Strasbourg

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Strasbourg
Strasbourg Railway Station at Night, Alsace, France - Diliff.jpg
Strasbourg Cathedral.jpg
Absolute ponts couverts 02.jpg
Strasbourg Palais Rohan depuis le quai des Bateliers.jpg
Absolute Petite France 02.jpg
Strassburger Kaiserpalast (heute Palais du Rhin).jpg
Strasbourg-Hotel Brion (2).jpg
European Parliament Strasbourg Hemicycle - Diliff.jpg
Strasbourg seen from Esca Tower in 2014.jpg
Flag of Strasbourg.svg
Flag
Greater coat of arms of Strasbourg.svg
Coat of arms
Location of Strasbourg
France location map-Regions and departements-2016.svg
Red pog.svg
Strasbourg
Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine region location map.svg
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Strasbourg
Coordinates: 48°35′N7°45′E / 48.58°N 7.75°E / 48.58; 7.75 Coordinates: 48°35′N7°45′E / 48.58°N 7.75°E / 48.58; 7.75
Country France
Region Grand Est
Department Bas-Rhin
Arrondissement Strasbourg
Canton 6 cantons
Intercommunality Eurométropole de Strasbourg
Government
  Mayor (2014–2020) Roland Ries (PS)
Area
1
78.26 km2 (30.22 sq mi)
  Urban
 (2013 [1] )
224 km2 (86 sq mi)
  Metro
 (2013 [1] )
1,351.5 km2 (521.8 sq mi)
Population
 (2016-01-01) [2]
283,515
  Rank 7th in France
  Density3,600/km2 (9,400/sq mi)
   Urban
 (2015 [1] )
461,101 [3]
   Metro
 (1 January 2016 [1] )
785,839 [4]
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
Dialling codes 0388, 0390, 0368
Elevation132–151 m (433–495 ft)
Website www.strasbourg.eu
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
BlasonAlsace.svg
Part of the series on
Alsace
Flag of Alsace (historical).svg
Rot un Wiss, traditional flag of Alsace

Strasbourg ( UK: /ˈstræzbɜːrɡ/ , [5] US: /ˈstræs-, ˈstrɑːsbʊərɡ, ˈstrɑːzbʊərɡ, -bɜːrɡ, strɑːzˈbʊər/ , [6] [7] [8] French:  [stʁazbuʁ, stʁasbuʁ] ; Bas Rhin Alsatian : Strossburi [ˈʃd̥ʁɔːsb̥uʁiɡ] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ) or Haut Rhin Alsatian : Strossburig [9] [ˈʃd̥ʁɔːsb̥uʁiɡ̊] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); German : Straßburg [ˈʃtʁaːsbʊɐ̯k] ) is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department.

British English is the standard dialect of English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective wee is almost exclusively used in parts of Scotland and Ireland, and occasionally Yorkshire, whereas little is predominant elsewhere. Nevertheless, there is a meaningful degree of uniformity in written English within the United Kingdom, and this could be described by the term British English. The forms of spoken English, however, vary considerably more than in most other areas of the world where English is spoken, so a uniform concept of British English is more difficult to apply to the spoken language. According to Tom McArthur in the Oxford Guide to World English, British English shares "all the ambiguities and tensions in the word 'British' and as a result can be used and interpreted in two ways, more broadly or more narrowly, within a range of blurring and ambiguity".

American English Set of dialects of the English language spoken in the United States

American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. It is considered one of the most influential dialects of English globally, including on other varieties of English.

Alsatian dialect Low Alemannic German dialect spoken in most of Alsace, a region in eastern France

Alsatian is a Low Alemannic German dialect spoken in most of Alsace, a formerly disputed region in eastern France that has passed between French and German control five times since 1681. A dialect of Alsatian German is spoken in the United States by the so-called Swiss Amish, whose ancestors emigrated there in the middle of the 19th century. The approximately 7,000 speakers are located mainly in Allen County, Indiana, with "daughter settlements" elsewhere.

