OBERSTEINBACH, VALLEY of the Steinbach
The region and the surrounding landscape of Obersteinbach:
The traveller will most certainly be dazzled by the beauty of this almost wild and irresistibly charming valley.
It was the writer Karl Gruber who - about a hundred years ago - described this feeling best:
"When the military road linking Wissembourg to Bitche enters the Sauer Valley, it no longer retains an indifferent appearance but becomes gracefully smiling. On both sides, it grows wings in the form of white birches, carrying you faster up the Steinbach stream in a generously airy space, towards the Palatinate and Lorraine passes.
Beech forests with giant peaks in colourful foliage diminish the severity of the Scots pine landscapes, strange sandstone sculpts the horizon with its range of stone colours, and when it is lacking, there are streams rich in chattering trout or pastures tracing a fairy-tale landscape among the farms surrounded by meadows.
Melancholy and idyllic cohabit here; strangely... men who love to follow their own path, that is to say artists, necessarily feel at ease there. Humour takes over in this nature, and the Human plays a rather modest role..."
What is remarkable is that these same images still perfectly describe this region of northern Alsace to this day: the picturesque little village of Obersteinbach is nestled, still, in the middle of the largest homogeneous European forest area, encompassing the Pfälzerwald and the Vosges du Nord Regional Nature Park. It is the ideal place to admire the picturesque landscape of northern Alsace. A typical feature to visit are the rocks and many sandstone ruins that hide everywhere, reminder of what were once castles, proudly watching the passage.
(English text translation: Eva Blickhan.)