STRASBOURG

France

Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine (ACAL) region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département.

Info Strasbourg

introduction

Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine (ACAL) region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département.

In 2013, the city proper had 275,718 inhabitants, the Eurométropole de Strasbourg (Greater Strasbourg) had 475,934 inhabitants, and the Arrondissement of Strasbourg had 482,384 inhabitants. Strasbourg's metropolitan area has a population of 768,868 in 2012 (not counting the section across the border in Germany) making it is the ninth largest metro area in France and home to 13% of the ACAL region's inhabitants. The transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014.

Strasbourg is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe (with its European Court of Human Rights, its European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and its European Audiovisual Observatory) and the Eurocorps, as well as the European Parliamentand the European Ombudsman of theEuropean Union. The city is also the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine and theInternational Institute of Human Rights.

Strasbourg's historic city centre, the Grande Île(Grand Island), was classified a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1988, the first time such an honour was placed on an entire city centre. Strasbourg is immersed in the Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a bridge of unity between France and Germany for centuries, especially through the University of Strasbourg, currently the second largest in France, and the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture. The largest Islamic place of worship in France, the Strasbourg Grand Mosque, was inaugurated by French Interior Minister Manuel Valls on 27 September 2012.

Economically, Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as a hub of road, rail, and river transportation.The port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Duisburg, Germany.

info
POPULATION :• Population 275,718
• Urban 454,475
• Metro 768,868
FOUNDED : 
TIME ZONE :• Time zone CET (UTC +1)
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
LANGUAGE : French
RELIGION :
AREA :• Area 78.26 km2 (30.22 sq mi)
• Urban 224 km2 (86 sq mi)
• Metro 1,351.5 km2 (521.8 sq mi)
ELEVATION : 132–151 m (433–495 ft)
COORDINATES : 48°35′N 7°45′E
SEX RATIO : Male: 48.4%
 Female: 51.6%
ETHNIC :
AREA CODE :
POSTAL CODE : 67482
DIALING CODE : 0388, 0390, 0368
WEBSITE :  http://www.strasbourg.eu/

Tourism

Strasbourg  is the capital of the Alsace region of France and is most widely known for hosting a number of important European institutions. It is also famous for its beautiful historical centre - the Grande Île - which was the first city centre to be classified entirely as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.


Architecture

The city is chiefly known for its sandstone Gothic Cathedral with its famous astronomical clock, and for its medieval cityscape of Rhineland black and white timber-framed buildings, particularly in the Petite France district or Gerberviertel("tanners' district") alongside the Ill and in the streets and squares surrounding the cathedral, where the renowned Maison Kammerzell stands out.

Notable medieval streets include Rue Mercière, Rue des Dentelles, Rue du Bain aux Plantes, Rue des Juifs, Rue des Frères, Rue des Tonneliers, Rue du Maroquin, Rue des Charpentiers, Rue des Serruriers, Grand' Rue, Quai des Bateliers, Quai Saint-Nicolas and Quai Saint-Thomas. Notable medieval squares include Place de la Cathédrale, Place du Marché Gayot, Place Saint-Étienne, Place du Marché aux Cochons de Lait andPlace Benjamin Zix.

In addition to the cathedral, Strasbourg houses several other medieval churches that have survived the many wars and destructions that have plagued the city: the Romanesque Église Saint-Étienne, partly destroyed in 1944 by Allied bombing raids, the part Romanesque, part Gothic, very large Église Saint-Thomas with its Silbermann organ on which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Albert Schweitzer played,  the Gothic Église protestante Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune with its crypt dating back to the seventh century and its cloisterpartly from the eleventh century, the Gothic Église Saint-Guillaume with its fine early-Renaissance stained glass and furniture, the Gothic Église Saint-Jean, the part Gothic, part Art Nouveau Église Sainte-Madeleine, etc. The Neo-Gothic churchSaint-Pierre-le-Vieux Catholique (there is also an adjacent church Saint-Pierre-le-Vieux Protestant) serves as a shrine for several 15th-century wood worked and painted altars coming from other, now destroyed churches and installed there for public display. Among the numerous secular medieval buildings, the monumental Ancienne Douane (old custom-house) stands out.

The German Renaissance has bequeathed the city some noteworthy buildings (especially the current Chambre de commerce et d'industrie, former town hall, on Place Gutenberg), as did the French Baroque and Classicism with several hôtels particuliers (i.e. palaces), among which the Palais Rohan (1742, now housing three museums) is the most spectacular. Other buildings of its kind are the "Hôtel de Hanau" (1736, now the city hall), the Hôtel de Klinglin (1736, now residence of thepréfet), the Hôtel des Deux-Ponts (1755, now residence of the military governor), the Hôtel d'Andlau-Klinglin (1725, now seat of the administration of the Port autonome de Strasbourg) etc. The largest baroque building of Strasbourg though is the 150 m (490 ft) long 1720s main building of the Hôpital civil. As for French Neo-classicism, it is the Opera House on Place Broglie that most prestigiously represents this style.

Strasbourg also offers high-class eclecticist buildings in its very extended German district, the Neustadt, being the main memory of Wilhelmian architecture since most of the major cities in Germany proper suffered intensive damage during World War II. Streets, boulevards and avenues are homogeneous, surprisingly high (up to seven stories) and broad examples of German urban lay-out and of this architectural style that summons and mixes up five centuries of European architecture as well as Neo-Egyptian, Neo-Greek and Neo-Babylonian styles. The former imperial palace Palais du Rhin, the most political and thus heavily criticized of all German Strasbourg buildings epitomizes the grand scale and stylistic sturdiness of this period. But the two most handsome and ornate buildings of these times are the École internationale des Pontonniers (the former Höhere Mädchenschule, girls college) with its towers, turrets and multiple round and square angles  and the École des Arts décoratifs with its lavishly ornate façade of painted bricks, woodwork and majolica.

Notable streets of the German district include: Avenue de la Forêt Noire, Avenue des Vosges, Avenue d'Alsace, Avenue de la Marseillaise, Avenue de la Liberté,Boulevard de la Victoire, Rue Sellénick,Rue du Général de Castelnau, Rue du Maréchal Foch, and Rue du Maréchal Joffre. Notable squares of the German district include: Place de la République,Place de l'Université, Place Brant, andPlace Arnold

Impressive examples of Prussian military architecture of the 1880s can be found along the newly reopened Rue du Rempart, displaying large-scale fortifications among which the aptly named Kriegstor (war gate).

As for modern and contemporary architecture, Strasbourg possesses some fine Art Nouveau buildings (such as the huge Palais des Fêtes and houses and villas like Villa Schutzenberger and Hôtel Brion), good examples of post-World War II functional architecture (the Cité Rotterdam, for which Le Corbusier did not succeed in the architectural contest) and, in the very extended Quartier Européen, some spectacular administrative buildings of sometimes utterly large size, among which the European Court of Human Rights building by Richard Rogers is arguably the finest. Other noticeable contemporary buildings are the new Music school Cité de la Musique et de la Danse, the Musée d'Art moderne et contemporain and theHôtel du Département facing it, as well as, in the outskirts, the tramway-station Hoenheim-Nord designed by Zaha Hadid.

The city has many bridges, including the medieval and four-towered Ponts Couverts that, despite their name, are no longer covered. Next to the Ponts Couverts is the Barrage Vauban, a part of Vauban's 17th-century fortifications, that does include a covered bridge. Other bridges are the ornate 19th-century Pont de la Fonderie(1893, stone) and Pont d'Auvergne (1892, iron), as well as architect Marc Mimram's futuristic Passerelle over the Rhine, opened in 2004.

The largest square at the centre of the city of Strasbourg is the Place Kléber. Located in the heart of the city's commercial area, it was named after general Jean-Baptiste Kléber, born in Strasbourg in 1753 and assassinated in 1800 in Cairo. In the square is a statue of Kléber, under which is a vault containing his remains. On the north side of the square is the Aubette (Orderly Room), built by Jacques François Blondel, architect of the king, in 1765–1772.