Contents

In 2016, the city proper had 279,284 inhabitants and both the Eurométropole de Strasbourg (Greater Strasbourg) and the Arrondissement of Strasbourg had 491,409 inhabitants. Strasbourg's metropolitan area had a population of 785,839 in 2015 (not counting the section across the border in Germany), making it the ninth largest metro area in France and home to 13% of the Grand Est region's inhabitants. The transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014. [10]

Eurométropole de Strasbourg Place in Grand Est, France

Eurométropole de Strasbourg is the métropole, an intercommunal structure, centred on the city of Strasbourg. It is located in the Bas-Rhin department, in the Grand Est region, northeastern France. It was created in January 2015, replacing the previous Communauté urbaine de Strasbourg, and covers that part of the Strasbourg metropolitan area that lies in France. Its population was 491,409 in 2016, of which 279,284 in Strasbourg proper.

Arrondissement of Strasbourg Arrondissement in Grand Est, France

The arrondissement of Strasbourg is an arrondissement of France in the Bas-Rhin department in the Grand Est region. It was created at the 2015 arrondissements reform by the merger of the former arrondissement of Strasbourg-Ville with part of the arrondissement of Strasbourg-Campagne. It has 33 communes.

Eurodistrict

A eurodistrict is a European administrative entity that contains urban agglomerations which lie across the border between two or more states. A eurodistrict offers a program for cooperation and integration of the towns or communes which it comprises: for example, improving transport links for people who live and work on different sides of the border. Furthermore, it confers a trans-national regional identity and represents European integration.

Strasbourg is one of the de facto three main capitals of the European Union (alongside Brussels and Luxembourg), as it is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe (with its European Court of Human Rights, its European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines most commonly known in French as "Pharmacopée Européenne" its European Audiovisual Observatory), the Eurocorps, as well as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of the European Union.

European Union Economic and political union of European states

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. It has an area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi) and an estimated population of about 513 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.

Brussels Capital region of Belgium

Brussels, officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita. It covers 161 km2 (62 sq mi), a relatively small area compared to the two other regions, and has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is also part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people.

Luxembourg City Commune in Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Luxembourg, also known as Luxembourg City, is the capital city of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and the country's most populous commune. Standing at the confluence of the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers in southern Luxembourg, the city lies at the heart of Western Europe, situated 213 km (132 mi) by road from Brussels, 372 km (231 mi) from Paris, and 209 km (130 mi) from Cologne. The city contains Luxembourg Castle, established by the Franks in the Early Middle Ages, around which a settlement developed.

The city is also the seat of many non-European international institutions such as the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine and the International Institute of Human Rights. [11] It is the second city in France in terms of international congress and symposia, after Paris.

Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine international organization

The Central Commission for Navigation of the Rhine is an international organisation whose function is to encourage European prosperity by guaranteeing a high level of security for navigation of the Rhine and environs. It is the world's oldest extant international organization.

The International Institute of Human Rights is an association under French local law based in Strasbourg, France. It is composed of approximately 300 members worldwide, including universities, researchers, and practitioners of human rights.

Paris Capital city of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, as well as the arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018. The city is a major railway, highway, and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, and is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, but the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015.

Strasbourg's historic city centre, the Grande Île (Grand Island), was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, the first time such an honour was placed on an entire city centre. Strasbourg is immersed in Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a cultural bridge between France and Germany for centuries, especially through the University of Strasbourg, currently the second largest in France, and the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture. It is also home to the largest Islamic place of worship in France, the Strasbourg Grand Mosque. [12]

Grande Île (Strasbourg) island in Bas-Rhin, France

The Grande Île is an island that lies at the historic centre of the city of Strasbourg in France. Its name means "Large Island", and derives from the fact that it is surrounded on one side by the main channel of the Ill River and on the other side by the Canal du Faux-Rempart, a canalised arm of that river. Grand Île was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. At the time, the International Council on Monuments and Sites noted that Grand Île is "an old quarter that exemplifies medieval cities".

World Heritage Site place listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or natural significance

A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity.

