Situated amidst a pleasant, undulating landscape, Bergheim, a charming town right in the heart of the Alsace vineyards, is one of the rare Alsace towns to have almost completely preserved its medieval town walls (built in 1311).
The origins of Bergheim remain uncertain but the discovery of a Roman mosaic attests to the presence of « villas » at this period.
It is in the Middle-Age under the Seigniory of the Ribeaupierre, Lords of Ribeauvillé, that Bergheim expands rapidly. The particularly well maintained town walls, which date back from this time (15th century), are propitious to walk and discovery of the “Annette garden”, medieval garden where simples (medicinal plants) are cultivated.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, Bergheim was the scene of many witch trials, that sent 40 women to the stake. The Maison des Sorcières (Witches’ House) recounts the lives of these «Witches» and gives a record of their trials.
Today, the charm of this little town lies in its floral decoration, which is arranged around :
- its old houses (the houses of wine-growers in masonry and timberframes dating back from the 15th century)
- its fortifications from the 15th century and in particular its high door,
- its winding lanes,
- its fountain, which bears the town’s coat of arms,
- its old wash-house,
- its parish chruch,
- its old synagogue, etc...