Strasbourg is a city of with an urban population of just under half a
million people. It is located in the Alsace region of northeastern
France on the Rhine River. The city of Kehl, Germany is on the
opposite bank of the Rhine. With the Schengen Zone in effect, people
are free to move across the border without restrictions. The
UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Town Strasbourg (Grande-Île) is
encircled by a canal formed from the Ill River just before it joins the
Rhine. In the 1500s the city became firmly Protestant.
Strasbourg was almost completed vacated in advance of its German
occupation in World War II.
Strasbourg, Ill River
The climate in Strasbourg is sunny and warm in the summer, while
winters are cloudy and cold. Average highs in the July and August are around
80 F (27 C), while average lows are 60 F (16 C).
In December and January average highs are a few degrees above freezing,
while lows hover around the freezing mark. Rainfall is slightly
higher in the summer months.
Strasbourg can be reached easily by a number of methods.
Strasbourg International Airport is about 15 minutes by rail from the
downtown. Train service runs south up the Rhine to Basel,
Switzerland (1.5 hours) and north down the river to Karlsruhe and Mannheim
(1.5 hours). The highspeed TGV system connects Strasbourg to Paris
(2.5 hours) and Lyon. Strasbourg is also an important center for canal
cruising on the Grand Canal d'Alsace and the Marne-Rhine canal.
Plus it is a standard stop on Rhine cruises between Basel and
Amsterdam. Within the city there is an excellent bus and tram system operated by
Compagnie des Transports
plus Vélhop shared bikes for rent.
Notre Dame de Strasbourg
Attractions in Strasbourg:
Things to see and do:
Cathedral (Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg) was started in the 1200s and finished in the
1400s. It includes a large working astronomical clock inside the
church and a large garish organ too. On the corner beside the
church is the Maison Kammerzell, which has been in business as a hotel
since the 1400s.
Palace Rohan (Palais Rohan) is nestled between the Cathedral and the
river canal. It houses the the Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts), the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts.
Place Gutenberg is two short blocks from the Cathedral. Its
statue honors of Johannes Gutenberg, who invented the printing press here
in the 1400s.
Place Kléber is a short stroll down Rue des Grandes Arcades from
Place Gutenberg. This large open space has a statue honoring Jean-Baptiste Kléber,
who led many successful military campaigns for Napoleon.
At the western edge of the Old Town is the Tanner's Quarter in the
to as La Petite France. The weirs on the L'ill River here are known as the
Barrage Vauban. The bridges and towers of the Ponts Couverts,
opposite the weirs, are very picturesque.
Just outside the Old Town, to the northeast are church Saint Pierre le Jeune
and the Palace of the Rhine (Palais du Rhin). The Palace is
Prussian architecture. It was used by the Nazis during World War
Parc de l'Orangerie - This park is extensive and includes the
Pavillion Josephine and a small free zoo. The Council of Europe
faces the park and the Euopean Parliament is on the opposite side of the
canal from the Council.