Disputed for centuries by the Lords of France and Germany, Alsace-Lorraine was originally a territory created by the German Empire in 1871. Today although many of the names of towns may sound German, like Strasbourg, this region of France is passionately French! Alsace and Lorraine have long had a distinct culture, one that is an amalgamation on both France and Germany that when combined is truly unique and special. This region of France has a more or less homogenous feel, with pockets of German and French speaking people, and a warm, lively character that has been distinguished throughout history for its military expertise as much as its culture of fine wine.
• Rich history
• Historical landmarks
• Traditional restaurants
• Wine and beer production
From the time of the Roman Empire, to the end of World War II, this region has played a key part in the history of the formation of Europe today. Always a disputed region, it has seen some of the most controversial and devastating battles of history played out within its borders. Romans fought German and Gaulish tribes for control of the region, and when it collapsed, the region was hurled back into anarchy and tribal warfare. It was not until the advent of the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties that Alsace-Lorraine was formulated in a modern set up, although it continued to be fought over by the Holy Roman Empire and the Kings of France.
World War I saw many battles over the region, the Battle of Verdun being the deadliest and most prolonged in France. Its position on the German-French border made it a prime target for Nazi Germany when they made their ploy to conquer France. After the liberation of France and the end of World War II, the region was permanently granted to the French Republic. Many residents continue to respect their multi-cultural heritage, with the Alsatian language, a conglomeration of German and French, still spoken by a majority of the population.