Strasbourg is the official seat of the European Parliament and the capital and biggest city of the Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine (ACAL) region in eastern France. It is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département and is located near the German border.
The city proper had 275,718 residents in 2013, the Eurométropole de Strasbourg (Greater Strasbourg) had 475,934 residents, and the Arrondissement de Strasbourg had 482,384 residents. Strasbourg’s metropolitan area had a population of 768,868 in 2012 (excluding the portion over the border in Germany), making it France’s tenth biggest metro area and home to 13% of the ACAL region’s people. In 2014, the transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 people.
Strasbourg is home to a number of European institutions, including the Council of Europe (with its European Court of Human Rights, European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines, and European Audiovisual Observatory), the Eurocorps, the European Parliament, and the European Ombudsman of the European Union. The city also serves as the headquarters of the Central Commission for Rhine Navigation and the International Institute of Human Rights.
UNESCO designated Strasbourg’s medieval city center, the Grande Île (Grand Island), as a World Heritage site in 1988, the first time such an honor was bestowed on an entire city center. Strasbourg is steeped in Franco-German culture and, despite being violently contested throughout history, has served as a bridge of unity between France and Germany for centuries, particularly through the University of Strasbourg, which is now France’s second largest, and the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture. The Strasbourg Grand Mosque, France’s biggest Islamic house of prayer, was opened on September 27, 2012, by French Interior Minister Manuel Valls.
Strasbourg is an important economic center for industry and engineering, as well as a hub for road, rail, and river transit.
Strasbourg’s port is the Rhine’s second biggest, behind Duisburg, Germany.
Strasbourg – Info Card
|POPULATION :||• Population 275,718|
• Urban 454,475
• Metro 768,868
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone CET (UTC +1)|
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
|AREA :||• Area 78.26 km2 (30.22 sq mi)|
• Urban 224 km2 (86 sq mi)
• Metro 1,351.5 km2 (521.8 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||132–151 m (433–495 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||48°35′N 7°45′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48.4%|
• Female: 51.6%
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :||67482|
|DIALING CODE :||0388, 0390, 0368|
Tourism in Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital of France’s Alsace region and is best recognized for housing a number of major European organizations. It is particularly well-known for its picturesque historical center, the Grande Île, which was the first city center to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site altogether.
The city is best known for its sandstone Gothic Cathedral with its famous astronomical clock, as well as its medieval cityscape of Rhineland black and white timber-framed buildings, especially in the Petite France district or Gerberviertel alongside the Ill and in the streets and squares surrounding the cathedral, where the renowned Maison Kammerzell stands out.
Rue Mercière, Rue des Dentelles, Rue du Bain aux Plantes, Rue des Juifs, Rue des Frères, Rue des Tonneliers, Rue du Maroquin, Rue des Charpentiers, Rue des Serruriers, Grand’ Rue, Quai des Bateliers, Quai Saint-Nicolas, and Quai Saint-Thomas are all notable medieval streets. Place de la Cathédrale, Place du Marché Gayot, Place Saint-Étienne, Place du Marché aux Cochons de Lait, and Place Benjamin Zix are all notable medieval squares.
In addition to the cathedral, Strasbourg is home to several other medieval churches that have survived the city’s many wars and destructions: the Romanesque Église Saint-Étienne, which was partially destroyed by Allied bombing raids in 1944, the part Romanesque, part Gothic, very large Église Saint-Thomas with its Silbermann organ, which was played by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Albert Schweitzer, and the Gothic Église protestante Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune with its The Neo-Gothic church Saint-Pierre-le-Vieux Catholique (there is also a Protestant church nearby) acts as a shrine for three 15th-century wood-worked and painted altars brought from other, now-destroyed churches and set there for public exhibition. The magnificent Ancienne Douane (ancient customs house) stands out among the various secular medieval structures.
