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Strasbourg is home to the world’s largest transnational parliament. The group will visit the European Parliament, located within the European Quarter of Strasbourg, a short distance from the Palais des Congrès. The building’s plenary chamber has served as the backdrop to many important parliamentary debates and votes, and participants will be able to take a tour of the building’s tall, hollow oval structure and hear about the role of the European Parliament, and the process behind making law for the whole of Europe.
Lunch will be at the elegant Bouclier d’Or hotel, a tastefully renovated Bourgeois-style mansion in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical centre of Strasbourg. After lunch, participants will have a tour of the Alsatian Museum. Housed in three former houses, the museum displays a fascinating range of artefacts which tell the story of the region’s history and identity.
The group will start the day by travelling to Mount Sainte-Odile, a convent dedicated to St Odile, the patron saint of Alsace. At an elevation of 753 m on pink sandstone cliffs, the site provides a stunning panoramic view of the Plain of Alsace. The group will then visit Maison Spindler. Charles Spindler, a painter, marquetry inlayer, writer and photographer, was also a supporter of Alsatian regionalism. He founded several institutions for the promotion of Alsatian culture.
A guided tour of the museum and workshop will give participants an insight into the heritage of the family, and the technique of marquetry.
The group will then explore Obernai, a fortified medieval town in the heart of the Bhas-Rhin region. There will be an opportunity to enjoy Obernai’s narrow lanes and half-timbered houses, and to see the Kappelturm tower in the attractive market square. Then the group will go on to the Geispolsheim for a tour and to sample some regional chocolate treats.
The final excursion will start with a visit to the medieval Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle, located in the Vosges mountains, with a spectacular view of the Upper Rhine Plain. The castle has a rich history and the group will have an exclusive guided tour of the most important rooms, and also access to the grounds which offer views across the Alsace region.
The group will then journey further into the heart of the wine region, to enjoy an afternoon of lunch and wine tasting. There will be a tour of the wine route, with a stop at a popular vineyard for a leisurely lunch, and a visit to the historic wine cellar to learn about the wine-making process. There will be a chance to sample some of the most popular wines.