If you are fancier of wine you must visit wine cellar of Strasbourg city hospital. This cellar founded in 1395 and renovated in 1994. Today it is a specific wine museum featuring more than 40 ancient barrels, a wine dating from beginning of the 17th century and barrel from the year 1472. This is one of the oldest wines in the world. This wine was tasting only three times – first tasting was held for the Swiss delegation in 1576, the second was in 1716 when was the renovation of Hospital and the last person who had tasted this wine was general Lecrerc in 1944.
Cave Historique des Hospices de Strasbourg
1, Place de l'Hopital
Tel: +33 3 88 11 64 50
Fax:+33 3 88 12 81 59
Place du Chateau, those very old houses, situated just between the Cathedral Notre Dame and the Palais des Rohan, host the workshops of the "Oeuvre Notre-Dame".
Here, since nearly a tousand years, companions, sculptors, stone workers maintain the Cathedral in a good shape, using the same techniques than their medieval precursors.
You can also find there a very ineresting museum dedicated to the medieval and renaissance periods.
This renaissance beautiful house is located near to Cathedral and it is one of the most interesting and beautiful houses in Strasbourg. It was built at the beginning of the 15 Century. In 1589 house had his architectural face as we can see today. Since 1929 the Maison Kammerzell placed on the list of Historical Monuments. Today it is very good restaurant and hotel. There you can get traditional the sauerkraut (marriages cabbage)
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.
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.
We walked a lot in Strasbourg (by choice) and, at one point, instead of walking along the streets, we took the steps down to the canal level where there are park benches and a pathway. The walk took us along the water, under the bridges, and past some beautiful views. Not all the steps lead all the way to the canal level, but those that did not seemed to be adequately blocked off. It was a pleasant change of pace for us and a different perspective.
The pathways are not completely circular around the island so be mindful of the signs that tell you to head back up to street level. The pathways around Petite France are larger and more crowded than other parts. But those less crowded places also seemed to be a favorite place for homeless people to sleep – we walked by a couple of people asleep under the bridges in sleeping bags in the middle of the afternoon.
A very nice mid sized museum featuring daily life’s items from the 18th and 19th centuries : furnitures, costumes, cooking gear, tools, religious items, toys…all very well presented.
The Musee Alsacien has been nicely renovated for it’s 100th birhday (end 2006) and occupies now 3 old (linked) pretty houses along the Ill.
Address : 23-25, quai Saint-Nicolas - 67000 Strasbourg
Open Wednesday to Monday, from 12h to 18h (10h to 18h on sundays)
Entrance : free
During our early morning walk around Strasbourg, we were heading over to the Parc de la Citadelle and walked along Avenue du De Gaulle. This was easy enough to find since we were following the tracks of the tram, which go through grassy areas at this point (looking at our map, we figured this would be the quickest way to get us close to our destination.
While walking along this avenue, there were numerous displays of modern art sculptures along the sidewalks. Some were rather unique and some were just odd. But we enjoyed looking at them; we figured there must be an art school nearby and these were works from students, although they seemed very ambitious for student works.
If you happen to be in the area look out for the sculptures. I’m not sure that a special trip is needed to see them, but they were an interesting feature of our morning walk.
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
When traveling in Europe whenever you are visiting a restaurant or a museum, try to use their WC facilities if at all possible. Typically they are maintained and are free. But sometimes you are just walking around the town and find you have a need. If you find yourself in this predicament, it is helpful to know where to “go”.
My typical comment in this section of my pages is to bring change since many cities charge for public restroom usage and to bring supplies (paper, hand sanitizer, etc.) because often the WCs do not have these necessities. However, in Strasbourg – this is not the case. The city has thought of the basic needs of weary travelers and has provided clean, free, and fully stocked facilities throughout the city. I have often wondered why other cities haven’t considered this as a needed part of the tourist industry. After all, they want people to come to their cities and see all the wonderful things, but people do have certain needs that can’t be ignored.
As a result of Strasbourg’s planning, I felt that the city was cleaner and lacked certain smells that other, less prepared, cities seem to have.
Look for the WC signs around the city center of Strasbourg. They are also conveniently noted on the map available from many hotels. Locations that I saw while in Strasbourg included near the cathedral, two in Petite France, one at Place Kleber, Place Broglie, and the Parc de la Citadelle.
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
This photo was taken in Barr (see my Barr Travel Page) but there are so many charming and quaint wine villages in the area it is difficult to choose one. We usually stay in Barr and visit the surrounding area. This is one of those cases where you can't make a wrong choice. We love Ribeauville, Barr, Gertwiller, Obernai . . . the list goes on.
Stop at the Strasbourg Tourist Office and get a brochure with wine route maps or just book a tour if you don't have a car.
Click on the photo for pictures of other wine villages. Also check the web site for the Plus Beaux Villes of France below. There are now 154 "Most Beautiful Villages" of France and they are all lovely.
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.
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.
I was very impressed by a small engraving inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral that deserves mention. Many times while in the US, the French people get a bad rapport for their underwhelming response of gratitude toward the US servicemen that sacrificed their lives for their freedom from Germany in World War II. Here in this small city of Strasbourg, is a simple thank you and memorial for those who died fighting to free Alsace, the region of France closest to Germany. I think I might make a printout of this photo and carry it with me while seeing the rest of France just in case I run into another one of those who act under whelmed at the sacrifice the US has made for them.