With its unique once-upon-a-timeliness, Riquewihr is the Wine Route's pièce de résistance and a living museum of old Alsace's quaint architecture. Its steep main street, ramparts, and winding back alleys have scarcely changed since the 16th century, and could easily serve as a film set. Merchants cater to the sizable influx of tourists with a plethora of kitschy souvenir shops; bypass them and instead peep into courtyards with massive wine presses, study the ornately decorated houses, stand in the narrow old courtyard that was once the Jewish quarter, or climb up the Dolder Belfry for a stunning view of the town. You would also do well to settle into a winstub to sample some of Riquewihr's famous wines. Just strolling down the heavenly streets will reward your eye with half-timber houses, storybook gables, and storks'-nest towers. The facades of certain houses dating from the late Gothic period take pride of place, including the Maison Kiener (1574), the Maison Preiss (1686), and the Maison Liebrich (1535), but the Tower of Thieves and the Postal Museum, ensconced in the château of the duke of Württemberg, are also fascinating.
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