Visiting Hunspach, a village in Northern Alsace

by | Jan 22, 2019 | Cities and villages, On a budget, Open on sundays | 2 comments

Hunspach is a charming village located in Northern Alsace. I went there one day to discover Hunspach during the Christmas holidays, but I had never been at another season. I’ve made up for that now and I really recommend you to visit it as well.

Hunspach was mentioned for the first time in a document from 1298. The Reformation turned it into a Protestant village. In 1619, it passed under Swedish administration and it was obliterated and set on fire by Imperial troops in 1633. It would then be repopulated by Swiss immigrants. In 1787, Sweden bequeathed all its rights to the French Crown. The 19th century finally led to a period of prosperity for the village, with the construction of a railway line between Haguenau and Wissembourg.

But what to see in Hunspach? The answer is simple: houses! You should walk around the streets and admire the half-timbered houses that are typical from the region of  Wissembourg. Unlike the Alsatian villages of the Wine Route that you have seen in pictures, you won’t find colourful houses in Hunspach. Traditionally, houses are white and they remained so in Hunspach. It doesn’t mean that it lacks charm, quite the contrary! This consistency is splendid. The village has wonderful half-timbered houses, abundantly decorated by the inhabitants: I really enjoyed strolling around and stopping in front of each house to admire courtyards, architectural details, windows… Speaking of windows, you will notice that several Hunspach houses have windows with curved glass, allowing to see outside without being seen (it was in fashion in the baroque period).

Hunspach also has a rich military heritage, including with the Schoenenbourg Fort, with is the largest work of the Maginot Line open to the public in Alsace. These underground galleries were attacked the most during WWII, but they have remained undefeated.

Hunspach is part of the very closed club of the “Plus beaux villages de France” (the Most Beautiful Villages of France), a title that is so well-deserved. However, it’s not very touristy in comparison with other Alsatian villages. Here, you won’t fine shops lined up, but an authentic and peaceful village. If you want to see Alsace off the beaten path, you should definitely go there. It’s not very big, but you can go on the same day as you go to the village of Seebach or even the town of Wissembourg (these are just some ideas!). There are a lot of unknown places in Northern Alsace!

I liked

  • Admiring the splendid white half-timbered houses
  • It’s not very touristy!

I liked a little less

  • It’s not very big, so you should plan to visit other villages in the area! 😉

My favourite addresses in Hunspach

  • The shop Kelsch’Idées is located in a farm and offers artisanal decoration objects, but also some local products. It’s really lovely!

My pictures of Hunspach

Practical information

Getting here

By car

Hunspach is located:

  •  60 km from Strasbourg (about 45 minutes drive)
  • 130 km from Colmar (about 1h30 drive)
  • 170 km from Mulhouse (about 1h55 drive)
By public transport

You can have a look on the website Vialsace.

Laurène

Laurène

Laurène est la créatrice du blog Mon week-end en Alsace. Bretonne installée en Alsace depuis 2014, elle est tombée amoureuse de sa région d'adoption au point de lui dédier un blog et d'acheter avec son mari une maison alsacienne dans un village du Kochersberg, près de Strasbourg. A pied, à vélo, sur ses chevaux ou au volant de sa Fiat 500, elle aime partir explorer les moindres recoins de l'Alsace pour dénicher de bonnes adresses à partager sur le blog.

2 Comments

  1. TM Finnie

    My ancestors were born in Hunspach. Your description of it’s history helped fill in a blank in wondering how my 10th great grandfather who was Swiss ended up in Hunspach. So thank you!

    Martin Mathes immigrated to the United States in 1844. Sadly, they left the family Bible behind in Hunspach when they sailed to the US. One of my great grandfathers oversaw the building of St. Martin’s church in the mid 1700s. I had hoped to visit Hunspach, but unfortunately, I won’t be able to. I appreciate very much your description.

    Reply
    • Laurène

      Incredible story! So glad y article helped you to learn something about your ancestors 🙂

      Reply

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