UNESCO Specialised agency of the United Nations

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Rome. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration in education, sciences, and culture in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter. It is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.

Economically, Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as a hub of road, rail, and river transportation. The port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Duisburg in Germany, and the fourth largest river port in France after Nantes, Rouen and Bordeaux. [13]

Rhine river in Western Europe

The Rhine is one of the major European rivers, which has its sources in Switzerland and flows in a mostly northerly direction through Germany and the Netherlands, emptying into the North Sea. The river begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Liechtenstein, Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and then the Franco-German border, then flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and eventually empties into the North Sea.

Duisburg Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Duisburg is a city of about 500,000 inhabitants in Germany’s Rhineland, at the confluence of the Rhine and the Ruhr. In medieval times, it was a member of the powerful Hanseatic League, and later became a major centre of iron, steel, and chemicals. For this reason, it was heavily bombed in World War II. Today it boasts the world's largest inland port, with 21 docks and 40 kilometres of wharf. The city supports a large Turkish community.

Nantes Prefecture and commune in Pays de la Loire, France

Nantes is a city in Loire-Atlantique on the Loire, 50 km (31 mi) from the Atlantic coast. The city is the sixth-largest in France, with a population of 303,382 in Nantes and a metropolitan area of nearly 950,000 inhabitants. With Saint-Nazaire, a seaport on the Loire estuary, Nantes forms the main north-western French metropolis.

Etymology and names

Before the 5th century, the city was known as Argantorati (in the nominative, Argantorate in the locative), a Celtic Gaulish name Latinized first as Argentorate (with Gaulish locative ending, as appearing on the first Roman milestones in the 1st century CE), and then as Argentoratum (with regular Latin nominative ending, in later Latin texts). That Gaulish name is a compound of -rati, the Gaulish word for fortified enclosures, cognate to the Old Irish ráth (see ringfort), and arganto(n)- (cognate to Latin argentum, which gave modern French argent), the Gaulish word for silver, but also any precious metal, particularly gold, suggesting either a fortified enclosure located by a river gold mining site, or hoarding gold mined in the nearby rivers. [14]

After the 5th century, the city became known by a completely different name Gallicized as Strasbourg (Lower Alsatian: Strossburi; German : Straßburg). That name is of Germanic origin and means "Town (at the crossing) of roads". The modern Stras- is cognate to the German Straße and English street, all of which are derived from Latin strata ("paved road"), while -bourg is cognate to the German Burg and English borough , all of which are derived from Proto-Germanic *burgz ("hill fort, fortress").

Gregory of Tours was the first to mention the name change: in the tenth book of his History of the Franks written shortly after 590 he said that Egidius, Bishop of Reims, accused of plotting against King Childebert II of Austrasia in favor of his uncle King Chilperic I of Neustria, was tried by a synod of Austrasian bishops in Metz in November 590, found guilty and removed from the priesthood, then taken "ad Argentoratensem urbem, quam nunc Strateburgum vocant" ("to the city of Argentoratum, which they now call Strateburgus"), where he was exiled. [15]

Geography

Location

Strasbourg seen from Spot Satellite Strasbourg SPOT 1163.jpg
Strasbourg seen from Spot Satellite

Strasbourg is situated at the eastern border of France with Germany. This border is formed by the Rhine, which also forms the eastern border of the modern city, facing across the river to the German town Kehl. The historic core of Strasbourg however lies on the Grande Île in the river Ill, which here flows parallel to, and roughly 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from, the Rhine. The natural courses of the two rivers eventually join some distance downstream of Strasbourg, although several artificial waterways now connect them within the city.

The city lies in the Upper Rhine Plain, at between 132 metres (433 ft) and 151 metres (495 ft) above sea level, with the upland areas of the Vosges Mountains some 20 km (12 mi) to the west and the Black Forest 25 km (16 mi) to the east. This section of the Rhine valley is a major axis of north–south travel, with river traffic on the Rhine itself, and major roads and railways paralleling it on both banks.

