Alsace is known for its good food and the sociable people. The region is located in eastern France and extends over the Upper Rhine Plain. Because of its proximity to Germany Alsace is extremely popular with Germans for day trips. The north and east of the Alsace region border on Germany. The south is in the immediate vicinity of Switzerland. It is the smallest region of France, but 1.8 million people live here and Alsace has a lot to offer in terms of tourism.
In addition to the departments of Bas-Rhinn and Haut-Rhin, which make up the so-called administrative region, there is also the capital Strasbourg , which is always worth a visit.
Naming of the region
Today it is assumed that the name of Alsace originated from an old name. In the early Middle Ages it was used to describe the landscape and political entity. In 496 the Franks came to the region and defeated the Alemanni. The left bank of the Rhine between Basel and today’s Palatinate thus served as a duchy and belonged to the Franconian Empire. This is where the name Alsace came from, which is derived from the old German ali-saz “foreign seat”.
Alsace as a territory and landscape
Since the region came into being, the borders have also changed frequently. The Duchy of Alsace existed in the 7th and 8th centuries, followed by the two landgraves of Eslasses from the 12th to 17th centuries. Later, in the following century, the early modern provincial area of Eslass, which was part of the French kingdom, developed. Alsace did not always belong to France. It was also a region of Germany at times. Its affiliation changed more frequently between the 17th and 20th centuries. It has belonged to France since 1944.
Although the region itself is quite small in terms of area, Alsace consists of a large number of municipalities. Also Strasbourg is part of a community association and is one of the first four founded Communaute urbaine from the year 1966. It is in Alsace the only of its kind. Overall, living in Alsace 453,000 people. It consists of 28 parishes. In addition to Strasbourg there are the municipalities of Mulhouse, Colmarm Haguenau, Schiltigheim, Ilkirch-Graffenstaden, Saint-Louis and Selestat. The name also clearly shows the partly German influence.
The landscapes of the region are shaped by the Rhine region, the Vosges and the Binwald as well as the Palatinate Forest. Alsace is particularly popular with hikers because it offers wonderful routes and paths right in the heart of nature.
Living and working in Alsace
Agriculture mainly consists of viticulture in the region between Schlettstadt and Colmar. Also hop is increasingly grown here.
You have to know that around half of all beer products in the country come from Alsace. Due to the large number of forests, extensive forestry is also carried out here. In addition, the automotive, chemical, biotechnology and petroleum industries are well developed. Tourism also takes a very large partin Alsace. The region is a very popular destination for vacationers and day trips.
International Alsace, you could say, because around 35 percent of the companies based in Alsace come from abroad, such as Germany, Switzerland, the USA and Sweden. The region is doing very well economically; it has so far been spared major fluctuations in the labor market. Most of the people have work and an income here, which makes the region attractive for immigrants.