Capital of Europe, Strasbourg is also a City of Art and History renowned for its exceptional buildings. Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the old town has preserved much evidence of its past, especially of its medieval period and its Renaissance period.
Built between the 11th to the 15th century on the foundations of an former Rhineland basilica, the Notre-Dame cathedral is sumptuous. Its spire reaches 142 metres in height! The magnificent Gothic western facade made of Vosges pink sandstone can be admired from the Mercière street. Inside, the astronomical clock of Renaissance style offers the Apostles parade every day at half past noon.
The Cathedral square is surrounded by beautiful period buildings, such as the Cerf pharmacy dating from the 13th century and the Kammerzell house, a magnificent residence with carved timber frames of the Renaissance period and home to a famous restaurant today.
Very picturesque and romantic, Petite France is the former tanners, millers and fishermen district. The large sloping roofs of the houses you can see were formerly intended for drying the skins. Along the water, the Tanners house dating from 1572 is a magnificent example. The charming banks of the Ill river as well as the pedestrian narrow streets of the Petite France district are the best places to discover beautiful half-timbered houses and to spend a really pleasant moment. The panoramic terrace of the Vauban dam boasts a beautiful view of covered bridges, the Petite France district and the cathedral.
Strasbourg is a city rich in museums including the Rohan palace containing three museums dedicated respectively to Decorative arts, Fine Art and Archaeology; the Notre-Dame Work museum dedicated to the Middle Ages sculpture; the Alsatian museum highlighting the Alsatian art and traditions; the Modern and contemporary Art museum telling the story of art from Impressionism to today.
For shopping fans, the city abounds with beautiful shops and department stores. The Orangerie park is featuring a lake and offers a peaceful and pleasant green setting. Near the park, the European district is the headquarters of several bodies: the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, and the European Court of Human Rights.
The city offers a wide choice of cultural activities, notably with its International music festival in June and Musica, the festival of the music of today, which takes place in September. In December, the famous Christmas market of Strasbourg is a good moment with many illuminations, typical decorations and a warm atmosphere.