La Petite France, Strasbourg
Petite France is most charming area in Strasbourg located on the Grande Ile (Main Island). On the this spot river Ile splits up into a number of canals and cascades and because that it calls French Venice This part. is on UNESCO list because area of half-timbered houses. The Petite France is brimming with tourist restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops.
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.
Rue du Bain aux Plantes (Plant Bath Street) bears a strange name that has actually nothing to do neither with plants nor with bath!. It was first called Glanzhof (something like shining yard), which was later miss-spelt into Pflanzhof (plants yard) and finally into Pflanzbad (plants bath). It seems that at one time there was a bath for women, which might explain why Pflanzhof became Pflanzbad. It is now the axis of the Petite France with several well-kept half-timbered houses
The Maison des Tanneurs is one of the most beautiful half-timbered houses of the Petite France district. One side is overlooking the Ill river (first and second photo) with an oriel (bow window); The other side is standing on the Rue du Bain aux Plantes. It has been a restaurant since 1572! They serve excellent "choucroute".
The Petite France is one area in Strasbourg which you MUST NOT MISS.
It's a picturesque area of old Strasbourg where once Fishermen, Millers and Tanners lived and worked. The buildings are gorgeous, all shapes and sizes, most are half-timbered buildings from the 16th & 17th centuries. Their sloping roofs open out onto lofts where hides were once dried.
Now they are decked out with baskets of flowers, quite a few are Restaurants and Shops. It was great walking amongst these old homes, and seeing their reflections in the River Ill.
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.
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.
The Vauban Dam Barrage/Lock we saw on the cruise, and we also returned to walk through the passage-way. Located close to the Covered Bridges, this Barrage/Lock was built under Louis XIV in 1690. This fortified lock not only prevented assailants from gaining entry to the city, but also made it possible to flood the entire southern front, also protecting it against attack.
The Barrage has a panoramic terrace where you can see the layout of the city and its network of canals.
We walked through the Barrage and found it filled with lots of old sculptures. Will these always be here, or are they just stored here, I don't know the answer! It was quite interesting though!
OPEN from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. every day
Closed 14/15th July.
A pretty and interesting part of our cruise, was when we were near Pont St-Martin, which is also known as washing bridge. Our guide told us the poor used to wash their clothes here [ which was downstream] while the rich used the cleaner water upstream. They had to be very careful not to let the clothes disappear down the river. In the Boat, we had a good view of the half-timbered homes, one which is now a Restaurant.
The Maison des Tanneurs in Petite France is today actually a restaurant. On our visit to Petite France we didn`t dine here, nevertheless, the building is worth a visit, if only to see from the outside. The house is the former seat of the tanner's guild, and is a beautifully decorated half-timbered building in the heart of Petite France.
Being close to the border of France with Germany and Switzerland, Strasbourg has a very good tourist industry, welcoming nearly 3 milion tourist every year.
Petit France quarter in one of the attraction in Strasbourg. Situated in the center of the city, this is where the tanners, millers and fishermen had their houses. One can see here beautiful architecture from 16th and 17th century.
This famous quarter is a popular meeting place, with lots of great pubs and restaurants. One of France's most popular beer is made here Kronenbourg. The first barrel of this beer was produced in 1664 by Jerom Hatt. In 1850 the brewery was transferred to Cronenbourg, a Strasbourg suburb, which was safe from flooding.
Strasbourg was a walled city in the 13th century. This was when four brick fortified Towers were built. The Matzenturm was razed in 1869 by fire, but the other three are still standing today. The Heinrichsturm was used as a Civil prison, the Hans von Altheimturm and the French Tower were used as Military prisons in the 18th & 19th centuries.
Petite France in Strasbourg is full of old half-timbered buildings and narrow streets. As you wander through the area, be sure to look up. You will see wagon wheels on top of many buildings. These are to encourage storks to nest there and you will see the occasional stork nesting. That's when you will realize your zoom lens was worth every penny!
Built in 1572 was the Maison des tanneurs, an old Tannery that was also known as "Gerwerstub."
It was in 1949, when the Tannery became a Restaurant, and then in 1972 was restored. At the Maison de Tanneurs, traditional Alasation cruised is served, and the views from the dining room are of the canal. It located in the Petite-France area of Strasbourg