Beblenheim, Alsace © French Moments
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Last Updated: 5 January 2018


Beblenheim is a charming village situated not far from Riquewihr. A little away from the touristic sites of the Alsace Wine Route, Beblenheim appears to be an ideal destination to spend a hour or two in a typical Alsatian wine village. On a warm Summer day, my first visit to Beblenheim was full of surprises with flower-decked half-timbered houses emerging from the vineyards. 

Beblenheim: a little presentation

Beblenheim, Alsace © French Moments
Beblenheim from above © French Moments

Situated at 215 m high, the village of Beblenheim lies in the shade of a hill covered with vines: the Sonnenglanz (in Alsatian dialect: the bright sunshine).

Home to a little less than 1,000 people, the village is made up of many half-timbered houses. Most of them date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Approximately 20 houses were built as far as in the 16th and 17th centuries.

By observing this peaceful village, who would have guessed that about 90 per cent of the traditional homes were destroyed during the terrible fights of the Pocket of Colmar in December 1944. Today the rebuilt village looks like a picture postcard of this loveable region of Alsace

The vineyards of Beblenheim are world-renowned for their great wines: pinot gris, muscat, riesling et gewurztraminer. The sunny hillside of the Sonnenglanz makes a Grand Cru (of the same name) and a second-wine named Schloesselreben.

A little discovery circuit of Beblenheim

Ideally park your car on one of the few car park spaces situated around the protestant church (rue Chrétien Pfister or rue de la vieille école).

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Rue Chrétien Pfister

Beblenheim, Alsace © French Moments
The protestant church © French Moments

Walk along rue Chrétien Pfister. At number 4 stands the house of Chrétien Pfister. Born in 1857, Pfister was a senior lecturer at the Sorbonne, Paris in 1904 and dean at the Faculty of Arts in Strasbourg.

Turn right onto rue de Zellenberg. Facing you is the St. Martin catholic church.

Rue Saint-Martin

Beblenheim, Alsace © French Moments
Rue Saint-Martin © French Moments

Turn right onto rue Saint-Martin to come back to the village centre. You will pass by very fine half-timbered houses with brightly-coloured façades.

Rue de Hoen

The Town-Hall building ( (2 rue de Hoen) was built between 1838 and 1840.

Beblenheim, Alsace © French Moments
Rue de Hoen © French Moments

Walk on rue de Hoen. To the left, in front of a yellow half-timbered houses is the St. Nicolas fountain or “Stockbrunnen”.

Beblenheim, Alsace © French Moments
The St. Nicolas fountain © French Moments

The Gothic-style fountain in yellow sandstone dates back from the 16t century. It was magnificently decorated with statues, flowerets and pilasters, signs of the village’s wealth. The depictions of Saints (Anthony, John and Nicholas) were deformed at the French Revolution.

At number 14 of rue de Hoen looms the former castle at the rear of an inner courtyard.

Beblenheim, Alsace © French Moments
The former castle © French Moments

The domain was the possession of the Hoen of Dillenburg family from 1605 to 1938 (hence the street’s name). Today it houses a wine-growing cooperative (site of the Heimberger cellar).

Rue Stutz

Turn right onto rue Stutz. It leads to a quiet little square whose centre is occupied by a flower-decked fountain in Summer.

Beblenheim, Alsace © French Moments
Rue Stutz © French Moments

Continue on your way and to your left (at number 8) you’ll notice a strange little half-timbered house not really straight. It is locally known as “Krumm” (which means in dialect: askew).

Beblenheim, Alsace © French Moments
The Krumm house © French Moments

Take right onto a small pathway called “Misspfad“. It will lead you across gardens and orchards. The lane follows the bed of an old stream that used to serve the village in water. It emerges on rue Jean Macé.

Rue Jean Macé

Beblenheim, Alsace © French Moments
The flower-decked houses in rue Jean Macé © French Moments

Rue Jean Macé is particularly beautiful during the Summer and Autumn seasons when the flower display reaches a high. The street takes its name from a Republican exiled from Paris under the reign of Napoleon III. Jean Macé (1815-1894) lived in Beblenheim and taught at the village’s boarding school for young girls.

The  Chrétien Oberlin monument and the Protestant temple

Reach the rue de Hoen and turn left. Climb the stairs that lead to the front door of the protestant church to enjoy a view of the village’s old half-timbered houses.

Beblenheim, Alsace © French Moments
View from the terrace of the church © French Moments

To the left stands a monolith is sandstone. The Chrétien Oberlin monument evokes the memory of the mayor of Beblenheim from 1870 to 1902. This pioneer of the Alsatian vine succeeded in overcoming the phylloxera disaster. He is credited for the system of vine culture by a palisade with wires, still used in Alsace.

Beblenheim, Alsace © French Moments
The monument to Chrétien Oberlin © French Moments

Notice the 8 tomb slabs fixed onto the wall separating the church to the presbytery. They are dedicated to notables of the village. 

The legend of Noah in Beblenheim

Beblenheim, Alsace © French Moments
Floral decoration in Beblenheim © French Moments

Legend has it that the origins of Beblenheim trace back to the Biblical times of Noah. Many thought the arch and its animals grounded on Mount Ararat. Nothing could be more untrue according to the local archives! Because we know that Noah liked good wine… and they were no vines in the Caucasus.  Legend has it that the arch stopped on the Sonnenglanz, the vine-covered hill on which foot was built Beblenheim.

The end journey of the big boat was celebrated, as required, with the best wines of the region. Following this, the Patriarch baptised the site “Noah’s Gate” that is said in Aramaic “Bab el Noem“. Over time, the name became “Beb-len-heim”. Quite obvious isn’t it? (read the story in French here)

To find out more about Beblenheim

Continue the visit in the region…

Beblenheim is situated in the centre of a wine region which boasts some of Alsace’s most beautiful villages and sites:

Ribeauvillé and its three castles
Ribeauvillé 18 © French Moments
Town-Hall square and the Butchers’ Tower, Ribeauvillé © French Moments
The fortified village of Bergheim
Bergheim 26 copyright French Moments
Bergheim, Alsace © French Moments
The perched castle of the Haut-Kœnigsbourg
The Haut-Kœnigsbourg castle seen from above © French Moments
The Haut-Kœnigsbourg castle seen from above © French Moments
The old town of Sélestat
Place du marché aux choux © French Moments
The fortified church of Hunawihr
Hunawihr 58 copyright French Moments
En route to the fortified church of Hunawihr © French Moments
Riquewihr, the gem of the Alsatian vineyards
Riquewihr Alsace
The main street of Riquewihr © French Moments
The town of Kaysersberg, the French’s favourite village in 2017
Kaysersberg Alsace
Kaysersberg © French Moments
The old town of Colmar and its Little Venice district
Colmar Alsace
Rue Mercière, Colmar old town © French Moments
and of course the famous Alsace Wine Route!
Niedermorschwihr from above © French Moments
Niedermorschwihr and the Alsace vineyards © French Moments

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About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

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