On one of our tramways trips, we arrived on the Place des Halles and we saw this amazing street climber. Clever, isn't it? Would you do it? Actually, it was not a real climber but a figure that had been fixed on the structure standing in the middle of the square!!
- Mountain Climbing
The oath of Strasbourg (translations)
Modern translation in French
"Pour l'amour de Dieu et pour le salut peuple chrétien et notre salut à tous deux, à partir de ce jour dorénavant, autant que Dieu m'en donnera savoir et pouvoir, je secourrai ce mien frère, comme on doit selon l'équité secourir son frère, à condition qu'il en fasse autant pour moi, et je n'entrerai avec Lothaire en aucun arrangement qui, de ma volonté, puisse lui être dommageable."
Si Louis tient le serment qu’il a juré à son frère Charles, et que Charles, mon seigneur, de son côté n’observe pas le sien, au cas où je ne l’en pourrais détourner, je ne lui prêterai en cela aucun appui, ni moi ni nul que j’en pourrais détourner.
Modern translation in English
For the love of God and Christendom, and for our common safety, from this day forth, as much as God shall give me knowledge and power, I will protect my brother Charles, here present, and will aid him in everything, as a man in justice has to protect his brother, in which he would do the same for me; and I will make with Lothaire no comtract, which of my own free will can injure my brother Charles, here present.
If Louis abides the oath he sweared to his brother Charles, and that Charles, my Lord, on his side does not abides his own, if I cannot divert him, I will not give him any help, neither myself nor anybody that I might divert from it.
The Serment de Strasbourg (oath of Strasbourg)
Original text in Roman
"Pro Deo amur et pro christian poblo et nostro commun salvament, d'ist di in avant, in quant Deus savir et podir me dunat, si salvarai eo cist meon fradre Karlo et in aiudha et in cadhuna cosa, si cum om per dreit son fradra salvar dift, in o quid il mi altresi fazet et ab Ludher nul plaid nunquam prindrai, qui, meon vol, cist meon fradre Karle in damno sit".
Si Lodhuuigs sagrament, que son fradre Karlo iurat, conseruat, et Karlus meos sendra de suo part non lo suon tanit, si io returnar non l’int pois, ne io ne neüls cui eo returnar int pois, in nulla aiudha conra Lodhuuig non li iu er.
Original text in Tudesc
"In Godes minna ind in thes christianes folches ind unser bedhero gehaltnissi, fon thesemo dage frammordes, so fram so mir Got geuuizci indi mahd furgibit, so haldih thesan minan bruodher, soss man mit rehtu sinan bruher scal, in thiu thaz er mig so sama duo, indi mit Ludheren in nohheiniu thing ne gegango, the, minan uuillon, imo ce scadhen uuerdhen".
"Oba Karl then eid then er sinemo bruodher Ludhuuuige gesuor geleistit, indi Ludhuuuig, min herro, then er imo gesuor forbrihchit, ob ih inan es iruuenden ne mag, noh ih noh thero nohhein, then ih es iruuenden mag, uuidhar Karle imo ce follusti ne uuirdhit".
Sorry, too lonng, I have to put the ttranslations in another tip!
- Historical Travel
There are three universities in Strasbourg, all in the same area around Rue de l'Université. Together they form the Pôle Universitaire Européen or European University Center, with more than 45,000 students including some 6000 foreigners.
Since all French universities are usually called by their initials, you will hear students in Strasbourg talking about the U.L.P., the U.M.B. and the U.R.S., and of course they will assume that you know what these initials stand for.
The U.L.P is the Université Louis Pasteur or Strasbourg I. This is a science and medical school which does a lot of advanced research.
The U.M.B. is the Université Marc Bloch or Strasbourg II, which has faculties for various Arts and Sciences, and offers courses in 25 foreign languages.
The U.R.S. is the Université Robert Schuman or Strasbourg III, which specializes in International and European Law.
It's an easy one-hour bicycle ride from Strasbourg to the museum "The Secrets of Chocolate" in Geispolsheim. There you can learn all about the history of chocolate and how it is made from cacao beans. Admission is EUR 8.00 for adults, which is perhaps a bit steep for such a small museum, but no true chocolate lover will be deterred by the price.
There is a short film at the beginning, in a choice of languages, and then as you walk through the museum there are numerous text panels in French, German and English.
Second photo: In some of the historical exhibits there are life-sized figures that move, slightly, with electric motors. This is perhaps a bit corny, but it does make them seem more alive than they might otherwise. This lady is supposed to be a Spanish aristocrat drinking hot chocolate in the 16th century. Her hand with the cup in it moves up and down as though she were drinking.
Third photo: These cupboards contain all sorts of historical items connected with chocolate, and in the next room there are text panels explaining that chocolate is good for you, reduces your cholesterol level, etc., and also that it might be an aphrodisiac, at least Casanova thought so, and he ought to know.
Fourth photo: At the end there is a live demonstration of how hollow Easter bunnies and other such hollow figures are made out of chocolate. I won't explain it here because it's a secret, but I must admit I didn't know it before.
Fifth photo: The best way to cycle to the museum (not the shortest way, but the easiest and most pleasant) is to follow along this cycling path by the Rhine-Rhone Canal for about six kilometers, then turn right on a street called Rue des Vignes, then left on Route de Lyon, cross the Toll Bridge (it isn't a toll bridge any more, it's just called that), and then right into the Street of the Toll Bridge, the Rue du Pont du Péage. It helps to have a good cycling map, such as the free ones you get when you rent a bike.
- Museum Visits
Anyone living in France or Germany can watch the television channel Arte in the local language. It tends to bring ambitious, cultural programming so it does not have huge viewing quotas, but it can be very good, and they often have theme evenings with several films or discussions about the same topic.
