordogne) in third.
Now all that remains is to go and see Kaysersberg for yourself!