The city is some 397 kilometres (247 mi) east of Paris. [16] The mouth of the Rhine lies approximately 450 kilometres (280 mi) to the north, or 650 kilometres (400 mi) as the river flows, whilst the head of navigation in Basel is some 100 kilometres (62 mi) to the south, or 150 kilometres (93 mi) by river.

Climate

In spite of its position far inland, Strasbourg's climate is classified as oceanic (Köppen: Cfb), [17] [18] but a "semicontinental" climate with some degree of maritime influence in relation to the mild patterns of Western and Southern France (only considering the country internally). [19] The city has warm, relatively sunny summers and cool, overcast winters. Precipitation is elevated from mid-spring to the end of summer, but remains largely constant throughout the year, totaling 631.4 mm (24.9 in) annually. On average, snow falls 30 days per year.[ citation needed ]

The highest temperature ever recorded was 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) in August 2003, during the 2003 European heat wave. The lowest temperature ever recorded was −23.4 °C (−10.1 °F) in December 1938.[ citation needed ]

Strasbourg's location in the Rhine valley, sheltered from the dominant winds by the Vosges and Black Forest mountains, results in poor natural ventilation, making Strasbourg one of the most atmospherically polluted cities of France. [20] [21] Nonetheless, the progressive disappearance of heavy industry on both banks of the Rhine, as well as effective measures of traffic regulation in and around the city have reduced air pollution. [22]

Climate data for Strasbourg-Entzheim (Strasbourg Airport), elevation: 154 m or 505 ft, 1981-2010 normals and extremes
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)17.5
(63.5)
21.1
(70.0)
25.7
(78.3)
30.0
(86.0)
33.4
(92.1)
37.0
(98.6)
38.3
(100.9)
38.7
(101.7)
33.4
(92.1)
29.1
(84.4)
22.1
(71.8)
18.3
(64.9)
38.7
(101.7)
Average high °C (°F)4.5
(40.1)
6.4
(43.5)
11.4
(52.5)
15.7
(60.3)
20.2
(68.4)
23.4
(74.1)
25.7
(78.3)
25.4
(77.7)
21.0
(69.8)
15.3
(59.5)
8.8
(47.8)
5.2
(41.4)
15.3
(59.5)
Daily mean °C (°F)1.8
(35.2)
2.9
(37.2)
7
(45)
10.5
(50.9)
15
(59)
18.1
(64.6)
20.1
(68.2)
19.8
(67.6)
15.8
(60.4)
11.2
(52.2)
5.8
(42.4)
2.8
(37.0)
11
(52)
Average low °C (°F)−0.8
(30.6)
−0.6
(30.9)
2.5
(36.5)
5.2
(41.4)
9.8
(49.6)
12.8
(55.0)
14.5
(58.1)
14.1
(57.4)
10.6
(51.1)
7.1
(44.8)
2.8
(37.0)
0.3
(32.5)
6.6
(43.9)
Record low °C (°F)−23.6
(−10.5)
−22.3
(−8.1)
−16.7
(1.9)
−5.6
(21.9)
−2.4
(27.7)
1.1
(34.0)
4.9
(40.8)
4.8
(40.6)
−1.3
(29.7)
−7.6
(18.3)
−10.8
(12.6)
−23.4
(−10.1)
−23.6
(−10.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches)32.2
(1.27)
34.5
(1.36)
42.8
(1.69)
45.9
(1.81)
81.9
(3.22)
71.6
(2.82)
72.7
(2.86)
61.4
(2.42)
63.5
(2.50)
61.5
(2.42)
47.0
(1.85)
50.0
(1.97)
665.0
(26.18)
Average precipitation days8.48.19.19.211.510.710.89.98.69.59.39.8114.9
Mean monthly sunshine hours 58.183.8134.8180.0202.5223.8228.6219.6164.598.755.343.11,692.7
Source: Meteo France [23] [24]

History

Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor visiting Strasbourg in 1414, detail of a painting by Leo Schnug Entree solennelle de l'empereur Sigismond a Strasbourg en 1414 (3).jpg
Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor visiting Strasbourg in 1414, detail of a painting by Léo Schnug

