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Many visitors associate the word munster with a, shall we say, aromatic cheese. But, this Alsatian village, near the Route des Crêtes, is an ideal base for touring the Vosges Mountains.

The town is ancient, founded by monks in the 7th century, but the town was heavily bombed during World War II, and only a few significant historic sites remain.  Parts of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Gregory still stand and now house the information office for the Ballons des Vosges Regional Natural Park. You can visit the grounds and indoor exhibits without charge at 1 Cour de l’Abbaye,  03-89-77-90-34.

On the town square,  notice the town hall, which was constructed in 1550. It has been renovated since World War II, but the Renaissance-style facade remains. Exhibits inside include historical bits and pieces from tombstones, statues, and stained glass windows. Saint-Leger Catholic Church has an interesting astronomical clock with four faces. The town’s symbolic Lion (16th century) stands guard in a flower-filled fountain over the Place du Marche.

Outside of town, the countryside spreads up the sides of the Vosges Mountains, with opportunities to explore the lakes and forests on foot or bike. In winter, enjoy skiing or snowshoeing on the slopes.

The best place to sleep and eat:
Hotel Spa Verte Vallée, a mid-size 3-star hotel/spa with a gourmet restaurant that focuses on locally-grown foods. Massage and other body treatments are offered in the spa. Phone: 03-89-77-15-15.

The office of tourism has a list of farm inns that have restaurants and rooms for overnight stays.

At A Glance

1 Rue du Couvent
Munster Alsace 68140
03 33 89 77 31 80

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