Strasbourg Journals

Strasbourg: The Heart of Alsace

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A May 2009 trip to Strasbourg by phileasfogg

A canal in Petite France Photo, Strasbourg, France More Photos
Quote: "What a pretty garden!" said Louis XIV of Alsace, and if Strasbourg is anything to go by, I’m inclined to agree. Very pretty indeed, with its half-timbered houses, its spectacular cathedral, its quiet canals and its utter charm.

A Brief Introduction to Strasbourg

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Story/Tip

At Place Kleber Photo, Strasbourg, France
Quote:
I first learnt about Alsace (and, by extension, about Strasbourg) when I was in school studying about the Franco-German tussles over this bit of land. Later, in college, while studying hotel management, I learnt more interesting things about this city: that it’s the home of the almost legendary pâté de foie gras. Then, a couple of months ago, when I was creating an itinerary for a trip to Western Switzerland, my husband and I decided we wanted to spend a few days somewhere either in neighbouring France or Germany. I posted a question on the IgoUgo Travel Forums, and among the suggestions I received was one from midtownmjd, to whom I shall eternally be grateful.Really. Strasbourg is divine....Read More

Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg

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Attraction | "One of Europe's Biggest and Best"

Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg Photo, Strasbourg, France
Quote:
I’ve seen some superb cathedrals—St Paul’s, Vienna’s Stephansdom, the Basilica of San Pietro, Paris’s Nôtre Dame—and this one, when I saw it, evoked the same reaction: utter and complete awe.Strasbourg’s Cathedrale de Nôtre Dame is the city’s symbol, its huge spire soaring up into the sky, visible from just about everywhere. It’s the centre of the Old Town, the heart of Strasbourg, surrounded by cafés, souvenir-sellers, buskers and awestruck tourists.And what a history it has. Construction began in 1176, on the site of an earlier basilica that had burnt down. About 50 years later, in 1225, a team from Chartres arrived to work on the cathedral, and they are largely responsible for the distinc...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2009

Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg
Cathedral Square
Strasbourg, France

The Palais Rohan (Rohan Palace)

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Attraction | "Three Museums and a Palace"

The Palais Rohan (Rohan Palace) Photo, Strasbourg, France
Quote:
The Palais Rohan was built between 1732-42, designed by Robert de Cotte, first architect of the king, as a residence for the Prince Bishop Armand-Gaston de Rohan-Soubise, illegitimate son of Louis XIV. This is high baroque: imposing columns, carved ribbons, fruit and flowers, life-size statues. What makes Palais Rohan special, though, is its three museums.A fee of €7 per person allows entry to the museums (and to ten other Strasbourg museums). Having bought our tickets, we ascended to the first, the Musée des Beaux-Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts. We moved quickly through the first few rooms, devoted to religious art up to about the 16th century. The painted, carved, or plaster Madonna and ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2009

The Palais Rohan (Rohan Palace)
2 Place Du Chateau
Strasbourg, France

Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg

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Attraction | "The Museum of the Cathedral - and More"

Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg Photo, Strasbourg, France
Quote:
Our Palais Rohan entrance ticket included entry to ten other museums in Strasbourg, and since this one was right next door—and included in the list—we decided to see it as well. Unfortunately, we arrived just about 45 minutes before closing time, so our tour through the museum was a little swifter than we’d have liked. Despite that, we enjoyed it.Created between 1931 and 1939, Musée de L’œuvre Nôtre Dame is primarily devoted to the works of the Cathedrale de Nôtre Dame next door. The cathedral is (or was) a veritable treasure house of superb religious art, much of which was in danger of falling prey to time. A lot of this art was therefore shifted into the shelter of the museum. The Musée de...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 12, 2009

Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg
Cathedral Square
Strasbourg, France

L'eglise St Thomas

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Attraction | "Worth Seeing for the Mausoleum"

St Thomas's Photo, Strasbourg, France
Quote:
Though, like most of Strasbourg’s other churches, it is usually overshadowed by the Cathedrale de Nôtre Dame, the Church of St Thomas merits a visit. On the outside, it looks a lot like St Pierre le Jeune (which may have something to do with the fact that both are Protestant): tiled roof, austere plastered exterior, tall windows. But this is Strasbourg’s largest church, after the Nôtre Dame. It was built between the 12th and 15th centuries and has been Lutheran since 1549.At the time we visited, restoration work was in progress, so scaffolding hid part of the façade. In fact, tarps hung everywhere, with only a small doorway cut into the front to let in visitors—we nearly missed it and would have wa...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 12, 2009

L'eglise St Pierre le Jeune

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Attraction | "A Church with a Difference"

L'eglise St Pierre le Jeune Photo, Strasbourg, France
Quote:
The Protestant church of St Pierre le Jeune is typical on the outside: green spires, red tiled roofs, tall windows. We thought we knew what we’d find inside: Gothic stone sculpture, stained glass, and much gilt. What we found was unusual enough to make us stop longer than we’d intended.The first church on this site was built, probably dedicated to St Columba, in the early Middle Ages. By 1053, the name St Pierre le Jeune (St Peter the Younger) had been bestowed, to distinguish it from an earlier St Peter’s. The present church dates back to the 14th century—it was consecrated in 1320, and by 1524, with the Reformation, it had turned Protestant.All right. Unexceptional so far, though Tarun and...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2009

L'eglise St Pierre le Jeune
3, Rue Nuée Bleue
Strasbourg
+33 3 88 32 41 61

Batorama Tour

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Attraction | "A Cruise Down the Ill and the Canals"

On the Batorama tour Photo, Strasbourg, France
Quote:
We’re not enthusiastic about guided tours, but make an exception for boat tours. And since the canals were so attractive, we to take a Batorama tour to get to know Strasbourg better.Batorama does cruises on the Ill. In summer, boats depart every half hour from the pier behind the Palais Rohan, from 9.30 AM to 10 PM. We’d just finished seeing the Musée de L’œuvre Nôtre Dame, so were a hop, skip and jump away from the Batorama ticket office next to the pier. The lady at the counter said the next boat would leave in about 5 minutes, so Tarun paid up—€8 per person—and we ran across to board the boat. It was a long, no-frills closed boat with large windows and glass across much of the ceiling. Batorama ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2009