Welcome to Andlau, a picturesque, medieval village which traces its origins to the foundation of its Abbey by Ste. Richarde in 880. Repudiated by her husband Charles le Gros, the truculent ruler of France, she returned to her birthplace to establish a monastery. Legend has it that the site for the abbey was determined by a she-bear scratching her paw on the ground. In the floor of the 12th century crypts of the present abbey, there is a small wooden door which covers, a few inches below, the 'very ground' clawed by the bear. Folklore says that if you put an arthritic limb into the hole in the crypt floor and touch the ground, you will be cured of your arthritis. Also, any woman who sits astride the stone bear that stands beside the hole, will be assured of many children. Consider yourself warned! The fountain in the village square is capped by a statue of Ste. Richarde and her bear and there are several other references to its founder inside the abbey.


The Alsace

There is so much to write about the Alsace that we cannot do the region justice on this web page. The food and wines are simply superb! The medieval villages, castles, museums, cathedrals and myriad other attractions make it a wonderful region to visit in any season. From Strasbourg to Colmar, from the Vosges mountains to the Rhine, this area is steeped in history and culture. The people share many of the finest qualities of their French and German ancestry, and despite their recent turbulent history (or perhaps because of it), one senses a gentle "joie de vivre" which permeates throughout the region. You can't visit the Alsace quickly. Be prepared to stop frequently and to amble amidst beautifully restored, centuries old, half-timbered houses. Wander through ancient churches or climb the nearby hills to explore castle ruins. Stop at one of the many wine merchants offering "degustations", then on to a sidewalk cafe to sip some more wine and taste a tarte a l'oignon or chocolate mousse. Relax, take a big breath and enjoy!


Our Apartment

Our apartment is situated in a "classified" building that forms part of the Abbey courtyard. Originally constructed in 1740, it was gutted several years ago and completely rebuilt using modern materials and methods on the inside, while maintaining its historical, exterior appearance. We have attempted to furnish it with comfort and efficiency in mind. There is a large living/dining area, a kitchenette, a bedroom with two twin beds and a three piece bathroom with a washing machine. Because the three gabled windows overlook the Abbey and its courtyard, the hourly chiming of the church bells clearly contributes to the ambiance of the apartment, although some visitors have commented that the bells awakened them in the early morning. (Forewarned is forearmed.)