France’s favorite village in 2020 is preparing for the tourist influx | News from the world


The French chose Hunspach, which was once part of Sweden, as their favorite village of 2020.The Alsatian village of 652 inhabitants, on the eastern border of France with Germany, was selected in a television survey of 700,000 viewers.

At least half of Hunspachois, as we know them, went to the center of the village to celebrate the result, relayed via a giant screen on Wednesday evening.

Viewers said they chose Hunspach for its quaint black and white half-timbered houses – similar to British Tudor architecture. Many of them have convex glass windows from the Baroque period, allowing locals to see without being seen.

Tour guides describe Hunspach, also a stop on the Haguenau to Wissembourg railway, as “peaceful,” but it is unlikely to remain there for long. In 2014, Eguisheim, also in Alsace, was elected favorite village and quickly attracted hundreds of thousands of tourists.

Hunspach is located in north-eastern Alsace near the German border, in the northern part of the Vosges nature park, near the Schoenenbourg fort, one of the largest structures on the Maginot line.

The village was first mentioned in a document in 1298. During the Reformation, it became a Protestant village and, in 1619, it came under Swedish administration. After being attacked and destroyed by imperial troops in 1633, it was repopulated by immigrants from Switzerland. In 1797, Sweden returned the village to the French crown.

The entire Alsace region was annexed to the new German Empire in 1871 after the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War. But in 1918, after the defeat of Germany in the First World War, Alsace was returned to France under the Treaty of Versailles. The region was again occupied by Germany during the Second World War when residents were ordered to become German citizens under the Nazi decree.

Hunspach has so far been best known for its annual Folklore Festival, which took place on the last weekend of spring. The annual competition for France’s favorite village is a showcase for little-known municipalities in France to encourage tourism.


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