The German Renaissance left the city some notable buildings (particularly the current Chambre de commerce et d’industrie, former town hall, on Place Gutenberg), as did the French Baroque and Classicism with several hôtels particuliers (i.e. palaces), the most spectacular of which is the Palais Rohan (1742), now housing three museums. Other examples include the “Hôtel de Hanau” (1736, now the city hall), the Hôtel de Klinglin (1736, now the residence of the préfet), the Hôtel des Deux-Ponts (1755, now the residence of the military governor), the Hôtel d’Andlau-Klinglin (1725, now the administration of the Port autonome de Strasbourg), and others. The 150 m (490 ft) long 1720s main edifice of the Hôpital civil is Strasbourg’s biggest baroque building. In terms of French Neo-classicism, the Opera House on Place Broglie is the most prominent example.
Strasbourg also has a high-class eclecticist area, the Neustadt, which is the principal reminder of Wilhelmian architecture since most of the larger towns in Germany proper experienced extensive damage during World War II. Streets, boulevards, and avenues are homogenous, shockingly high (up to seven floors), and wide examples of German urban design and this architectural style, which draws on and combines five centuries of European architecture as well as Neo-Egyptian, Neo-Greek, and Neo-Babylonian styles. The old imperial palace Palais du Rhin, the most political and consequently highly criticized of all German Strasbourg structures, exemplifies the period’s great size and aesthetic sturdiness. The École internationale des Pontonniers (the former Höhere Mädchenschule, girls college) with its towers, turrets, and multiple round and square angles, and the École des Arts décoratifs with its lavishly ornate façade of painted bricks, woodwork, and majolica, are the two most handsome and ornate buildings of these times.
Avenue de la Forêt Noire, Avenue des Vosges, Avenue d’Alsace, Avenue de la Marseillaise, Avenue de la Liberté, Boulevard de la Victoire, Rue Sellénick,Rue du Général de Castelnau, Rue du Maréchal Foch, and Rue du Maréchal Joffre are some of the German district’s notable streets. The German district’s notable squares include Place de la République, Place de l’Université, Place Brant, and Place Arnold.
Along the freshly restored Rue du Rempart, there are impressive examples of Prussian military architecture from the 1880s, including large-scale fortifications such as the appropriately called Kriegstor (war gate).
In terms of modern and contemporary architecture, Strasbourg has some fine Art Nouveau buildings (such as the massive Palais des Fêtes and houses and villas such as Villa Schutzenberger and Hôtel Brion), good examples of post-World War II functional architecture (the Cité Rotterdam, for which Le Corbusier did not win the architectural competition), and, in the very extensive Quartier Européen, some spectacular administrative buildings of sometimes utterly large size, among which are w Other notable contemporary structures include the new Music School Cité de la Musique et de la Danse, the Musée d’Art moderne et contemporain and the Hôtel du Département opposite it, as well as the tramway station Hoenheim-Nord built by Zaha Hadid on the outskirts.
The city includes various bridges, notably the medieval and four-towered Ponts Couverts, which are no longer covered despite their name. The Barrage Vauban is located next to the Ponts Couverts and is part of Vauban’s 17th-century defenses, which feature a covered bridge. The elegant 19th-century Pont de la Fonderie (1893, stone) and Pont d’Auvergne (1892, iron) bridges, as well as architect Marc Mimram’s modern Passerelle across the Rhine, inaugurated in 2004.
The Place Kléber is Strasbourg’s biggest plaza in the city center. It was named for general Jean-Baptiste Kléber, who was born in Strasbourg in 1753 and slain in Cairo in 1800. It is located in the city’s commercial district. In the plaza, there is a statue of Kléber, under which is a vault housing his ashes. The Aubette (Orderly Room) is located on the north side of the square and was designed by Jacques François Blondel, the king’s architect, between 1765 and 1772.
