Today is the crowning finale of our second hiking week on the Alsatian Way of St. James. In sunshine and pleasant hiking temperatures, we roam through vineyard areas and can watch the grape harvest again and again. After each vineyard comes an interesting village. There are also the tourist villages on the wine route, such as Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr. Kaysersberg itself is one of the famous towns in Alsace worth seeing.
The day begins with a hike in a vineyard.
Across the vineyards we spy Kintzheim
Kintzheim has an impressive castle ruin. Trained birds of prey are demonstrated there.
We reach the hamlet of Orschwiller ...
... and visit the church.
The place after the next vineyard crossing is called Saint Hippolyte.
The Hochkönigsburg (Château du Haut-Knigsbourg)
We are approaching Rodern.
A view into the church of Rodern. It was closed. A is a view through the glass door.
A view of the town from the terrace of the church in Rodern.
We hike through Rodern, then after more vineyards and through a forest to our lunch break.
Here, in front of the castle-like backdrop of the "Garonne Cognacq Jeanne" winery, we met our escort bus and had a picnic.
This is what the landscape looks like as the trail continues: Wine-growing areas and small villages.
Here we begin our walk through the tourist town of Ribeauvillé.
The many pictures of it are on a separate page.
Three castle ruins above Ribeauvillé
The Church of St. James in Hunawihr is a fortified church surrounded by a 12th-century circular wall that provided protection against raids. Today's church dates mainly from the 14th century, the stained glass windows from the 19th century. The church is used equally by the Catholic and Protestant congregations. In the left aisle there is a St. Nicholas Chapel from the 15th/16th century with 15 frescoes depicting scenes from the life of St. Nicholas of Myra.
According to legend, a Merovingian count named Huno settled here with his wife Huna. Huna took care of the poor and sick and washed clothes at the well. After her death, she was venerated as the "Holy Laundress" and a pilgrimage soon developed.
The central window in the choir shows James and Huna as the founder of the church. In the right aisle hangs a painting showing James still forgiving his denunciator on his way to martyrdom.
View from Hunawihr back to the three castle ruins above Ribeauvillé
We come to the next tourist town of Riquewihr / Reichenweier. It is a picture-book town with intact half-timbered houses, town walls and gate towers. The first town fortification dates from 1291, the second from around 1500. Town charter since 1320. From 1324 to 1789, Riquewihr was owned by the counts, later dukes, of Württemberg-Mömpelgard.
The pictures from the visit to the village are on a separate page.
There are still a few vineyard hills to overvome before reaching Kaysersberg
The grape harvest is in full swing.
A long descent brings us back to the plain. The view is fantastic.
Today's stage destination: Kaysersberg