Parks

Strasbourg features a number of prominent parks, of which several are of cultural and historical interest: the Parc de l'Orangerie, laid out as a French garden by André le Nôtre and remodeled as an English garden on behalf of Joséphine de Beauharnais, now displaying noteworthy French gardens, a neo-classical castle and a small zoo; the Parc de la Citadelle, built around impressive remains of the 17th-century fortress erected close to the Rhine by Vauban;  the Parc de Pourtalès, laid out in English style around a baroque castle (heavily restored in the 19th century) that now houses a small three-star hotel, and featuring an open-air museum of international contemporary sculpture.  The Jardin botanique de l'Université de Strasbourg (botanical garden) was created under the German administration next to the Observatory of Strasbourg, built in 1881, and still owns some greenhouses of those times. The Parc des Contades, although the oldest park of the city, was completely remodeled after World War II. The futuristic Parc des Poteries is an example of European park-conception in the late 1990s. TheJardin des deux Rives, spread over Strasbourg and Kehl on both sides of the Rhine opened in 2004 and is the most extended (60-hectare) park of the agglomeration. The most recent park is Parc du Heyritz (8,7 ha), opened in 2014 along a canal facing the hôpital civil.


Museums

For a city of comparatively small size, Strasbourg displays a large quantity and variety of museums:

Fine art museums

Unlike most other cities, Strasbourg's collections of European art are divided into several museums according not only to type and area, but also to epoch. Old master paintings from the Germanic Rhenish territories and until 1681 are displayed in the Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame, old master paintings from all the rest of Europe (including the Dutch Rhenish territories) and until 1871 as well as old master paintings from the Germanic Rhenish territories between 1681 and 1871 are displayed in the Musée des Beaux-Arts. Old master graphic arts until 1871 is displayed in the Cabinet des estampes et dessins. Decorative arts until 1681 ("German period") are displayed in the Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame, decorative arts from 1681 to 1871 ("French period") are displayed in the Musée des Arts décoratifs. International art (painting, sculpture, graphic arts) and decorative art since 1871 is displayed in the Musée d'art moderne et contemporain. The latter museum also displays the city's photographic library.

  • The Musée des Beaux-Arts owns paintings by Hans Memling, Francisco de Goya, Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, Giotto di Bondone, Sandro Botticelli, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, El Greco, Correggio, Cima da Coneglianoand Piero di Cosimo, among others.
  • The Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame (located in a part-Gothic, part-Renaissance building next to the Cathedral) houses a large and renowned collection of medieval and Renaissance upper-Rhenish art, among which original sculptures, plans and stained glass from the Cathedral and paintings by Hans Baldung and Sebastian Stoskopff.
  • The Musée d'Art moderne et contemporain is among the largest museums of its kind in France.
  • The Musée des Arts décoratifs, located in the sumptuous former residence of the cardinals of Rohan, the Palais Rohan displays a reputable collection of 18th century furniture and china.
  • The Cabinet des estampes et des dessins displays five centuries of engravings and drawings, but also woodcuts and lithographies.
  • The Musée Tomi Ungerer/Centre international de l'illustration, located in a large former villa next to the Theatre, displays original works by Ungerer and other artists (Saul Steinberg, Ronald Searle...) as well as Ungerer's large collection of ancient toys.

Other museums

  • The Musée archéologique presents a large display of regional findings from the first ages of man to the sixth century, focussing especially on the Roman and Celtic period.
  • The Musée alsacien is dedicated to traditional Alsatian daily life.
  • Le Vaisseau ("The vessel") is a science and technology centre, especially designed for children.
  • The Musée historique (historical museum) is dedicated to the tumultuous history of the city and displays many artifacts of the times, among which the 'Grüselhorn, the horn that was blown every evening at 10:00, during medieval times, to order the Jews out of the city.
  • The Musée de la Navigation sur le Rhin, also going by the name of Naviscope, located in an old ship, is dedicated to the history of commercial navigation on the Rhine.
  • The Musée vodou (Vodou museum) opened its doors on 28 November 2013. Displaying a private collection of artefacts from Haiti, it is located in a former water tower (château d'eau) built in 1883 and classified as a Monument historique.

University museums

The Université de Strasbourg is in charge of a number of permanent public displays of its collections of scientific artefacts and products of all kinds of exploration and research.

  • The Musée zoologique is one of the oldest in France and is especially famous for its collection of birds. The museum is co-administrated by the municipality.
  • The Gypsothèque (also known as Musée des moulages) is France's second largest cast collection and the largest university cast collection in France.
  • The Musée de Sismologie et Magnétisme terrestre displays antique instruments of measure
  • The Musée Pasteur is a collection of medical curiosities
  • The Musée de minéralogie is dedicated to minerals
  • The Musée d'Égyptologie houses a collections of archaeological findings made in and brought from Egypt and Sudan
  • The Crypte aux étoiles ("star crypt") is situated in the vaulted basement below the Observatory of Strasbourg and displays old telescopes and other antique astronomical devices such as clocks and theodolites.

History

Prehistory

The human occupation of the environs of Strasbourg goes back many thousands of years.  Neolithic, bronze age and iron age artifacts have been uncovered by archeological excavations. It was permanently settled by proto-Celts around 1300 BC. Towards the end of the third century BC, it developed into a Celtic township with a market called "Argentorate". Drainage works converted the stilthouses to houses built on dry land.


From Romans to Renaissance

Argentoratum

The Romans under Nero Claudius Drusus established a military outpost belonging to the Germania Superior Roman province at Strasbourg's current location, and named it Argentoratum. (Hence the town is commonly called Argentina in medieval Latin. ) The name "Argentoratum" was first mentioned in 12 BC and the city celebrated its 2,000th birthday in 1988. "Argentorate" as the toponym of the Gaulish settlement preceded it before being Latinized, but it is not known by how long. The Roman camp was destroyed by fire and rebuilt six times between the first and the fifth centuries AD: in 70, 97, 235, 355, in the last quarter of the fourth century, and in the early years of the fifth century. It was under Trajan and after the fire of 97 that Argentoratum received its most extended and fortified shape. From the year 90 on, the Legio VIII Augusta was permanently stationed in the Roman camp of Argentoratum. It then included a cavalry section and covered an area of approximately 20 hectares. Other Roman legions temporarily stationed in Argentoratum were the Legio XIV Gemina and the Legio XXI Rapax, the latter during the reign of Nero.

The centre of Argentoratum proper was situated on the Grande Île (Cardo: currentRue du Dôme, Decumanus: current Rue des Hallebardes). The outline of the Roman "castrum" is visible in the street pattern in the Grande Ile. Many Roman artifacts have also been found along the current Route des Romains, the road that led to Argentoratum, in the suburb of Kœnigshoffen. This was where the largest burial places were situated, as well as the densest concentration of civilian dwelling places and commerces next to the camp. Among the most outstanding finds in Kœnigshoffen were (found in 1911–12) the fragments of a grand Mithraeum that had been shattered by early Christians in the fourth century. From the fourth century, Strasbourg was the seat of the Bishopric of Strasbourg (made an Archbishopric in 1988). Archaeological excavations below the current Église Saint-Étienne in 1948 and 1956 unearthed the apse of a church dating back to the late fourth or early fifth century, considered to be the oldest church in Alsace. It is supposed that this was the first seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Strasbourg.

The Alemanni fought the Battle of Argentoratum against Rome in 357. They were defeated by Julian, later Emperor of Rome, and their King Chonodomarius was taken prisoner. On 2 January 366, the Alemanni crossed the frozen Rhine in large numbers to invade the Roman Empire. Early in the fifth century, the Alemanni appear to have crossed the Rhine, conquered, and then settled what is today Alsace and a large part of Switzerland.

