On the Quai de la Petite France old half-timbered houses reflect on the waters of a rather still arm of the Ill river. The Petite France was the district with millers and tanners. It is now a highly praised (and visited !) part of Strasbourg. It is an absolute must see!
The whole old city, standing between two arms of the Ill river has been inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage list in December 1988 under the title "Strasbourg, large island". It includes the Gothic Cathedral, Saint Thomas church (XIIth - XVth), Saint-Pierre-le-Vieux (XIIth - XIVth), Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune (XIIIth - XVth), Saint-Etienne (XIIIth), the Musée de l'Oeuvre Notre-Dame, the Ponts Couverts, the Palais Rohan and the streets, alleys, quays, bridges, etc.
The Petite France district in the Old Town of Strasbourg is one of its most famous and touristy districts. Its small streets contain many half-timbered houses of the XVIth and XVIIth centuries, very pretty indeed, with wide canals beside them.
It was originally the fishers', millers' and tanners' district.
The Petite France area is one of the most beautiful parts of Strasbourg. Walking along the canals and half-timbered houses is a great way to spend the afternoon. There are also plenty of cafes to sit outside and enjoy the day.
The center part of old Strasbourg is "Petit France". It's chock full of old buildings, historic locations, beautiful flowers, shops and restaurants. This building was the old tannery. All are situated on the charming canals which run through Petit France.
This is the popular corner of the Grand Île (the Main Island) where the Île River splits up into a number of canals, and cascades through a small area of half-timbered houses. The canals sort of reminded me of Holland as quite a few little boats offered rides for the tourists..I wish I would have done so!!
Towers and footbridges situated at the end of 'Petite France' are the Ponts-Couverts, one of the most famous tourist attractions in all of Strasbourg. Comprising three 13th-century towers, these ancient fortified remains owe their name to the series of roofed, wooden footbridges. My friends and I actually had lunch on of them..:)
The Petite France, enclosed between the arms of the river Ill, is the eldest part of the Strasbourg.
The name comes from a XVI th century hospital where people suffering from the 'mal francais' (the syphilis) were treated (the hospital was thus nicknamed 'Petite France' )
Many of the typical multicoloured houses in this pedestrial area have a direct issue on the river. Made of cob, clay and timber, most of them are built on pilings.
The accented slopes of the roofs are a testimony of the harsh region's winters.
The Passage Georges Frankhauser is a walkway through the Barrage Vauben. Named after the local architect, the passage is a strange, dimly lit walkway, surrounded on either side by dusty old sculptures, seemlingly left here for storage, or partly finished works.
Petite France is an ancient district in Strasbourg with beautiful architecture and surroundings. Positioned around five arms of the River Ill, the construction of mills attracted tanners to the area, since their industry consumes high volumes of water. The area thrived, and the typical architecture of half-timbered houses can be seen widely around the district. An outbreak of patients contaminated with venereal diseases during the wars in Italy led to the construction of a hospital in the 16th century. Since the French where blamed for the spread of these diseases, the name Zum Französel was given to the area, today called Petite France.
Petite France offers one of the most dense, and largest collections of 16th and 17th century half-timbered houses you can see today. The area is truly beatiful, and well worth visiting.
Barrage Vauban is a defensive dam built on the river Ill in the 1600's. Later covered with earth and grass, the top "Terasse Panoramique" provides splendid views over Petite France, the Ponts Couverts, and the Cathedral.
We mostly wandered around the captivating historical neighborhood called Petite France, which is the "Old Town" area. Since Strasbourg (and all of the Alsace region) used to be part of Germany at one time, the architecture looked very similar to what's next door in Germany - plenty of picturesque, medieval half-timbered houses. The difference is they're on canals. Most of the people looked different, too - less stocky and more slender and delicate (a big generalization, of course!).
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