Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
by Ed Hahn
Hong Kong, China
February 15, 2006
From journal Surprising Strasbourg
, West Virginia
August 25, 2004
Les Ponts Couverts
The pavement changes. Then, like a fourteenth-century "gateway" to Little France, the
bridges announce to visitors that they are entering another time zone.
Landscaping and terracing accomplished by Vauban include three canals of the Ill River
with a barrage later covered with earth and grass to provide views from the top. Vauban’s
Fortress or four watchtowers, originally part of the city walls, provide excellent views of
the Cathedral and layout of the city. The
panoramic terrace of the Vauban dam is highly recommended. The entire district was
sparsely visited our Monday in April before noon. Restaurants were just opening.
Shopping and dining
All around the area of Petite France, we saw shops with faience and other national
products, but mostly handmade items. This area on the water was a favorite spot for
tanners, millers, and fishers, and so shops here try to reflect that ancient history in their
products. Restaurants preserve the recipes of Alsatian cuisine--one is named Little
Alsace--and they are everywhere. We stayed near the water and had no meal in the
area, but we had to admire the settings where tables were arranged near huge
trees, ancient themselves, right next to railings on the water. Since there are three canals,
there is plenty of opportunity to shop, dine, tour, and do just about everything on the
water--and if that isn’t enough, there are boat tours!
Timbered and corbelled houses
The district is reputed to be one of the most densely-packed conglomerations of sixteenth-
and seventeenth-century timbered houses one is ever likely to see. These are unique in
that they have huge internal courtyards and extra high, unusually steep roofs, both useful
to medieval tanners, who worked in the courtyards and hung skins to dry in the lofts.
Now, they make interesting shops and restaurants! Some are small hotels in this
self-sufficient medieval community.
Even the cobblestone warrants a few shots. House of Covered Bridges with its pedestrian
land-footbridge canopied by wisteria vines and surrounded by water--that’s a shot you
can’t get anywhere else! There are many of those.
We saw glass boats full of people before noon. Boats leave from the landing stage at
Palais Rohan every day year-round and every evening through September, and
narrated tours are more than an hour (7 euro). Another economical alternative is a
walkman tour (6 euro) that guides visitors from the Cathedral to and all the way through
Petite France. These are available from the Tourist Office, place de la
From journal A Strasbourg Dawn