By Molly M. Watson
Strasbourg
France
Photo gallery
Once a much disputed city and the cause of numerous violent conflicts between France and Germany, Strasbourg, France, in the Alsace region is now a symbol of unity not only between the two countries but in all of Europe. Both the Council of Europe and the European Parliament call Strasbourg their home and the city is a beautiful union of what makes both France and Germany amazing places to visit. You’ll find wine tours and beer breweries, German architecture and French pastries, and a vast, intricate and fascinating history deeply involved in the cultures of both countries.

Strasbourg is a major communications, manufacturing, and transportation hub in the region. The city is well-laid out and has an excellent transportation system both within the city itself and connecting it to both Germany and the rest of France. Allow EscapeWizard.com to make your trip to Strasbourg even easier and click here (www.escapewizard.com/flight.php) to book your flight into Strasbourg-Entzheim International Airport. The airport is less than ten miles from the Strasbourg city center and EscapeWizard.com can also help you find great deals and the perfect location for accommodations in Strasbourg by using the link here (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).

One of the biggest draws in this historical city, and one of EscapeWizard.com’s must sees, is the Strasbourg Cathedral. Visitors will be in awe of the architecture, the pink sandstone facade, gorgeous stained glass windows, and the massive organ within the cathedral. Not only is the organ’s size and construction impressive, but its case also boasts animated figures of beautiful craftsmanship. For those who are able, the hike up the cathedral’s 332 steps to the platform at the top is well worth the view. On a clear day, those who make it to the top will be rewarded with views reaching as far as the Black Forest in Germany as well as spectacular views of the city itself.

Also part of the cathedral’s draw is the Astronomical Clock. The clock is a masterpiece of skilled artisan labor across the board. Clockmakers, mathematicians, artists, technicians, sculptors, and automaton designers all came together to work on this amazing piece. The clock shows astronomical and cylindrical data, but draws the biggest crowds when its animated figures come out every day at 1230pm. On one portion of the clock figures of a child, teenager, adult and old man, representing the ages of life march past Death. Higher up on the clock there is yet another display of the apostles filing past Christ, set against the sound of beating wings and a cock crowing. In front of the clock is the Pillar of Angels, a representation of the Last Judgement. The clock is currently in its third reincarnation, but the original dated back to the 1300s. This current reincarnation has been in place, within the same housing as the 2nd clock, since 1842. It is a fascinating piece of history and artwork, at which no one can help but marvel.

Should you visit Strasbourg in the winter, the Strasbourg Cathedral holds an additional appeal. The courtyard of the cathedral hosts France’s oldest Christmas market each season and has continued this tradition since 1570. Each year a different country is invited to be the guest of honor at Strasbourg’s Christmas market. Christmas celebration doesn’t get any more joyous or traditional than it does in Strasbourg.

The historical and cultural outlets of this multi-faceted city continue on with numerous museums offering visitors endless hours of exploration.  Foremost amongst these is The Palais Rohan.  This museum is three in one, giving visitors the chance to tour the Decorative Arts Museum, Fine Arts Museum and Archaeological Museum.  In the fine arts museum, art lovers will be enchanted by the amazing array of world renowned paintings featured there by artists such as Botticelli, Raphael, El Greco, Rubens, and Goya to name only a very few.  The Archaeological Museum is one of the finest in France and contains collections dating from 600,000 B.C. to 880 A.D.  Additionally, those interested in making the museum tour will love to see The "Secrets of Chocolate" Museum, The Oeuvre Notre Dame Museum, which contains masterpieces of medieval sculpture from the 14th century, and The Alsatian Museum, dedicated to local art and traditional Alsatian Life.
 
For those visitors that enjoy a good walking tour, La Petite France is a must-see. Although Strasbourg’s architecture is largely German, this area is French to the core. This is widely considered to be the most delightful, charming neighborhood in Strasbourg. Beautiful flowers and plants abound, the scent of fresh-baked goods wafts through the streets, and the lovely River Ill flows along the streets with bridges perfectly suited to leisurely strolls.

Strasbourg holds infinite possibilities and wonders for travelers at any time of year and with interests across the board. The sheer beauty and the depth of history on every corner of this city will amaze even the most seasoned traveler. EscapeWizard.com invites you to travel to Strasbourg and experience this fascinating city personally.