They also do live opera broadcasts sometimes.
The studios are located here because Strasbourg is in France but is very close to the German border, which at this point is formed by the Rhine River about ten kilometers away.
In memory of an influent citizen : Place Gutenberg
Johannes Gensfleisch, aka Gutenberg was born in Mayence (Germany) between 1394 and 1399 and came in Strasbourg around 1434.
It is here that he, in collaboration with the local goldsmith Andreas Dritzehn, did his firsts experiments with mobile characters printing : At this time, the existing technic was to engrave the complete page on a plate before printing, the new technique allowed to reuse the individual characters and thus to create a more economical solution to print books.
He went back to Mayence around 1448 where he got associated with Peter Schoeffer (who elaborated the precise kind of metal to use and perfected the way to create the characters) and Johannes Fust (the money lender)
Their fisrt production : the 42 lines Bible was printed between 1450 and 1456.
Gutenberg died in 1468 in Mayence. Despite being born and dead there, he is considered an honorary citizen in Strasbourg, beside the statue standing on a place named after him, one of the biggest high school in town perpetuates his name.
It is impossible to properly estimate Gutenberg influence in our world, but "enormous" seems correct.
The weblink below refers to a project he would certainly have suported : the Project Gutenberg aims to offer free electronic books (eBooks or etexts) on the Internet. The collection of more than 15.000 eBooks was produced by hundreds of volunteers. Most of the Project Gutenberg eBooks are older literary works that are in the public domain.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Palais du Rhin
After the 1870/71 Franco-German war, Alsace became a Reichland (german province) with Strasbourg as a capital.
The Kaiser Wilhelm II ordered a new area to be built north/east of the existing city : this quarter sill exists, barely modified : the german quarter, with its typically 'prussian' architecture.
He wanted to impress the locals (and to have a "nice little coutryhouse" in his new domain) and so ordered this 'Palais du Rhin'.
From the eastethic point of view, it seems that he missed one fine point (or more) : the Strasburgers weren't impressed at all but found the building rather ridiculous and nicknamed it " die Elephantenstall" (the elephants' stable).
This large and pompous edifice, situated Place de la Republique, hosts now the Central Commission for the Navigation on the Rhine wich is in charge of ensuring the safety and the prosperity of the navigation on the Rhine.
It's wide vestibule is often used to showcase modern art exhibitions.
Address : Palais du Rhin
2, place de la République
67082 STRASBOURG Cedex
- Castles and Palaces
Place de la Republique
Situated in the middle of the Place de la Republique's square , the WW (1 & 2) memorial is dedicated to ALL who died.
Mother Alsace holds her dead sons : one of them looks at France, the other one at Germany.
During the last world wars, young Alsacians were enrolled in the German troups against their will, they were called "les malgre nous" and had to fight against their brothers .
Most of them were sent to the Russian front and died there or were made prisonner, some of them came back from Russia only in the late SEVENTIES.
Beside this, the monument has a signification that i completely encompass : the idea of the irrelevance of citizenship in front of death, loss and sorrow.
- Historical Travel
The European Court for Human Rights
This strange, tin box looking, building situated on the Bassin de l'Ill (on the intersection of Quai Ernest Bevin and Allée des droits de l'homme) hosts the European Court for Human Rights (Cour Europeenne des Droits de l'Homme).
The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms was created with the Council of Europe, based on the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it was signed in 1950 and became effective in 1953.
Any of the contracting states/countries (45 in 2005) or any individual claiming to be a victim of a violation of the convention by a contracting state may lodge an application directly with this court.
Guided tours are available for groups and individual visits can be authorised but the visits of the Court are aimed at an informed audience ( jurists, lawyers, law students, groups of schoolchildren motivated by a research work done on the Court.) and are to be booked in advance.
European Court of Human Rights
Council of Europe
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
- Study Abroad
The bridge of Europe
Recently built, this bridge is the most modern link between the cities of Strasbourg and Kiel (in Germany), and represents, in a way, the link between France and Germany, pillars of the New Europe...
- Budget Travel
Strasburg is on the river Ill....
Strasburg is on the river Ill. There are also several canals across the city. This area is an elegant neighborhood and ideal for walking.
Another good option is to visit the building of the international institutions: Council of Europe and European Parliament. The city has built a modern complex in order to host the sessions of the latter. By doing this they try to keep this institution in the city, since many Members would prefer to move to the better communicated Brussels. Anyway, the new Parliament building is worth a visit.
Take a bike
Maybe because tourists don't feel like coming back tired from their trips they forget that in Strasbourg they can rent bike and ride for the day in the whole area.
Streets have special areas for bike and they also have their own itinerary. You can ride along the Rhin, and someone told me once that you can go to the south of Alsace just by following these path but sport is not my favorite hobby so I had never tried to go that far. But this is the best way to see things that you won't be able to see if you just stay in the center where there is too many tourists
- Road Trip
Strasbourg -- Capital of Europe
Off the beaten path, explore the more modern parts of the city, where French architecture reigns. Like this random building, for example. I have no idea which building this is, or what French or European agency it houses, but it's nice, n'est-ce pas?
I find it odd that Strasbourg is one of the ninety-eight or so European capitals, since it's really only the capital of Alsace, but who am I to question the ways of the EU?
By the way, what's up with Europe's Constitution? Such a mess! This is why I'm forever glad that America's founding fathers had the wisdom not to let special interests run the show in Philadelphia. But that's just my opinion...
The astronomical clock
When you visit the cathedral (I repeat DON`T forget it.....) look at this beautiful astronomical clock. It looks wonderful and it was the last picture I could take because the camera gave up....
This is not the only interesting in the cathedral. You must keep your eyes widely open and take a lot of time to explore it ...
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
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