Strasbourg, Alsace, France.
A picturesque medieval city centre with modern twists around the fringes makes for a city of great interest. Situated on a small island encircled by the river Ill (ill) Strasbourg’s narrow streets and tightly built timbered buildings have masses of charm emanating from a shared French and German history and culture.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral, a truly magnificent monument, stands on a square in the middle of these old streets. Taking more than two centuries to construct, this beautifully Gothic architecture has a spire reaching 466 feet and the whole building is further enhanced by the use of a light red sandstone.
It is said that Clovis, King of the Franks, was behind the construction of a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary at the exact location of the present-day cathedral around the year 510.
With an eye on the past Strasbourg is also looking to the future resulting in a very modern and innovative city. Immediately after WWII, in 1949, when the western European nations agreed on the need to create a European Union, Strasbourg was chosen to be the seat of the Council of Europe, and a building was built for that purpose in 1950.
The Human Rights Palace followed and was built in 1964 and then, in 1976, the magnificent European Palace was built to house the European Parliament. The European Council and the European Palace buildings are located in one of the most beautiful parks of the city, the ‘Orangery Park’.
When you have seen all this beautiful city has to offer you then have the enviable choice of venturing out along the Vosges mountains to sample the Alsatian wine country. Tough choice!