Imperial city

In the fifth century Strasbourg was occupied successively by Alemanni, Huns, and Franks. In the ninth century it was commonly known as Strazburg in the local language, as documented in 842 by the Oaths of Strasbourg. This trilingual text contains, alongside texts in Latin and Old High German (teudisca lingua), the oldest written variety of Gallo-Romance (lingua romana) clearly distinct from Latin, the ancestor of Old French. The town was also called Stratisburgum orStrateburgus in Latin, from which later came Strossburi in Alsatian and Straßburg in Standard German, and then Strasbourg in French. The Oaths of Strasbourg is considered as marking the birth of the two countries of France and Germany with the division of the Carolingian Empire.

A major commercial centre, the town came under the control of the Holy Roman Empire in 923, through the homage paid by the Duke of Lorraine to German KingHenry I. The early history of Strasbourg consists of a long conflict between its bishop and its citizens. The citizens emerged victorious after the Battle ofOberhausbergen in 1262, when King Philip of Swabia granted the city the status of an Imperial Free City.

Around 1200, Gottfried von Straßburgwrote the Middle High German courtly romance Tristan, which is regarded, alongside Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival and the Nibelungenlied, as one of great narrative masterpieces of the German Middle Ages.

A revolution in 1332 resulted in a broad-based city government with participation of the guilds, and Strasbourg declared itself a free republic. The deadly bubonic plague of 1348 was followed on 14 February 1349 by one of the first and worst pogroms in pre-modern history: over a thousand Jews were publicly burnt to death, with the remainder of the Jewish population being expelled from the city. Until the end of the 18th century, Jews were forbidden to remain in town after 10 pm. The time to leave the city was signalled by a municipalherald blowing the Grüselhorn (see below, Museums, Musée historique);. A special tax, the Pflastergeld (pavement money), was furthermore to be paid for any horse that a Jew would ride or bring into the city while allowed to.

Construction on Strasbourg Cathedral began in the twelfth century, and it was completed in 1439 (though, of the towers, only the north tower was built), becoming the World's Tallest Building, surpassing the Great Pyramid of Giza. A few years later, Johannes Gutenberg created the first European moveable typeprinting press in Strasbourg.

In July 1518, an incident known as the Dancing Plague of 1518 struck residents of Strasbourg. Around 400 people were afflicted with dancing mania and danced constantly for weeks, most of them eventually dying from heart attack, stroke or exhaustion.

In the 1520s during the Protestant Reformation, the city, under the political guidance of Jacob Sturm von Sturmeck and the spiritual guidance of Martin Bucerembraced the religious teachings of Martin Luther. Their adherents established aGymnasium, headed by Johannes Sturm, made into a University in the following century. The city first followed the Tetrapolitan Confession, and then the Augsburg Confession. Protestant iconoclasm caused much destruction to churches and cloisters, notwithstanding that Luther himself opposed such a practice. Strasbourg was a centre of humanist scholarship and early book-printing in the Holy Roman Empire, and its intellectual and political influence contributed much to the establishment of Protestantism as an accepted denomination in the southwest of Germany. (John Calvin spent several years as a political refugee in the city). The Strasbourg Councillor Sturm and guildmaster Matthias represented the city at the Imperial Diet of Speyer (1529), where their protest led to the schism of the Catholic Church and the evolution of Protestantism. Together with four other free cities, Strasbourg presented the confessio tetrapolitana as its Protestant book of faith at the Imperial Diet of Augsburg in 1530, where the slightly different Augsburg Confession was also handed over to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.

After the reform of the Imperial constitution in the early sixteenth century and the establishment of Imperial Circles, Strasbourg was part of the Upper Rhenish Circle, a corporation of Imperial estates in the southwest of Holy Roman Empire, mainly responsible for maintaining troops, supervising coining, and ensuring public security.

After the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg around 1440, the first printing offices outside the inventor's hometown Mainz were established around 1460 in Strasbourg by pioneers Johannes Mentelin and Heinrich Eggestein. Subsequently, the first modern newspaper was published in Strasbourg in 1605, when Johann Carolus received the permission by the City of Strasbourg to print and distribute a weekly journal written in German by reporters from several central European cities.

 

From Thirty Years' War to First World War

The Free City of Strasbourg remained neutral during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), and retained its status as a Free Imperial City. However, the city was later annexed by Louis XIV of France to extend the borders of his kingdom.

Louis' advisors believed that, as long as Strasbourg remained independent, it would endanger the King's newly annexed territories in Alsace, and, that to defend these large rural lands effectively, a garrison had to be placed in towns such as Strasbourg.  Indeed, the bridge over the Rhine at Strasbourg had been used repeatedly by Imperial (Holy Roman Empire) forces,  and three times during the Franco-Dutch War Strasbourg had served as a gateway for Imperial invasions into Alsace.  In September 1681 Louis' forces, though lacking a clear casus belli, surrounded the city with overwhelming force. After some negotiation, Louis marched into the city unopposed on 30 September 1681 and proclaimed its annexation.

This annexation was one of the direct causes of the brief and bloody War of the Reunions whose outcome left the French in possession. The French annexation was recognized by the Treaty of Ryswick (1697). The official policy of religious intolerance which drove most Protestants from France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 was not applied in Strasbourg and in Alsace, because both had a special status as a province à l'instar de l'étranger effectif (a kind of foreign province of the king of France). Strasbourg Cathedral, however, was taken from the Lutherans to be returned to the Catholics as the French authorities tried to promote Catholicism wherever they could (some other historic churches remained in Protestant hands). Its language also remained overwhelmingly German: the German Lutheran university persisted until the French Revolution. Famous students included Goethe and Herder. The world's first school for midwives was opened in Strasbourg in 1728.

During a dinner in Strasbourg organized by Mayor Frédéric de Dietrich on 25 April 1792, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lislecomposed "La Marseillaise". The same year François Christophe Kellermann, a child of Strasbourg was appointed the head of the Mosel Army. He led his company to victory at the battle of Valmyand saved the young French republic. He was later appointed Duke of Valmy by Napoléon in 1808.

During this period Jean-Baptiste Kléber, also born in Strasbourg, led the French army to win several decisive victories. A statue of Kléber now stands in the centre of the city, at Place Kléber, and he is still one of the most famous French officers.

Strasbourg's status as a free city was revoked by the French Revolution. Enragés, most notoriously Eulogius Schneider, ruled the city with an increasingly iron hand. During this time, many churches and monasteries were either destroyed or severely damaged. The cathedral lost hundreds of its statues (later replaced by copies in the 19th century) and in April 1794, there was talk of tearing its spire down, on the grounds that it was against the principle of equality. The tower was saved, however, when in May of the same year citizens of Strasbourg crowned it with a giant tin Phrygian cap. This artifact was later kept in the historical collections of the city until it was destroyed in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian war.

In 1805, 1806 and 1809, Napoléon Bonaparte and his first wife, Joséphine stayed in Strasbourg.  In 1810, his second wife Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma spent her first night on French soil in the palace. Another royal guest was King Charles X of France in 1828.  In 1836, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte unsuccessfully tried to lead his first Bonapartist coup in Strasbourg.

With the growth of industry and commerce, the city's population tripled in the 19th century to 150,000.

During the Franco-Prussian War and the Siege of Strasbourg, the city was heavily bombarded by the Prussian army. The bombardment of the city was meant to break the morale of the people of Strasbourg.  On 24 and 26 August 1870, the Museum of Fine Arts was destroyed by fire, as was the Municipal Library housed in the Gothic former Dominican church, with its unique collection of medieval manuscripts (most famously the Hortus deliciarum), rare Renaissance books, archeological finds and historical artifacts. The gothic cathedral was damaged as well as the medieval church of Temple Neuf, the theatre, the city hall, the court of justice and many houses. At the end of the siege 10,000 inhabitants were left without shelter; over 600 died, including 261 civilians, and 3200 were injured, including 1,100 civilians.

