Les “Sentiers de Noël” are back! — Update 2015.

A superb sound and light show is taking place in Osthouse, a village beside Erstein, south of Strasbourg. The word “show” is probably a misnomer. It is an experience. It is a colorful immersion, cheerful and naive, in the world of fairy tales and legends of Christmas in Alsace. The last edition was in 2012 … The next and tenth edition of this superb sound and light event will again take place in 2015. This is great news for an event not to be missed. Stands regardless the weather

OSTHOUSE Christmas Trails  — 27/28/29 Nov and 05/06 Dec, 2015. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets: €6,50 – free for children under 12.
17:00 – 21:00 on Friday and 16:00 – 21:00 on Saturday and Sunday.
Official website: www.lessentiersdenoel.fr

Giant Advent Calendar in Osthouse, Alsace. Christmas Trails 2012.
Giant Advent Calendar in Osthouse, Alsace. Christmas Trails 2012.

The previous event took place in 2012. Hereafter my personal experience.

We discovered the Christmas Trails last night. Yes, Alsace is full of surprises! At this moment and until December 2, 2012, the 9th edition of this superb sound and light show is taking place in Osthouse, a village beside Erstein, south of Strasbourg. The word “show” is probably a misnomer. It is an experience. It is a colorful immersion, cheerful and naive, in the world of fairy tales and legends of Christmas in Alsace.

An enchanting journey into the magic of Christmas

Christmas Trails in Osthouse Alsace 2012. Colorful woods.
Christmas Trails in Osthouse Alsace 2012. Colorful woods.

The association Project’Ill designs and animates the event. This year it celebrates its 20th anniversary and everything is implemented to offer visitors a journey through enchanting sites extraordinary colors and very different environments, all of which illustrate Christmas time. The natural environment of the village is highlighted, embellished with grandiose and colorful decors that contain wonderful stories animated by a score of comedians and more than 200 extras.

Christmas Trails in Osthouse Alsace 2012. Colorful Christmas Lights parade …
Christmas Trails in Osthouse Alsace 2012. Colorful Christmas Lights parade …

Hundreds of volunteers …

To enable such a technical challenge, forty technicians are caring for the kilometers of cables supplying the sound and light equipment for each site. More than 150 volunteers provide hospitality, security and catering.

The village of Osthouse is South of Strasbourg, easily reachable from the highway. Osthouse is hosting the Christmas Trails every 2-3 years.
The village of Osthouse is South of Strasbourg, easily reachable from the highway. Osthouse is hosting the Christmas Trails every 2-3 years.

This trip back in time, and why not in childhood, begins in the village where each window shows the little lights that create the atmosphere of Alsatian Christmas. The tone is set: that of a warm family atmosphere where the great storytellers are dialoguing with grandmothers who are active in front of their furnace.

After having met the Kristkindel visiting a house where a family is gathered and tasted the famous 13 Christmas desserts we cross the bridge, throwing an eye on the mysterious island and sailboat ghost: the Ark of Christmas …

Marvelous castle of Prince Noel
Marvelous castle of Prince Noel (Christmas). Will the prince find his bride before Christmas?

Scenes straight out of the traditions of the Middle Ages

Everywhere, whole families with children, and mammies papies crowd and rejoice before these scenes straight out of the traditions of the Middle Ages. We entered into the wonderful realm of Christmas. It is a real delight for the eyes. The crowd gathers in front of the castle of Prince Christmas. All nobles, peasants and villagers of the twenty-first century want to make sure that for Christmas, their prince can find a wife!

Village of the Gauls. Our ancesters feared that the Christmas star fell on their heads.
Village of the Gauls. Our ancesters feared that the Christmas star fell on their heads.

The village of Osinus where our ancestors the Gauls feared that the Christmas star fell on their heads.

After the bend of a path, we overheard Santa Claus with his reindeer, perched on the roof of a house with their sled. They laughed at their latest adventures. Further is Pierrot and Columbine who admire the moon and the village of Osinus where our ancestors the Gauls feared that the Christmas star falls on their heads.

The village of Osthouse is near the river Ill. The Christmas Trails are spreading over left and right banks of the river. Colorful lanterns are illuminating the bridge.
The village of Osthouse is near the river Ill. The Christmas Trails are spreading over left and right banks of the river. Colorful lanterns are illuminating the bridge.

The Bridge over the Ill river, as the trails is marked with colored lanterns. A mysterious diligence carries the twelve months of the year. At the farm, we met animals (as I was so often told by my grandfather) who found the word on Christmas Eve during the midnight mass …

Imps are living in the magical forest.
Imps are living in the magical forest.

In short, a magical evening that will be repeated again tonight and tomorrow December 2, 2012, before this little world of fairies and elves falls asleep for 3 years. Next edition in late 2015.

Update 2015.
OSTHOUSE Christmas Trails  — 27/28/29 Nov and 05/06 Dec, 2015. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets: €6,50 – free for children under 12.
17:00 – 21:00 on Friday and 16:00 – 21:00 on Saturday and Sunday.
Official website: www.lessentiersdenoel.fr

Christmas Trails in Osthouse Alsace 2012.
Christmas Trails in Osthouse Alsace 2012.

Stay in a beautiful accommodation with a festive Christmas atmosphere

To make your visit in Alsace a memorable one, stay at les Remparts Riquewihr in one of our new holiday apartments, set in a historic winery facing the vineyards of Riquewihr.

We also have a holiday home in the beautiful mountain village of La Vancelle. La Vancelle is a haven in a prime location opposite the castle of Haut-Koenigsbourg. It is away from the noise and bustle but easily accessible in all seasons.

Riquewihr and Vancelle are very practical bases for visiting and touring throughout Alsace, Vosges and even nearby Germany and Switzerland.

Our White Stork luxury apartment in Riquewihr. From mid-November to mid-January, all our apartments, small or large, have their own Christmas tree.
Our White Stork luxury apartment in Riquewihr. From mid-November to mid-January, all our apartments, small or large, have their own Christmas tree.