Strasbourg – the capital of Europe, capital of Alsace and capital of the Bas-Rhin department. The sixth most inhabited city in France and one of the most visited towns by foreign tourists.
Why visit Strasbourg
Strasbourg is a place that delivers a special and very unique experience from its culture, and architecture, a look and feel which is so different to that typical of France.
So what makes Strasbourg so special and worth visiting?
The pretty old town
Climb the steps of the Gothic Cathedral Notre-Dame de Strasbourg to get a great view of the town. Stroll through the narrow streets and admire 16th and 17th century homes and discover the flowing canals that reach towards the lovely La Petite France island.
Its place in history
Strasbourg is important for France and also for Europe. It is called the Capital of Europe because of the European parliament. Did you know that Marseillaise, the French national anthem, was born here? It was written in 1792 and was originally titled “Chant de guerre pour l’Armée du Rhin” (“War Song for the Rhine Army”). In 1795 it was adopted by the French National Convention as a revolutionary song and named the Marseillaise after volunteers from Marseille marched on Paris to support the French Revolution.
It’s a dynamic and lively city of many museums, operas, events and festivals. Strasbourg has become a real Capital of the Cultural and yet it has preserved its rich and colourful heritage. In the centre don’t miss the Cathedral, the House Kammerzell, the island of Petite France and the Covered Bridges. Look for the famous Grande Ile as this one has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site and cannot be omitted! And pop over to the Musée Alsacien if you want to get to know the history of the region.
Strasbourg Christmas Market
Strasbourg has the oldest, the most traditional and the most well-known Christmas market. The ‘Christkindelsmärik’ market located in Place Broglie has been founded in 1570. Nowadays, its reputation is spread all over the world. But this is not all – on top of the famous ‘Christkindelsmärik’ you will discover many more. There is Alsace’s legendary small growers and producers market in Place des Meunier; the Alsatian Christmas delicacies market in the Place d’Austerlitz, and the Children’s World which is located in the Place Saint Thomas. And more still, I recommend you to lose track of your walk in Strasbourg and discover other gems of the city…
The Festive atmosphere of Christmas in Strasbourg
The whole city is festively decorated and covered with lights which create a super festive atmosphere. There are regional specialities to taste, warm- you-up food to go and Vin Chaud to relish. The whole city seems to smell of Christmas spices! And the decorations…the local crafts, hand-made gifts, candles, china, lamps, and sweets. And the highlight of the Christmas spirit is the magnifique – the biggest and the prettiest Christmas Tree you’ll ever see.
Aga Marchewka from Poland loves shopping and travel. After living in the UK she is now discovering France and lives in Lyon. She shares her observations and photos through her lively blog J’adore Lyon.