In 1871, after the end of the war, the city was transferred to the newly established German Empire as part of the Reichsland Elsass-Lothringen under the terms of the Treaty of Frankfurt. As part of Imperial Germany, Strasbourg was rebuilt and developed on a grand and representative scale, such as the Neue Stadt, or "new city" around the present Place de la République. Historian Rodolphe Reuss and Art historian Wilhelm von Bode were in charge of rebuilding the municipal archives, libraries and museums. The University, founded in 1567 and suppressed during the French Revolution as a stronghold of German sentiment,  was reopened in 1872 under the name Kaiser-Wilhelms-Universität.

A belt of massive fortifications was established around the city, most of which still stands today, renamed after French generals and generally classified as Monuments historiques; most notably Fort Roon (now Fort Desaix) and Fort Podbielski (now Fort Ducrot) in Mundolsheim, Fort von Moltke (now Fort Rapp) in Reichstett, Fort Bismarck (nowFort Kléber) in Wolfisheim, Fort Kronprinz(now Fort Foch) in Niederhausbergen, Fort Kronprinz von Sachsen (now Fort Joffre) in Holtzheim and Fort Großherzog von Baden (now Fort Frère) in Oberhausbergen.

Those forts subsequently served the French army (Fort Podbielski/Ducrot for instance was integrated into the Maginot Line ), and were used as POW-camps in 1918 and 1945.

Two garrison churches were also erected for the members of the Imperial German army, the Lutheran Église Saint-Paul and the Roman Catholic Église Saint-Maurice.


1918 to the present

Following the defeat of the German empire in World War I and the abdication of the German Emperor, some revolutionary insurgents declared Alsace-Lorraine as an independent Republic, without preliminary referendum or vote. On 11 November 1918 (Armistice Day), communist insurgents proclaimed a "soviet government" in Strasbourg, following the example of Kurt Eisner in Munich as well as other German towns. French troops commanded by French general Henri Gouraud entered triumphantly in the city on 22 November. A major street of the city now bears the name of that date (Rue du 22 Novembre) which celebrates the entry of the French in the city. Viewing the massive cheering crowd gathered under the balcony of Strasbourg's town hall, French President Raymond Poincaré stated that "the plebiscite is done".

In 1919, following the Treaty of Versailles, the city was annexed by France in accordance with U.S. President Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteen Points" without a referendum. The date of the assignment was retroactively established on Armistice Day. It is doubtful whether a referendum in Strasbourg would have ended in France's favour since the political parties striving for an autonomous Alsace or a connection to France accounted only for a small proportion of votes in the last Reichstag as well as in the local elections.  The Alsatian autonomists who were pro French had won many votes in the more rural parts of the region and other towns since the annexation of the region by Germany in 1871. The movement started with the first election for the Reichstag; those elected were called "les députés protestataires", and until the fall of Bismarck in 1890, they were the only deputies elected by the Alsatians to the German parliament demanding the return of those territories to France. At the last Reichstag election in Strasbourg and its periphery, the clear winners were the Social Democrats; the city was the administrative capital of the region, was inhabited by many Germans appointed by the central government in Berlin and its flourishing economy attracted many Germans. This could explain the difference between the rural vote and the one in Strasbourg. After the war, many Germans left Strasbourg and went back to Germany; some of them were denounced by the locals or expelled by the newly appointed authorities. The Saverne Affair was vivid in the memory among the Alsatians.

In 1920, Strasbourg became the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine, previously located in Mannheim, one of the oldest European institutions. It moved into the former Imperial Palace.

When the Maginot Line was built, the Sous-secteur fortifié de Strasbourg (fortified sub-sector of Strasbourg) was laid out on the city's territory as a part of theSecteur fortifié du Bas-Rhin, one of the sections of the Line. Blockhouses and casemates were built along the Grand Canal d'Alsace and the Rhine in the Robertsau forest and the port.

Between the German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 and the Anglo-French declaration of War against the German Reich on 3 September 1939, the entire city (a total of 120,000 people) was evacuated, like other border towns as well. Until the arrival of the Wehrmacht troops mid-June 1940, the city was, for ten months, completely empty, with the exception of the garrisoned soldiers. The Jews of Strasbourg had been evacuated to Périgueux and Limoges, the University had been evacuated to Clermont-Ferrand.

After the ceasefire following the Fall of France in June 1940, Alsace was annexed by Germany and a rigorous policy of Germanisation was imposed upon it by the Gauleiter Robert Heinrich Wagner. When, in July 1940, the first evacuees were allowed to return, only residents of Alsatian origin were admitted. The last Jews were deported on 15 July 1940 and the main synagogue, a huge Romanesque revival building that had been a major architectural landmark with its 54-metre-high dome since its completion in 1897, was set ablaze, then razed.

In September 1940 the first Alsatian resistance movement led by Marcel Weinum called La main noire (The black hand) was created. It was composed by a group of 25 young men aged from 14 to 18 years old who led several attacks against the German occupation. The actions culminated with the attack on the Gauleiter Robert Wagner, the highest commander of Alsace directly under the order of Hitler. In March 1942, Marcel Weinum was prosecuted by the Gestapo and sentenced to be beheaded at the age of 18 in April 1942 in Stuttgart, Germany. His last words will be: "If I have to die, I shall die but with a pure heart". From 1943 the city was bombarded by Allied aircraft. While the First World War had not notably damaged the city, Anglo-American bombing caused extensive destruction in raids of which at least one was allegedly carried out by mistake.  In August 1944, several buildings in the Old Town were damaged by bombs, particularly the Palais Rohan, the Old Customs House (Ancienne Douane) and the Cathedral.  On 23 November 1944, the city was officially liberated by the 2nd French Armoured Division under General Leclerc. He achieved the oath that he made with his soldiers, after the decisive Capture of Kufra. With the Oath of Kuffra, they swore to keep up the fight until the French flag flew over the Cathedral of Strasbourg.

Many people from Strasbourg were incorporated in the German Army against their will, and were sent to the eastern front, those young men and women were called Malgré-nous. Many tried to escape from the incorporation, join the French Resistance, or desert the Wehrmacht but many couldn't because they were running the risk of having their families sent to work or concentration camps by the Germans. Many of these men, especially those who did not answer the call immediately, were pressured to "volunteer" for service with the SS, often by direct threats on their families. This threat obliged the majority of them to remain in the German army. After the war, the few that survived were often accused of being traitors or collaborationists, because this tough situation was not known in the rest of France, and they had to face the incomprehension of many. In July 1944, 1500 malgré-nous were released from Soviet captivity and sent to Algiers, where they joined the Free French Forces. Nowadays history recognizes the suffering of those people, and museums, public discussions and memorials have been built to commemorate this terrible period of history of this part of Eastern France (Alsace and Moselle). Liberation of Strasbourg took place on 23 November 1944.

In 1947, a fire broke out in the Musée des Beaux-Arts and devastated a significant part of the collections. This fire was an indirect consequence of the bombing raids of 1944: because of the destruction inflicted on the Palais Rohan, humidity had infiltrated the building, and moisture had to be fought. This was done with welding torches, and a bad handling of these caused the fire.

In the 1950s and 1960s the city was enlarged by new residential areas meant to solve both the problem of housing shortage due to war damage and that of the strong growth of population due to the baby boom and immigration from North Africa: Cité Rotterdam in the North-East, Quartier de l'Esplanade in the South-East, Hautepierre in the North-West. Between 1995 and 2010, a new district has been built in the same vein, the Quartier des Poteries, south of Hautepierre.

In 1958, a violent hailstorm destroyed most of the historical greenhouses of the Botanical Garden and many of the stained glass windows of St. Paul's Church.

In 1949, the city was chosen to be the seat of the Council of Europe with its European Court of Human Rights and European Pharmacopoeia. Since 1952, theEuropean Parliament has met in Strasbourg, which was formally designated its official 'seat' at the Edinburgh meeting of the European Council of EU heads of state and government in December 1992. (This position was reconfirmed and given treaty status in the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam). However, only the (four-day) plenary sessions of the Parliament are held in Strasbourg each month, with all other business being conducted in Brussels and Luxembourg. Those sessions take place in the Immeuble Louise Weiss, inaugurated in 1999, which houses the largest parliamentary assembly room in Europe and of any democratic institution in the world. Before that, the EP sessions had to take place in the main Council of Europe building, the Palace of Europe, whose unusual inner architecture had become a familiar sight to European TV audiences.  In 1992, Strasbourg became the seat of the Franco-German TV channel and movie-production society Arte.