The Roman camp of Argentoratum was first mentioned in 12 BC; the city of Strasbourg which grew from it celebrated its 2,000th anniversary in 1988. The fertile area in the Upper Rhine Plain between the rivers Ill and Rhine had already been populated since the Middle Paleolithic. [27] [28]

Between 362 and 1262, Strasbourg was governed by the bishops of Strasbourg; their rule was reinforced in 873 and then more in 982. [29] In 1262, the citizens violently rebelled against the bishop's rule (Battle of Hausbergen) and Strasbourg became a free imperial city. It became a French city in 1681, after the conquest of Alsace by the armies of Louis XIV. In 1871, after the Franco-Prussian War, the city became German again, until 1918 (end of World War I), when it reverted to France. After the defeat of France in 1940 (World War II), Strasbourg came under German control again; since the end of 1944, it is again a French city. In 2016, Strasbourg was promoted from capital of Alsace to capital of Grand Est.

Strasbourg played an important part in Protestant Reformation, with personalities such as John Calvin, Martin Bucer, Wolfgang Capito, Matthew and Katharina Zell, but also in other aspects of Christianity such as German mysticism, with Johannes Tauler, Pietism, with Philipp Spener, and Reverence for Life, with Albert Schweitzer. Delegates from the city took part in the Protestation at Speyer. It was also one of the first centres of the printing industry with pioneers such as Johannes Gutenberg, Johannes Mentelin, and Heinrich Eggestein. Among the darkest periods in the city's long history were the years 1349 (Strasbourg massacre), 1793 (Reign of Terror), 1870 (Siege of Strasbourg) and the years 1940–1944 with the Nazi occupation (atrocities such as the Jewish skeleton collection) and the British and American bombing raids. Some other notable dates were the years 357 (Battle of Argentoratum), 842 (Oaths of Strasbourg), 1538 (establishment of the university), 1605 (world's first newspaper printed by Johann Carolus), 1792 (La Marseillaise), and 1889 (pancreatic origin of diabetes discovered by Minkowski and Von Mering). Strasbourg is also the home a bizarre epidemic in 1518, where hundreds of citizens danced for several days, some even dying of exhaustion. [30] (The Dancing Plague of 1518)

Strasbourg has been the seat of European Institutions since 1949: first of the International Commission on Civil Status and of the Council of Europe, later of the European Parliament, of the European Science Foundation, of Eurocorps, and others as well.

Districts

Strasbourg is divided into the following districts: [31]

  1. Bourse, Esplanade, Krutenau
  2. Centre République
  3. Centre Gare
  4. Conseil des XV, Rotterdam
  5. Cronenbourg, Hautepierre, Poteries, Hohberg
  6. Koenigshoffen, Montagne-Verte, Elsau
  7. Meinau
  8. Neudorf, Schluthfeld, Port du Rhin, Musau
  9. Neuhof, Stockfeld, Ganzau
  10. Robertsau, Wacken

Main sights

Panorama from the Barrage Vauban with the medieval bridge Ponts Couverts in the foreground (the fourth tower is hidden by trees at the left) and the cathedral in the distance on the right. Strasbourg - Ponts Couverts vus de la terrasse panoramique.jpg
Panorama from the Barrage Vauban with the medieval bridge Ponts Couverts in the foreground (the fourth tower is hidden by trees at the left) and the cathedral in the distance on the right.

Architecture

Strasbourg, Cathedral of Our Lady Strasbourg Cathedral Exterior - Diliff.jpg
Strasbourg, Cathedral of Our Lady

The city is chiefly known for its sandstone Gothic Cathedral with its famous astronomical clock, and for its medieval cityscape of Rhineland black and white timber-framed buildings, particularly in the Petite France district or Gerberviertel ("tanners' district") alongside the Ill and in the streets and squares surrounding the cathedral, where the renowned Maison Kammerzell stands out.

