Riquewihr, the most famous and most visited town, surrounded by vineyards. Its well-preserved houses and ramparts give it an incredible charm. Riquewihr is one of the towns that were spared by WW I and WW II, which makes it authentic.
Riquewihr is rich and its origin dates back to Roman times.
A castle was present there as early as 1000, the castle of Reichenstein. In 1049 a donation was made to the monastery of Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine.
The Reichenstein noble family took over the town, they were renowned as robber lords.
The future emperor of Germany Rudolf of Habsburg decided in 1269 to restore order and security in the face of Reichenstein domination by besieging the castle. The troops of Colmar and Strasbourg accompanied Rudolf of Habsburg.
The captured lords have been sentenced to death were hanged near the castle. After the execution, Rudolf of Habsburg travelled to Riquewirh where he shared a glass of wine with the locals.
With the destruction of Riquewihr Castle begins a prosperous period for the town. Riquewirh, which had become the property of Horbourg, acquired a wall, a moat and two gates that protected its neighboring villages.
Riquewihr was sold in 1324 to Ulrich X of Wurtenberg, who was engaged to marry Henriette de Montfaucon, daughter of the Count of Montbéliard. With this alliance Riquewihr became the capital of Wurtenberg-Montbéliard and prospered thanks to the flourishing wine trade that was exported throughout the Empire.
This prosperity lasted until the Thirty Years’ War when Alsace faced all the armies that looted and ransomed everything in their path.
The Duke of Wurtenberg commissioned Michel Hauweber to defend Riquewihr and the surrounding area at all costs.
The inhabitants resisted and finally opened the doors in June 1635, after a promise not kept by Colmar’s reinforcements, which stated that they would keep the entire population save if they opened the doors of Riquewihr.
Executions and settling scores are thus perpetrated.
Riquewihr then suffered an epidemic of plague, cholera, typhus, famine and the passage of the French armies in 1675, putting Riquewihr and its inhabitants in a difficult situation.
Louis XIV took possession of Riquewihr in 1680, which left it under the laws and customs of the Count of Wurtenberg, and it was attached to France in 1786.However, during the Revolution, the Wurtenbergs abandoned all possessions in Alsace and Montbéliard.
World War II miraculously spared Riquewihr, unlike the neighboring villages.