In 2000, a terrorist plot to blow up the cathedral was prevented thanks to the cooperation between French and German police that led to the arrest in late 2000 of a Frankfurt-based group of terrorists.

On 6 July 2001, during an open-air concert in the Parc de Pourtalès, a single falling Platanus tree killed thirteen people and injured 97. On 27 March 2007, the city was found guilty of neglect over the accident and fined €150,000.

In 2006, after a long and careful restoration, the inner decoration of the Aubette, made in the 1920s by Hans Arp, Theo van Doesburg, and Sophie Taeuber-Arpand destroyed in the 1930s, was made accessible to the public again. The work of the three artists had been called "the Sistine Chapel of abstract art".

Climate

In spite of its position far inland, Strasbourg's climate is classified as Oceanic , with warm, relatively sunny summers and cold, overcast winters. Precipitation is elevated from mid-spring to the end of summer, but remains largely constant throughout the year, totaling 631.4 mm (24.9 in) annually. On average, snow falls 30 days per year.

The highest temperature ever recorded was 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) in August 2003, during the 2003 European heat wave. The lowest temperature ever recorded was −23.4 °C (−10.1 °F) in December 1938.

Strasbourg's location in the Rhine valley, sheltered from the dominant winds by the Vosges and Black Forest mountains, results in poor natural ventilation, making Strasbourg one of the most atmospherically polluted cities of France. Nonetheless, the progressive disappearance of heavy industry on both banks of the Rhine, as well as effective measures of traffic regulation in and around the city have reduced air pollution.

Climate data for Strasbourg

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)17.5
(63.5)
21.1
(70)
25.7
(78.3)
30.0
(86)
33.4
(92.1)
37.0
(98.6)
38.3
(100.9)
38.5
(101.3)
33.4
(92.1)
29.1
(84.4)
22.1
(71.8)
18.3
(64.9)
38.5
(101.3)
Average high °C (°F)4.5
(40.1)
6.4
(43.5)
11.4
(52.5)
15.7
(60.3)
20.2
(68.4)
23.4
(74.1)
25.7
(78.3)
25.4
(77.7)
21.0
(69.8)
15.3
(59.5)
8.8
(47.8)
5.2
(41.4)
15.3
(59.5)
Daily mean °C (°F)1.8
(35.2)
2.9
(37.2)
7
(45)
10.5
(50.9)
15
(59)
18.1
(64.6)
20.1
(68.2)
19.8
(67.6)
15.8
(60.4)
11.2
(52.2)
5.8
(42.4)
2.8
(37)
11
(52)
Average low °C (°F)−0.8
(30.6)
−0.6
(30.9)
2.5
(36.5)
5.2
(41.4)
9.8
(49.6)
12.8
(55)
14.5
(58.1)
14.1
(57.4)
10.6
(51.1)
7.1
(44.8)
2.8
(37)
0.3
(32.5)
6.6
(43.9)
Record low °C (°F)−23.6
(−10.5)
−22.3
(−8.1)
−16.7
(1.9)
−5.6
(21.9)
−2.4
(27.7)
1.1
(34)
4.9
(40.8)
4.8
(40.6)
−1.3
(29.7)
−7.6
(18.3)
−10.8
(12.6)
−23.4
(−10.1)
−23.6
(−10.5)
              
Source #1: Meteo France
Source #2: Infoclimat.fr 

Geography

Strasbourg is situated on the eastern border of France with Germany. This border is formed by the River Rhine, which also forms the eastern border of the modern city, facing across the river to the German town Kehl. The historic core of Strasbourg however lies on the Grande Île in the River Ill, which here flows parallel to, and roughly 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from, the Rhine. The natural courses of the two rivers eventually join some distance downstream of Strasbourg, although several artificial waterways now connect them within the city.

The city lies in the Upper Rhine Plain, at between 132 metres (433 ft) and 151 metres (495 ft) above sea level, with the upland areas of the Vosges Mountainssome 20 km (12 mi) to the west and the Black Forest 25 km (16 mi) to the east. This section of the Rhine valley is a major axis of north-south travel, with river traffic on the Rhine itself, and major roads and railways paralleling it on both banks.

The city is some 400 kilometres (250 mi) east of Paris. The mouth of the Rhine lies approximately 450 kilometres (280 mi) to the north, or 650 kilometres (400 mi) as the river flows, whilst the head of navigation in Basel is some 100 kilometres (62 mi) to the south, or 150 kilometres (93 mi) by river.

Subdivisions

Strasbourg is divided into the following districts:

  1. Bourse, Esplanade, Krutenau
  2. Centre République
  3. Centre Gare
  4. Conseil des XV, Rotterdam
  5. Cronenbourg, Hautepierre, Poteries, Hohberg
  6. Koenigshoffen, Montagne-Verte, Elsau
  7. Meinau
  8. Neudorf, Schluthfeld, Port du Rhin, Musau
  9. Neuhof, Stockfeld, Ganzau
  10. Robertsau, Wacken

Internet, Comunication

Phone

Local mobile phone services are provided by Orange, SFR and Bouygues Télécoms. Payphone kiosks are plentiful and international calling cards can be purchased in post offices and 'tabacs' (corner shops). Most of the internet cafés listed below are also equipped for making online telephony calls (Skype etc.).


Internet

  • Cyber Café L'Utopie. 21 rue du Fossé des Tanneurs. [www] 15 PCs with high speed ADSL internet access charged by the hour, accommodation also available. Tel : (+33)388238921.
  • In most McDonald's in Strasbourg you get free WLAN.

Prices in Strasbourg

PRICES LIST - USD

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk1 liter€1.00
Tomatoes1 kg€2.50
Cheese0.5 kg€7.00
Apples1 kg€2.10
Oranges1 kg€2.90
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€1.15
Bottle of Wine1 bottle€7.80
Coca-Cola2 liters€1.95
Bread1 piece€1.70
Water1.5 l€0.75

PRICES LIST - USD

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range)for 2€30.00
Dinner (Mid-range)for 2€43.00
Dinner (High-range)for 2€57.00
Mac Meal or similar1 meal€8.00
Water0.33 l€1.80
Cappuccino1 cup€2.60
Beer (Imported)0.33 l€4.20
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€4.50
Coca-Cola0.33 l€2.60
Coctail drink1 drink€8.00

PRICES LIST - USD

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema2 tickets€18.00
Gym1 month€58.00
Men’s Haircut1 haircut€17.00
Theatar2 tickets€42.00
Mobile (prepaid)1 min.€0.05
Pack of Marlboro1 pack€7.00

PRICES LIST - USD

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics1 pack€10.00
Tampons32 pieces€4.80
Deodorant50 ml.€3.80
Shampoo400 ml.€3.20
Toilet paper4 rolls€1.45
Toothpaste1 tube€2.65

PRICES LIST - USD

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)1€90.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)1€38.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)1€77.00
Leather shoes1€120.00

PRICES LIST - USD

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline1 liter€1.29
TaxiStart
Taxi1 km
Local Transport1 ticket€1.70

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Strasbourg International Airport (SXB) is located south-west of the city at Entzheim, with domestic as well as international flights. Air France [www] is the principal operator. There are several flights a day to and from Paris. A train runs to the town center (€4, including a tram connexion, valid for 90 min. If you only need to get to the central station, buy your ticket not from the machines in the arrivals hall but on the train platform directly where the ticket will cost you €2.30). The travel time is 9 minutes and the frequency is 15 minutes.

Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Airport (EAP) is one-hour twenty minutes by train, from the main Strasbourg train station. Low-cost companies such as EasyJet offer flights from and to several other European countries.

Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport (FKB) www is located about 60 km away in Germany. Ryanair operates from Karlsruhe following a court ruling that declared its subsidy arrangements at Strasbourg Airport a contravention of European legislation. The best way to get to Strasbourg is by bus from the airport to Baden-Baden Hauptbahnhof (Main Station); from here trains run to Strasbourg, normally with one change. From station to station the journey is about 45m-1hr. Here is a timetable for direct bus from the Airport running to Strasbourg, this is tied into meet Ryanair flights from London.

Frankfurt International Airport is about three hours away from Strasbourg, and is one of the nearest inter-continental airports to Strasbourg. Lufthansa operates a shuttle bus between Strasbourg and Frankfurt, Germany (but an indirect connection by train can be cheaper if booked online in advance, connecting in either Karlsruhe or Offenburg). The bus takes 2.5 hours and costs €49 (one way). See online for more information. Reservation is necessary for the Lufthansa Airport Buses from/to Strasbourg.

Transportation - Get In

By Train

Strasbourg is well served by regional, national and international train services, predominantly by SNCF (French Railways), but also by Deutsche Bahn (German Railways).

With the opening of the new TGV Est Européen on 9 June 2007, journey times from Strasbourg to many destinations, including Paris, have been significantly reduced. TGV trains have replaced most existing slower services (previously served by Corail or Corail Téoz).

Major destinations include the following major towns and cities with multiple daily departures. Journey times are approximate, some require TGV trains.

  • Paris 2hrs 20m
  • Dijon 2hrs
  • Lyon 3hrs 40m
  • Metz 1hr 15m
  • Nancy 1hr 15m
  • Marseille 5hr 30m
  • Besancon 1hr 40m
  • Luxembourg 2hrs 15 m
  • Mulhouse 50m
  • Basel/Bâle 1hr 10m
  • Frankfurt 2hrs
  • Stuttgart 1hr 20m
  • Munich 3hrs 40m
  • Zurich 2hrs 5m
  • Saarbrücken 1hr 30m by direct local train
  • Brussels 5hrs 10m

A number of overnight trains with sleeper and couchette accommodations also serve:

  • Marseille 9hrs and Nice 12hrs 15m
  • Montpellier 10hrs 10m and Portbou 13hrs 10m
  • Vienna 11hrs

From summer 2007, the TGV Est Européen created new direct services to:

  • Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport 2hrs 25m
  • Lille 3hrs 20m (for same-station connections via Eurostar to London)
  • Rennes 5hrs 15m
  • Nantes 5hrs 10m
  • Bordeaux 6hrs 45m

The railway station, impressively renovated with a new glass cocoon frontage, is located a short walk west of the town center on Place de la Gare. There are connections to the tram system and buses, with many taxis waiting outside (to the left of the station forecourt).

For details of all services, and to make reservations, contact SNCF. For regional travel, contact SNCF TER Alsace who co-ordinate the efficient and well served regional train network. When planning trips east of Strasbourg into Germany or countries beyond, you could save money by comparing the fares offered by Deutsche Bahn to those of the SNCF.

From Saarbrücken, Saar-Elsass ticket can be purchased for 35€ on weekends that enables round-trip for up to 5 travellers. More details are [www]

Transportation - Get In

By Bus

  • Eurolines provides bus services to the city. Services call at the new bus stop situated at the entrance of the center, few meters from the Etoile-Bourse tram stop.
  • ADAC Postbus serves Strasbourg as part of it's growing network in Germany.
  • Deinbus.de serves Strasbourg on it's route from Konstanz to Trier.
  • Meinfernbus stops on 2 routes in Strasbourg on the way to Freiburg and Düsseldorf/Dortmund.

Transportation - Get In

By Car

You can reach Strasbourg by various highways:

  • from the west (Paris, Benelux) taking the A4 highway (E25). About 4 hours from Paris and 2 hours 15 minutes from Luxembourg.
  • from the south (Switzerland, Lyon), taking the A35 highway (E25). About 5 hours from Lyon
  • from the north and east (Germany), taking the A5 highway (E35).

Driving into Strasbourg's old city is relatively easy although there are a few streets off limits to cars. There are many large garages surrounding the old city if your hotel does not have its own parking facility. Some carparks are more expensive than other, especially for longer stays. At the moment the one at Petite France Ste Marguerite is the cheapest at 7.20€/24 hour and 5.20€ for each consecutive day. See the Parcus website for details.

Tickets P+R – Stationnement pour la journée + aller-retour en tram pour tous les passagers du véhicule (7 personnes maximum): 3.20 €, P+R Rotonde: 3.70 €.


Transportation - Get Around

Strasbourg is most easily explored on foot, and the historic city centre can easily be explored in a day or two. To be able to cover more ground, you should consider hiring a bike or using the public transport network.

Transportation - Get Around

By bike

Strasbourg is ideal for cycling - the city center is flat and there are plenty of bike lanes and bike paths. You can rent bikes at:

  • the automatic or manned bike sharing stations vélhop'[www]
  • rue du Maire Kuss, in front of the train station
  • rue des Bouchers, on the south bank of the Ill river, near the rue d'Austerlitz and the Porte de l'Hôpital tramway station.

Bikes are allowed on trams except during peak hours.

More information on cycling in Strasbourg: [www]

Transportation - Get Around

By bus and tram

Buses and trams in Strasbourg are operated by the Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois (CTS) [www]. A few dozen numbered bus lines and six tram lines (named A to F) serve the city. A single ticketing system covers both bus and tram. Tickets are sold in 'tabacs' (newsagents), tourist offices, CTS boutiques or from vending machines at tram stops. Tickets should be validated before use, either in the machines on tram station platforms or in the machine by the driver when you board the bus.

Summary of fares (as of Sept 2015):

  • Aller Simple (one way) € 1.70
  • Aller Retour (round trip) € 3.30
  • 10 x Aller Simple € 14.00
  • 24H Individuel (24hr ticket for one person) € 4.30
  • Trio (one day ticket for up to three people) € 6.80

If using the buses and/or trams a lot, Europass tickets are available from all automatic ticket machines for either 24 hours or seven days. The Europass Mini is valid on all local tram, bus and train services, including those that cross the border to Kehl. The full Europass ticket also covers the local transport of the Ortenau Tarifverbund in Germany including Offenburg (brochure in German and French only)

 

Hotels

- BEST RATED -

Hotels

- BEST VALUE -

Shopping

From time to time, the city organizes a general market in vast parts of the center, where many street vendors offer various products and the shops join in with special discounts. Then, the city center on the island is partly closed for parking or driving and the trams don't go on the rue des Francs Bourgeois. The 29th July 2006 and the 24th July 2010 (both on Saturday) were such a day, information about regular market dates is hard to find on the net. If you manage to track down the date of this market, write it here and don't miss it.

There is a marché aux Puces (flea market) on rue de Vieil-Hôpital on Wednesday and Saturdays. The Place des Halles, 24, place des Halles, is a shopping center with over 100 shops and restaurants north of the city center, but within walking distance. Open Mon-Fri 09:00 to 20:00, and Saturdays until 20:00.

A new shopping centre, Rivetoile, opened at the end of 2008 at Place d'etoile, in between the Etoile Polygone and Etoile Bourse tram stops. This new development has shops similar to Place des Halles as well as higher budget shops and a selection of cafes.

Try Galeries Lafayettes at rue du 22 Novembre and Printemps at 1-5 rue de la Haute Montée. Rue Hellebardes and Gutenberg offer designer clothes and men's clothes.Bruno Saint Hilaire has designer clothes for men and a shop in 8, rue Gutenberg. There is a low-budget, secondhand clothing shop in 6, rue de la Lanterne, and various gadget shops can be found in rue des Juifs.

For cheap groceries, including local wines and beers, try one of the three outlets of NORMA, a German discount chain whose three outlets are conveniently located at the corner of rue St Michel and rue Ste Marguerite near the central train station; at 79, Grand'Rue near the center of Grand Île; and at 27, rue des Frères near the Cathedral. Open Mon-Fri 10 am to 8 pm, Sat 9:30 am to 7 pm.