Notable medieval streets include Rue Mercière, Rue des Dentelles, Rue du Bain aux Plantes, Rue des Juifs, Rue des Frères, Rue des Tonneliers, Rue du Maroquin, Rue des Charpentiers, Rue des Serruriers, Grand' Rue, Quai des Bateliers, Quai Saint-Nicolas and Quai Saint-Thomas. Notable medieval squares include Place de la Cathédrale, Place du Marché Gayot, Place Saint-Étienne, Place du Marché aux Cochons de Lait and Place Benjamin Zix.

Place du Marche aux Cochons de Lait. Absolute Pl marche aux cochons 01.JPG
Place du Marché aux Cochons de Lait.
Place Gutenberg with statue of Gutenberg and Carousel. Strasbourg place gutenberg.jpg
Place Gutenberg with statue of Gutenberg and Carousel.
Maison des tanneurs. Absolute Maison des tanneurs 01.JPG
Maison des tanneurs.
View of the Ill with Eglise Saint-Thomas. Strasbourgriver.jpg
View of the Ill with Église Saint-Thomas.

In addition to the cathedral, Strasbourg houses several other medieval churches that have survived the many wars and destructions that have plagued the city: the Romanesque Église Saint-Étienne, partly destroyed in 1944 by Allied bombing raids; the part-Romanesque, part-Gothic, very large Église Saint-Thomas with its Silbermann organ on which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Albert Schweitzer played; [32] the Gothic Église protestante Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune with its crypt dating back to the seventh century and its cloister partly from the eleventh century; the Gothic Église Saint-Guillaume with its fine early-Renaissance stained glass and furniture; the Gothic Église Saint-Jean; the part-Gothic, part-Art Nouveau Église Sainte-Madeleine etc. The Neo-Gothic church Saint-Pierre-le-Vieux Catholique (there is also an adjacent church Saint-Pierre-le-Vieux Protestant) serves as a shrine for several 15th-century wood-worked and painted altars coming from other, now destroyed churches and installed there for public display; especially the Passion of Christ. Among the numerous secular medieval buildings, the monumental Ancienne Douane (old custom-house) stands out.

The German Renaissance has bequeathed the city some noteworthy buildings (especially the current Chambre de commerce et d'industrie, former town hall, on Place Gutenberg), as did the French Baroque and Classicism with several hôtels particuliers (i.e. palaces), among which the Palais Rohan (1742, now housing three museums) is the most spectacular. Other buildings of its kind are the "Hôtel de Hanau" (1736, now the city hall); the Hôtel de Klinglin (1736, now residence of the préfet); the Hôtel des Deux-Ponts (1755, now residence of the military governor); the Hôtel d'Andlau-Klinglin (1725, now seat of the administration of the Port autonome de Strasbourg) etc. The largest baroque building of Strasbourg though is the 150-metre-long (490 ft) 1720s main building of the Hôpital civil . As for French Neo-classicism, it is the Opera House on Place Broglie that most prestigiously represents this style.

Strasbourg also offers high-class eclecticist buildings in its very extended German district, the Neustadt , being the main memory of Wilhelmian architecture since most of the major cities in Germany proper suffered intensive damage during World War II. Streets, boulevards and avenues are homogeneous, surprisingly high (up to seven stories) and broad examples of German urban lay-out and of this architectural style that summons and mixes up five centuries of European architecture as well as Neo-Egyptian, Neo-Greek and Neo-Babylonian styles. The former imperial palace Palais du Rhin , the most political and thus heavily criticized of all German Strasbourg buildings epitomizes the grand scale and stylistic sturdiness of this period. But the two most handsome and ornate buildings of these times are the École internationale des Pontonniers (the former Höhere Mädchenschule, girls college) with its towers, turrets and multiple round and square angles [33] and the Haute école des arts du Rhin with its lavishly ornate façade of painted bricks, woodwork and majolica. [34]

The baroque organ of the Eglise Saint-Thomas OrgueSaintThomasStrasbourg.jpg
The baroque organ of the Église Saint-Thomas

Notable streets of the German district include: Avenue de la Forêt Noire, Avenue des Vosges, Avenue d'Alsace, Avenue de la Marseillaise, Avenue de la Liberté, Boulevard de la Victoire, Rue Sellénick, Rue du Général de Castelnau, Rue du Maréchal Foch, and Rue du Maréchal Joffre. Notable squares of the German district include: Place de la République , Place de l'Université, Place Brant, and Place Arnold.

