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Strasbourg City Info

Strasbourg Hotels

Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace, is located on the banks of the Rhine on the border with Germany. The city has changed hands between the Germans and the French a couple of times. Today it is a prosperous, beautiful and modern city, big enough to have a metropolitan air. You could call Strasbourg a truly European city: it is the seat of the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights.

Strasbourg is in the north east of France on the German border. It is a very nice region called Alsace Lorraine with many charming assets: towns, wine, traditional food, architectural monuments, and universities. Like any other place, it has a history to tell.

Before becoming Strasbourg, it was called Argentoratum, fishers and hunters village and was an important fortified place during the Roman era. Barbarians and others tried to invade the city that became a German province from 870. After the 30 years War, France annexed the Alsace but the position of Strasbourg was uncertain. But in 1681, Strasbourg was again a French possession. In 1870 Germany won back the city and stayed under the German domination until the 11th November 1918, day of its liberation. The Nazi occupied the city during the Second World War until General Leclerc freed it in 1944.

It is today a main part in the EU and is the headquarters of many European institutions. Thanks to the Rhine River the merchandising traffic is extremely active and gives a subsequent boost to the local economy. Places to go: Modern arts museum, Historical museum, Archaeological museum, Church of Strasbourg, Rohan Castle, etc.

Strasbourg Tourist Attractions

Notre Dame Cathedral

The Cathedral shares Strasbourg 's history of piggy-in-the-middle, falling under Protestant control after the Reformation and returning to the Catholic Church when Louis XIV took control of the city in 1681. Although shrouded in cobwebs of scaffolding, this huge building still stands proud, its steeple (completed in 1439) reaching 142m (466ft). The interior is rather plain but highlights include the intricate façade with its three portals dedicated to the life of Christ and Last Judgement, the Eglise and Synagogue statues (the originals are located at the Musée de l'Oeuvre Notre-Dame) and the colourful rose window over the west portal.

Petite France

The popular corner of the Grand Île (the Main Island ) is where the Île river splits up into a number of canals, and cascades through a small area of half-timbered houses. The quarter is brimming with tourist restaurants and souvenir shops.

Ponts Couverts

Towers and footbridges situated at the end of 'Petite France' are the Ponts-Couverts, one of the most famous tourist attractions in all of Strasbourg. Comprising three 13th-century towers, these ancient fortified remains owe their name to the series of roofed, wooden footbridges.

Quartier Allemand

The Quartier Allemand (German District) is the showcase of German neoclassical architecture in Strasbourg. At the heart of the district lies Place de la République, a vast square centred on a small wooded park.

Notre-Dame Museum

The original pair of statues (circa 1230) of Eglise (a symbol of the victorious Church) and the blindfolded, defeated Synagogue (representing Judaism), is the main treasure of this museum. Other highlights include the Tête du Christ (Head of Christ), part of a stained-glass window from the mid-11th century, the sculptures of Nicolas Gerhaert de Leyde and the still-life paintings by Sébastien Stoskopff.

Rohan Palace

This mini-Versailles was built between 1732 and 1742, as a residence for the city's French princely bishops, including Cardinal Louis de Rohan. The château houses 3 museums and a gallery. The basement is devoted to the Musée Archéologique and covers the period from the Palaeolithic Age to AD800. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs, located on the ground floor, comprises the luxurious apartments of the cardinals of Rohan (used as guesthouses by Louis XV and Marie-Antoinette) and a collection of Strasbourgeois clocks and china. The Musée des Beaux Arts, located on the first floor, displays European paintings from the Middle Ages to 1870.

Alsace Museum

This intriguing museum of day-to-day life and Alsatian traditions is housed in three 16th and 17th-century buildings. The hotchpotch collection includes kitchen equipment, furniture, toys and a miniature 18th-century toy synagogue

Parc de l'Orangerie

Located just opposite the Palais de l'Europe, this is the largest and oldest park in the city. The beautifully proportioned pavilion, with its creamy white walls and central fountain, was constructed in honour of Empress Josephine, in 1804. However, the oldest paths were designed by Le Nôtre, two centuries earlier. The lake allows for boating in summer. The park has a zoo, 'mini-farm' and stork enclosure, although visitors should not be surprised to see free-flying white storks nesting on many of the roofs and in the trees.

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