Restaurants

Alsatian specialties are numerous and can be eaten in many traditional restaurants, in the city or in the neighborhood. Particularly you shouldn't visit Alsace without having the sauerkraut (choucroute in French). Choucroute seems to have a standard price throughout Alsace of 14 Euros. Don't be too dismayed by this seemingly high price as what is brought to you is heaping plate of Sauerkraut (big enough for 2 people) as well as sausages and other meats. This is usually translated as "garnished sauerkraut" on English menus, when in doubt ask your server. Other specialties include the Alsatian pork-butcher's meat, Flammeküche or flams (tartes flambées in French) which is a sort of wafer thin pizza made with onion-cream sauce,Baeckeoffe, beef and pork stew cooked, with potatoes and carrots, usually served for two or more persons and Fleischnackas, mixed beef meat presented like spirals and served with salads.


Traditional restaurants

  • A l'ancienne douane ('To the old customs house') on rue de la Douane, near the cathedral, next to the Ill river. A big restaurant for tourist groups. You are almost sure to find a place here even if you have no reservation. Mid-range prices.
  • Au petit bois vert, 1, Quai de la Bruche, in the Petite France district, serves well-prepared flams and Alsatian specialties in a small room with smiling waiters. The chef usually comes by at the end of the evening. Great terrace during the summer under a big tree on the bank of the river. No reservation, mid-range prices.
  • Kirn (le restaurant), 17-19, rue du 22 novembre (at the intersection of Fossé des Tanneurs west of Place Kleber), +33 3 88 321610fax: +33 03 88 320865, e-mail: . The restaurant is above a fine Alsatian specialty food shop on the ground floor.
  • Au Dauphin13, place de la Cathédrale (on the corner of cathedral square next to Hotel de la Cathédrale; look for a red awning and walk through the inner courtyard to get to it), +33 388 21 01 46fax: +33 0388 21 03 87, e-mail: . Try the choucroute aux trois poissons; it is very fresh and a wonderful take on the traditional sauerkraut dish. They also serve the traditional choucroute garnie, with up to seven types of meat, including headcheese.
  • Le Sanglier ('The boar'), on rue du Sanglier in the Carré d'Or district, near the cathedral. A small restaurant with a traditional setting. If you want a Baeckoffe, you must inform the restaurant 24h before. Mid-range prices.
  • Winstub La Vigne14, rue de Sébastopol (across the street from the Mc Donald's at Les Halles shopping center),  +33 3 88 220109. This charming and friendly winstub has more moderate prices than its counterparts in La Petite France or near the cathedral, with choucroute garnie and baeckoffe under €15 and bottles of Alsatian wine for about €20.

Modern restaurants

  • Kim Youn (Fooding Coréen), 5, rue Gustave Doré (toward western end of Grand Ile between rue de Jeu des Enfants and rue du 27 novembre),  +33 3 88 321554. Mon-Sat 12h-14h30, 19h-22h. €7-9.50.
  • Mooze, on rue de la Demi-lune near Place Kleber: sushi restaurant. Sushi moves on a conveyor belt in front of you.
  • Tiger wok on rue du Faisan. Asian food. They cook your dish in front of you.
  • Une Fleur des Champs Organic and vegetarian food and beverage, a delicious and varied menu concocted daily from fresh produce and meat sellers in the area. They also offer bulk goods and produce for sale. Prices are modest and portions are large in a quiet, family style atmosphere.

Budget

  • Au Brasseur, 22, rue des Veaux. This a restaurant and microbrewery. Try one of their beers and a tarte flambé for about €10. Has a small children's menu.
  • Al Boustane on rue de la Krutenau. This Lebanese restaurant features sandwiches and kebabs.
  • Flams. On rue des Frères near the Cathédrale. Serves a great variety of flams (tartes flambés) and has an amazing winelist for a budget joint.
  • L'Epicerie, 6, rue du Vieux Seigle, off the rue des Francs Bourgeois. Features sandwiches "tartines" (about €4). Food from noon to night. Tables on street and inside.
  • Le Frangin two doors down from Flam's on Rue des Frères serves a wide range of home-cooked pasta and pizzas at reasonable prices. Pizza and pasta main courses range from €8-9, meat dishes €14-15 and an Alsatian beer €2.50. The owner is friendly and the food is good, satisfying Italian cooking.
  • La Gallia, on quai du Maire Dietrich near the Gallia tramway station (C-line). The oldest university restaurant in France, in a 19th-century building, built by the Germans (which explains the ceiling decorations). It is the last French university restaurant that is managed by students. Not a culinary triumph, but very affordable.
  • Saladin City41, Grand'Rue. Tunisian/Algerian couscous and kebabs. No alcohol. €6-7.
  • Zorba on rue de Zurich. This little Greek restaurant in the Krutenau area features sandwiches, souvlaki, and kebabs.
  • Snack au Soleil on rue de General Zimmer. ONe of the best pizza and kebab in the town. Affordable prices for students.

Mid range

  • Chez Tante Lisele on the Grand'Rue. Very friendly.
  • Chez Yvonne, in the Carré d'Or district, near the cathedral. Usually frequented by Jacques Chirac, when he comes to Strasbourg, because of its well-known tête de veau (cooked veal head). More expensive.
  • La Boucherie, 4, Rue du Vieux Marché aux Vins. This chain restaurant is kid-friendly, with a small children's menu, highchairs, and a toy and colouring book for young children, and will satisfy a craving for red meat at a reasonable price.
  • La Stub, 4, rue du Saumon, just one block from the Vox cinema on rue des Francs Bourgeois in the center of Grand Ile. This local Alsatian favorite features Fischer brews for €2-3 and tartes flambés for €7-8.
  • Restaurant Avanos20 Grand'Rue,  +33 3 88 226257. Spécialités orientales: couscous, döner, grilled meats, fish. 3 plats du jour choices every lunchtime. 10% off takeaway meals every evening. €10-12.

Coffe & Drink

  • Beer : Alsace is the first beer-producing region of France and Strasbourg has many breweries. Best known are Kronenbourg and Fischer, whose factories can be visited for free, with free drinks at the end of the tour.
  • Alsatian white wine : usually drunk with Alsatian food, but also with fish. The main varieties are Gewürtztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Gris. They have a particularly floral flavour and are well worth investigating.

Sights & Landmarks

Strasbourg is a popular tourist destination primarily thanks to the beautifully preserved and pedestrian friendly city centre, which can be explored on foot or bicycle in a few days. Don't forget that Strasbourg's appeal now brings tourists to the city throughout the year, with large tour groups especially frequent during the summer months and during the annual winter market. Staying for a few days will allow you to see the city when it's calmest, first thing in the morning and during the evening.

The main Tourist Office is located on Place de la Cathédrale, with a smaller office in the concourse level of the railway station. Both are open 09h00 to 19h00.


Tours

The tourist office sells a variety of self-guided walking tours through the town (Middle Ages, Renaissance, Modern and Contemporary) for €1 each, and also arranges bike tours through the Faubourgs (the suburbs of Neudorf and Neuhof). Maps, brochures and last minute accommodation are also available.

Water-bus tours are available near the Palais des Rohans (south of the cathedral). Those tours (about 45 min.) run around the town center and the European district.


Districts

Grand Île

  • Cathédrale Notre Dame. Built between 1176 and 1439 and with a 142 metre tower (the highest cathedral tower in France), the Gothic cathedral is undoubtedly Strasbourg's finest architectural highlight.
    • Just near-by on place du Château is the Musée de l'Oeuvre Notre Dame - Medieval and Renaissance Art [www] – a splendid museum of medieval religious art related to the cathedral.
    • Astrometric Clock in the cathedral
  • Maison Kammerzell (The Kammerzell house), (XVth century) (to the left of the front of the cathedral) – The intricately carved half-timbered frames decorating the upper floors date from 1589.
  • Palais des Rohan. French-style palace, built after the acquisition of the town by the French (1681). Home to the Museum of Fine Arts, the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts.
  • Musée Alsacien (Alsatian Museum), 23-25, Quai Saint-Nicolas (just across the river from the Ancienne Douane), +33 3 88 52 50 01. Mon, Wed - Fri 12am - 6pm, Sat and Sun 10am to 6pm. This museum features articles from the daily lives of Alsatian peoples from the 13th to 19th centuries: clothing, furniture, toys, tools of artisans and farmers, and religious objects used in Christian, Jewish, and even pagan rites. The exhibits are in rooms connected by wooden staircases and balconies in adjacent multistory Renaissance-era houses around a central courtyard. Admission €6.

