Strasbourg, in the Alsace region of France, is truly the coalescence of German and French cultures, and of medieval and modern times. Situated on the border of France and Germany, the waterways of Strasbourg flow around the Grand Ile (Great Island), which is home to the “old city” and the traditional buildings that date back to the 15th century and beyond. Though the region exemplifies the mixing of Germanic and French cultures, the residents of the Alsace region typically speak German or variances of Alsatian.
Sightseeing in Strasbourg
The sightseeing districts of Strasbourg are typically broken up into two categories: Modern Strasbourg Sightseeing and Medieval Strasbourg Sightseeing. The modern sightseeing route will take you through the more modern area of Strasbourg, where the European Parliament buildings and the seats of the European Union congregate. This area will have more modern luxuries such as high end retail shopping, opulent lodging, and fine dining. The Medieval route of touring will take you to the Grande Ile, or Old Town Strasbourg in the center of the city.
When sightseeing in Petite France, don’t forget to stop and see the Medieval Museum of Strasbourg.
The Grande Ile, Strasbourg
The Grand Ile is the home to “Petite France,” called-so because it is the densest collection of traditional French timber-framed homes and architecture. The common images one recollects when thinking of a medieval village in the 1400s, is exactly the image of Strasbourg that stands today in Petite France.
Notre Dame de Strasbourg
Yes, there is actually more than one Notre Dame Cathedral in France. Officially known as the “Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg,” the church is one of the oldest cathedrals in France, and is considered one of the earliest examples of high Gothic Architecture. This immense edifice is a work of beauty and devotion, and is a must-see for any Strasbourg visitor.
The Astronomical Clock is a marvel.
The Strasbourg Christmas Market
Known locally as the “Christkindelsmärik,” the Christmas Market is the largest of its kind in Europe, and attracts travelers from all over the globe that want to be a part of the truest Christmas experience on the planet. With the medieval buildings and multi-colored strands of lights that are spun all over the city, it is hard not to imagine yourself in the setting of “A Christmas Carol.”