France lies directly nearby: the Alsace
The relationship between the two neighbours – the Alsace and the Palatinate – has not always been easy. When you go back into history, the two regions have been intertwined so often that they always came closer to each other.
Nowadays, no matter how you look at it – the southern style is perceptible and visible beyond the border of the Southern Palatinate: the mild air, the even temperatures, the delicate light and the southern fruits that flourish here. There is no border to this feeling. The landscape remains the same, the Palatinate Forest merges seamlessly into the Vosges mountains, and even after the devastation caused by the many minor wars, you can still distinguish common features in architecture as well as in the character traits of the people.
For outsiders and people not interested in history, the eventful past of the two regions with its many disputes and wars goes back many years. However, the Palatinate and the Alsace – and, above all, its people – cannot be understood without some knowledge of their history. The countless battles and wars have not been without their consequences. The Spanish, Swedes, Italian, Croats and especially the French have left genetic traces in this area. The "savoir vivre" and the "lightness of being" cannot only be explained by the climate but can also be understood as a reaction to constant existential threats. A people which constantly feared new rulers could not grumble for long about the meaning of life and had to organise themselves, become more flexible, to enable them to survive. This quality, this "lightness of being" has remained with us.
The deep-rooted experience of the past, of the countless battles, have made the people into tolerant contemporaries. Yes, we admit it: everyone talks a lot here, they babble on and on loudly, but they are also keen to talk to each other. They especially like talking to strangers, to whom this spontaneous, open manner can sometimes appear curious, especially if they have to drink from a shared cup.
However, anyone who knows the history of the Palatinate and the Alsace, also understands its people – and returns regularly to the Southern Wine Route – and France with its towns of Wissembourg and Strasbourg are only a stone's throw away.
The Alsace is very close, depending on where you spend your holiday on the Wine Route! And there's so much to see and discover:
Discover online information on the Alsace here...