Strasbourg has a number of notable parks, several of which are of cultural and historical interest: the Parc de l’Orangerie, laid out as a French garden by André le Nôtre and remodeled as an English garden on behalf of Joséphine de Beauharnais, now displaying notable French gardens, a neo-classical castle, and a small zoo; the Parc de la Citadelle, built around impressive remains of Vauban’s 17th-century for The Jardin botanique de l’Université de Strasbourg (botanical garden) was established under German rule near to the Observatory of Strasbourg in 1881 and still retains some of the original greenhouses. Despite being the city’s oldest park, the Parc des Contades was totally renovated following World War II. The futuristic Parc des Poteries is an example of late-90s European park conception. The Jardin des Deux Rives, which stretches between Strasbourg and Kehl on both banks of the Rhine, opened in 2004 and is the agglomeration’s largest (60-hectare) park. Parc du Heyritz (8,7 hectares), was opened in 2014 along a canal opposite the hôpital civil, is the most recent park.
Strasbourg has a surprising number and range of museums for a city of its size.
Unlike most other cities, Strasbourg’s European art collections are organized into many museums based not only on genre and geography, but also by period. Old master paintings from the Germanic Rhenish territories and until 1681 are displayed in the Musée de l’uvre Notre-Dame, while old master paintings from the rest of Europe (including the Dutch Rhenish territories) and until 1871 are displayed in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, as are old master paintings from the Germanic Rhenish territories between 1681 and 1871. The Cabinet des estampes and dessins houses old master graphic arts dating back to 1871. Decorative arts before to 1681 (“German period”) are housed at the Musée de l’oeuvre Notre-Dame, whereas decorative arts from 1681 to 1871 (“French era”) are housed in the Musée des Arts décoratifs. Since 1871, the Musée d’art moderne et contemporain has shown international art (painting, sculpture, graphic arts) and decorative art. The latter also houses the city’s photography library.
Climate of Strasbourg
Despite its remote location, Strasbourg has an Oceanic climate, with warm, mostly sunny summers and chilly, cloudy winters. Precipitation is highest from mid-spring until the end of summer, although it stays rather steady throughout the year, totalling 631.4 mm (24.9 in) each year. Snow falls on average 30 days per year.
During the 2003 European heat wave, the hottest temperature ever recorded was 38.5 °C (101.3 °F). In December 1938, the lowest temperature ever recorded was 23.4 °C (10.1 °F).
Strasbourg’s position in the Rhine valley, protected from the major winds by the Vosges and Black Forest mountains, results in inadequate natural ventilation, making it one of France’s most polluted towns. Nonetheless, the gradual elimination of heavy industry on both sides of the Rhine, as well as strong traffic-control measures in and around the city, have decreased air pollution.
Geography of Strasbourg
Strasbourg is located on France’s eastern border with Germany. This boundary is established by the Rhine River, which also marks the current city’s eastern border, facing across the river to the German town of Kehl. The historic heart of Strasbourg, on the other hand, is located on the Grande Île in the River Ill, which runs parallel to and about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the Rhine. The two rivers’ natural routes ultimately meet some distance downstream of Strasbourg, but various constructed canals now link them inside the city.
The city is located in the Upper Rhine Plain, between 132 and 151 meters (433 and 495 feet) above sea level, with the Vosges Mountains some 20 kilometers (12 miles) to the west and the Black Forest some 25 kilometers (16 miles) to the east. This stretch of the Rhine valley serves as a key north-south axis, with river traffic on the Rhine and important highways and trains paralleling it on both sides.
The city is located around 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of Paris. The Rhine’s mouth is around 450 kilometers (280 miles) to the north, or 650 kilometers (400 miles) as the river flows, while the head of navigation at Basel is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) to the south, or 150 kilometers (93 miles) by river.
Internet, Comunication in Strasbourg
Orange, SFR, and Bouygues Télécoms offer local mobile phone services. There are several payphone kiosks, and international calling cards may be acquired at post offices and ‘tabacs’ (corner shops).