Place de la République (Republic Square) is not in the ancient city and when you walk over the Ill, out of Place Broglie, Place de la République makes a striking difference. It looks almost like a German or Austrian city. This Square was drawn and built between 1870 and 1914, when Strassburg was the capital of the Reichsland of Elsatz-Mosel. Emperor Wilhelm 1st wanted to make it the show room of the power of the Empire. Five prestigious buildings have been built during that period.
The Diet of the Reichsland of Elsatz-Mosel became after 1918 the Music Conservatory. Since the decentralization of Parisian theaters, it is now the TNS : Théâtre National de Strasbourg.
Favorite thing: I have been unable to identify this beautiful building that stands behind the Cercle Mixte de la Garnison, etc (see previous tip). It is not right on Place Broglie but can be seen from the Opera. Who can tell me what it is? Anyway, I enjoyed its look but I always prefer to know more!
Favorite thing: On the Northern side of Place Broglie stands a long building adorned with brass canons standing along the front. Obviously, something military, doesn't it? I found later, in the phone book that at this address (17 Place Broglie) were the Cercle Mixte de la Garnison and the Cercle des Sous-Officiers. I hope to learn more about the canons but that is all I could find!
Favorite thing: In the middle of Place Broglie, a tall column celebrates the memory of General Leclerc that started in 1940 in Chad with a column of three hundred men with a single canon that became the 2ème DB (second armored division) and freed Paris on the 25th of August 1944 and Strasbourg on the 23rd of November 1944.
Favorite thing: Besides the Opera, Place de Broglie is the place to buy Christmas trees. There are hundreds of these trees that come from the neighboring Vosges mountains. Place Broglie is also the place for a huge Marché de Noël (a few wooden booths are seen on the left of the photo), the Christkindelsmärik. See my tips Marché de Noël for more.
The Théâtre municipal was built in 1820 at one end of Place Broglie. It was built in a neo-classical style with a front adorned with a colossal peristyle with ionic columns. It is topped by muses but they are only 6 though they should be 9. I do not know who are the missing muses! It is now the Opéra National du Rhin. In front of the Opera, stands (December 2006) a wooden horse. It actually represents the Trojan horse. It has been built here because the Opera has played in October and November "Les Troyens", Grand opéra en cinq actes d’Hector Berlioz
The Trojan horse is on the far left of the first photo. It is better seen as a close up on the second photo.
For more, look at www.operanationaldurhin.fr/
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Strasbourg was in the Train Station. I asked the woman at the ticket window, in french, if she spoke english. She replied 'a little'. So I asked 'oder Deutsch' Well she comes back with 'No, I speak English'
17, place de la Cathédrale
67082 STRASBOURG Cedex
- Tel : 33 (0) 3 88 52 28 28
- Fax : 33 (0) 3 88 52 28 29
- E mail : email@example.com
Set where the river Ill enters Strasbourg, this dam was part of the cities defenses. In times of invasion, the lock gates would be raised to allow water to flood the city, hampering the invaders.
There is a walkway through Vaubin's Dam, from one side of the river to the other, which led us to think it was The Pont Couvert for a while! There is also a grassy terrace on top of the dam, giving views over the city (accessible from one side of the dam only).
This used to be a covered bridge, in the style of the famous bridge at Lucerne, Switzerland. Unfortunately, it burned down long ago, and all that remains are the towers.
This confused us for a while - we thought Vaubin's Dam was the Pont Couvert, and so our bearings were always slightly out for the first day or so! Doh!
Favorite thing: The Place du Marche aux Cochons de Lait, or Suckling pig market place to you and me is no longer a market, it is now a pretty square, which, along with Rue de Marouquin, is packed with cafes, bars and restaurants. This was one of my favourite parts of the whole city.
St Paul's is a splendid neo-Gothic church which was once the protestant church for the city's garrison. It rises majestically above the water which surrounds it on two sides.
Near this church is the Place Sebastien Brandt, and one of our favourite bars, The Cafe Brandt.
What self-respecting French city would be without a Place de la Republique. The one in Strasbourg is surrounded by buildings that hark back to the times of German rule. Such buildings would not look out of place in Berlin or Vienna, and most impressive is the Palais du Rhin, which now houses the University Library.
In the centre of the square, in the gardens, is a monument to the war dead, and it depicts a mother with two dead sons. One died fighting for France, the other for Germany. Whether such things happened, I do not know, but it's a poignant reminder of the tragedy of war.
The European Quarter is the seat (well, one of them anyway) of the parliament for the European Union and The European Court Of Human Rights. The walk to this quarter is nice too, past some old townhouses and mansions that line the riverside,
Pictured is the parliament building.
Favorite thing: Set on a corner in the Place de la Cathedral, Kammerzells House is a really ancient and distinctive looking half timbered building. It is now a hotel and restaurant and we spent many a lovely, relaxed hour drinking at one of its tables and just watching the world pass by.