My parents will take any excuse to travel, so it was of no surprise when they announced they were planning to come visit me for a week toward the end of my semester in Paris. My mom having already spent a few days touring the Champagne region with me a few months before, they decided to spend some time in Alsace, a small region of France on the border of Germany and Switzerland.
Alsace is largely thought of as half of Alsace-Lorraine, an imperial province during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s that switched back and forth between German and French control four times in 75 years. Thanks to the continuing inﬂuence of their German neighbors – and sometimes rulers – Alsace features a fascinating blend of the two cultures. Strasbourg is considered the capital of the region, but we decided to spend our time in the small village of Ribeauvillé, about 50 miles south of the city. Immediately upon entering the town, the combination of German and French inﬂuence is apparent in the architecture, whose features are largely unique to Alsace because historically a great part of the region was ﬂooded by the Rhine, and houses needed to be able to be easily deconstructed and moved.