Thursday, June 27, 2013

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 97

Kaysersberg, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France

Pictured above is the town of Kaysersberg in Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France.  Like many cities with roots in medieval times this one has the buildings crowded close together and the streets look to be somewhat crooked and winding not the straight lines that today’s city planners would lay out in grids.  The postcard is a current day card published by Les Editions du Saute Mouton.   I especially liked the bright red roofs and the half-timbered buildings.  According to my friend who visited this area recently, many of the buildings are colorfully painted.  

Alsace or Alsace-Lorraine is located on France’s eastern border touching Germany and Switzerland.  The area is known for grape growing and produces high quality white wines.   The Lorig family originates from very near this region on the German side of the border with some persistent oral history rumors that at least part of the extended family actually came from Alsace.  We do not have any documented proof of that at this time. 

The entire area is rich in history dating back to prehistoric times when nomadic hunters inhabited Alsace.  Later, about 1500 BC the land was cleared and cultivated.  By the time of the Romans in 58 BC it had been established as a center for viticulture or the growing of grapes and the consequent production of wine.  Militarily Alsace is strategically placed and has changed hands several times during wars and conflicts.  It was annexed into France and has been known as Alsace since 1918.  French is the official language although about 40% of adults also speak Alsatian.  The population is nearing 2 million. 

Thanks to my French friend for sending the card.  For more interesting details about Alsace see:

The photograph below was taken by Adolphe Braun and shows a young woman in the local Alsatian costume.

Woman in costume from Alsace, ca 1890s

The two stamps below were on the envelope and are from a new series of French stamps depicting animals in art.  The stamp on the left shows a female goat reclining the one on the right a serpent.  There are several other animals in this series.  They are pretty works of art and it is a wonderful idea to put them on stamps.

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