The formerly German town of Kaysersberg (pop 2,700), with its pinkish landscape (thanks to its huddle of sandstone medieval buildings), is a fine stopover destination on the Alsace Wine Route. Reputed to be one of the prettier towns on the vineyard-filled trail, this picture-perfect town stands just a few kilometres northwest of Colmar and is home to a good cluster of Renaissance and Baroque structures.

In the centre of Kaysersberg stands its 17th century Hôtel de Ville, an ornate building beside another medieval building- the red-sandstone 12th to 15th century Église Ste Croix.  The Ste-Croix church has an altar with a haut-relief panel of the Passion and the Resurrection.  The reddish fountain that displays a statue of the Emperor Constantine opens up the pathway to the main street, avenue du Général de Gaulle, which leads you to a group of half-timbered, baroque-style houses. Make your way further down, to sight the fortified bridge that was built in 1514 to expand the River Weiss.

You can see skilled glass-blowers practising their ancient craft at the popular Verrerie d'art de Kaysersberg [30 rue du Général de Gaulle, +33 389471497, www.verrerie-kaysersberg.fr].  The Musée Albert Schweitzer [126 av Général de Gaulle, www.ville-kaysersberg.fr/musee-albert-schweitzer.htm, ad/ch €2/1] is set in the house of the Nobel Peace Prize winner who is accredited with the many medical missionary projects, most notably the Schweitzer Hospital in Gabon, Africa.  This museum documents his life and various achievements.

If you make wander a few minutes uphill from the centre of Kaysersberg, you will arrive at the Château de Kaysersberg- a fortress castle that was erected back in the 13th century. Intended to keep off invaders from the Vosges Mountains route to Lorraine, the castle also comprises of bits and pieces from the 16th century (due to restoration works).





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KAYERSBERG1. Église Ste Croix  2. Musée Albert Schweitzer