Petite France

Petite France is the name given to the small area between the rivers, just south of the Grande Île. It is home to some of Strasbourg's prettiest and most photogenic streets and buildings, with half timbered townhouses leaning out over the narrow cobbled streets. Petite France resembles Colmar (a city an hour south), with picturesque canal and half-timber houses.

Elsewhere in Strasbourg

  • Orangerie - a beautiful classical park. It has a small free zoo featuring birds and a few other animals. Also has an excellent playground for young children.
  • Stockfeld, garden city built in the early XXth century in the south-east of the Neuhof (southern part of the town) (bus line 24)
  • European district (bus lines 6, 30, 72) :
    • Council of Europe's seat (Le Palais de l'Europe) (1977), built by Henry Bernard
    • European Court of Human Rights (1995), built by Richard Rogers
    • European Parliament (1999), built by Architecture Studio
  • ARTE Television [www] headquarters. 4, quai du Chanoine Winterer, near the European district.
  • B-line tramway terminus at Hoenheim (northern conurbation) (2001), built by the contemporary architect Zaha Hadid.
  • Place de la République - A central crossroad encircled by neoclassical public buildings
  • Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art - recommended also because of the interesting building
  • Historical Museum - museum of Strasbourg's history
  • Zoological Museum

Museums & Galleries

For a city of comparatively small size, Strasbourg displays a large quantity and variety of museums:


Fine art museums

Unlike most other cities, Strasbourg's collections of European art are divided into several museums according not only to type and area, but also to epoch. Old master paintings from the Germanic Rhenish territories and until 1681 are displayed in the Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame, old master paintings from all the rest of Europe (including the Dutch Rhenish territories) and until 1871 as well as old master paintings from the Germanic Rhenish territories between 1681 and 1871 are displayed in the Musée des Beaux-Arts. Old master graphic arts until 1871 is displayed in the Cabinet des estampes et dessins. Decorative arts until 1681 ("German period") are displayed in the Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame, decorative arts from 1681 to 1871 ("French period") are displayed in the Musée des Arts décoratifs. International art (painting, sculpture, graphic arts) and decorative art since 1871 is displayed in the Musée d'art moderne et contemporain. The latter museum also displays the city's photographic library.

  • The Musée des Beaux-Arts owns paintings by Hans Memling, Francisco de Goya, Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, Giotto di Bondone, Sandro Botticelli, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, El Greco, Correggio, Cima da Coneglianoand Piero di Cosimo, among others.
  • The Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame (located in a part-Gothic, part-Renaissance building next to the Cathedral) houses a large and renowned collection of medieval and Renaissance upper-Rhenish art, among which original sculptures, plans and stained glass from the Cathedral and paintings by Hans Baldung and Sebastian Stoskopff.
  • The Musée d'Art moderne et contemporain is among the largest museums of its kind in France.
  • The Musée des Arts décoratifs, located in the sumptuous former residence of the cardinals of Rohan, the Palais Rohan displays a reputable collection of 18th century furniture and china.
  • The Cabinet des estampes et des dessins displays five centuries of engravings and drawings, but also woodcuts and lithographies.
  • The Musée Tomi Ungerer/Centre international de l'illustration, located in a large former villa next to the Theatre, displays original works by Ungerer and other artists (Saul Steinberg, Ronald Searle...) as well as Ungerer's large collection of ancient toys.

Other museums

  • The Musée archéologique presents a large display of regional findings from the first ages of man to the sixth century, focussing especially on the Roman and Celtic period.
  • The Musée alsacien is dedicated to traditional Alsatian daily life.
  • Le Vaisseau ("The vessel") is a science and technology centre, especially designed for children.
  • The Musée historique (historical museum) is dedicated to the tumultuous history of the city and displays many artifacts of the times, among which the 'Grüselhorn, the horn that was blown every evening at 10:00, during medieval times, to order the Jews out of the city.
  • The Musée de la Navigation sur le Rhin, also going by the name of Naviscope, located in an old ship, is dedicated to the history of commercial navigation on the Rhine.
  • The Musée vodou (Vodou museum) opened its doors on 28 November 2013. Displaying a private collection of artefacts from Haiti, it is located in a former water tower (château d'eau) built in 1883 and classified as a Monument historique.

University museums

The Université de Strasbourg is in charge of a number of permanent public displays of its collections of scientific artefacts and products of all kinds of exploration and research.

  • The Musée zoologique is one of the oldest in France and is especially famous for its collection of birds. The museum is co-administrated by the municipality.
  • The Gypsothèque (also known as Musée des moulages) is France's second largest cast collection and the largest university cast collection in France.
  • The Musée de Sismologie et Magnétisme terrestre displays antique instruments of measure
  • The Musée Pasteur is a collection of medical curiosities
  • The Musée de minéralogie is dedicated to minerals
  • The Musée d'Égyptologie houses a collections of archaeological findings made in and brought from Egypt and Sudan
  • The Crypte aux étoiles ("star crypt") is situated in the vaulted basement below the Observatory of Strasbourg and displays old telescopes and other antique astronomical devices such as clocks and theodolites.

Things to do

Christmas Markets can be found in many places, but the most important and beautiful are place Broglie and place de la Cathédrale, although they are crowded. They are the best places to drink hot wine (vin chaud) and to eat Christmas cookies (Brädeles).

Even when there are no special events on in Strasbourg, walking around the old town is a very nice way to pass a day. And there are lots of good cafes to stop and rest in as you make your tour.

Festivals and events

  • Musica, international festival of contemporary classical music (autumn)
  • Festival international de Strasbourg (founded in 1932), festival of classical music and jazz (summer)
  • Festival des Artefacts, festival of contemporary non-classical music
  • Les Nuits électroniques de l'Ososphère
  • The Spectre Film Festival is an annual film festival that is devoted to science fiction, horror and fantasy.
  • The Strasbourg International Film Festival is an annual film festival focusing on new and emerging independent filmmakers from around the world.

Nightlife

 


Bars

  • Place du Marché Gayot. Located on Rue des Frères. Close to the cathedral.
  • Les Frères Berthom.  Beer bar located on the Rue de Tonneliers in the proximity of la place Gutenburg. Spacious with an agreeable atmosphere.
  • Le Zanzibar1 pl. St-Etienne. You can enjoy a beer here either inside or on the terrace. Open until 4 in the morning.
  • Le Café Bar Odyssée3 rue des Francs Bourgeois. Bar with an intimate interior. Great place to enjoy a game of backgammon.

Things to know


Talk

While it may be possible to find people who will engage in a conversation with you in German, the lingua franca of Strasbourg (and all of Alsace) is French. It is possible to hear German spoken on the streets, especially around the Cathedral. Alsatian (the historic Germanic language of Alsace) is a declining language, spoken mostly by the region's older residents or in rural areas but efforts are underway to revive it.

Safety in Strasbourg

Stay Safe

Strasbourg is one of the safest large cities in France and the tourist has little to fear. Of course, the standard precautions apply: watch out for pickpockets near the Cathedral (and even inside, according to the signs) during the high tourist season. Unfortunately, some areas in the west and the south are named as the home of poor, unemployed people. But in general, the city of Strasbourg is not known for violence.

Very High / 8.5

Safety (Walking alone - day)

Mid. / 5.5

Safety (Walking alone - night)

TOP

Pin It on Pinterest