Impressive examples of Prussian military architecture of the 1880s can be found along the newly reopened Rue du Rempart, displaying large-scale fortifications among which the aptly named Kriegstor (war gate).

As for modern and contemporary architecture, Strasbourg possesses some fine Art Nouveau buildings (such as the huge Palais des Fêtes and houses and villas like Villa Schutzenberger and Hôtel Brion ), good examples of post-World War II functional architecture (the Cité Rotterdam, for which Le Corbusier did not succeed in the architectural contest) and, in the very extended Quartier Européen, some spectacular administrative buildings of sometimes utterly large size, among which the European Court of Human Rights building by Richard Rogers is arguably the finest. Other noticeable contemporary buildings are the new Music school Cité de la Musique et de la Danse, the Musée d'Art moderne et contemporain and the Hôtel du Département facing it, as well as, in the outskirts, the tramway-station Hoenheim-Nord designed by Zaha Hadid.

Place Kleber Absolute place Kleber 02.jpg
Place Kléber

The city has many bridges, including the medieval and four-towered Ponts Couverts that, despite their name, are no longer covered. Next to the Ponts Couverts is the Barrage Vauban , a part of Vauban's 17th-century fortifications, that does include a covered bridge. Other bridges are the ornate 19th-century Pont de la Fonderie (1893, stone) and Pont d'Auvergne (1892, iron), as well as architect Marc Mimram's futuristic Passerelle over the Rhine, opened in 2004.

The largest square at the centre of the city of Strasbourg is the Place Kléber. Located in the heart of the city's commercial area, it was named after general Jean-Baptiste Kléber, born in Strasbourg in 1753 and assassinated in 1800 in Cairo. In the square is a statue of Kléber, under which is a vault containing his remains. On the north side of the square is the Aubette (Orderly Room), built by Jacques François Blondel, architect of the king, in 1765–1772.

Parks

The Pavillon Josephine (rear side) in the Parc de l'Orangerie Absolute Pavillon Josephine 01.jpg
The Pavillon Joséphine (rear side) in the Parc de l'Orangerie
The Chateau de Pourtales (front side) in the park of the same name Absolute Chateau de Pourtales 01.JPG
The Château de Pourtalès (front side) in the park of the same name

Strasbourg features a number of prominent parks, of which several are of cultural and historical interest: the Parc de l'Orangerie, laid out as a French garden by André le Nôtre and remodeled as an English garden on behalf of Joséphine de Beauharnais, now displaying noteworthy French gardens, a neo-classical castle and a small zoo; the Parc de la Citadelle, built around impressive remains of the 17th-century fortress erected close to the Rhine by Vauban; [35] the Parc de Pourtalès, laid out in English style around a baroque castle (heavily restored in the 19th century) that now houses a small three-star hotel, [36] and featuring an open-air museum of international contemporary sculpture. [37] The Jardin botanique de l'Université de Strasbourg (botanical garden) was created under the German administration next to the Observatory of Strasbourg, built in 1881, and still owns some greenhouses of those times. The Parc des Contades, although the oldest park of the city, was completely remodeled after World War II. The futuristic Parc des Poteries is an example of European park-conception in the late 1990s. The Jardin des deux Rives, spread over Strasbourg and Kehl on both sides of the Rhine opened in 2004 and is the most extended (60-hectare) park of the agglomeration. The most recent park is Parc du Heyritz (8,7 ha), opened in 2014 along a canal facing the hôpital civil .

Museums

For a city of comparatively small size, Strasbourg displays a large quantity and variety of museums:

Fine art museums

A room in the Musee des Arts decoratifs Paul Hannong Strassburg.jpg
A room in the Musée des Arts décoratifs

Unlike most other cities, Strasbourg's collections of European art are divided into several museums according not only to type and area, but also to epoch. Old master paintings from the Germanic Rhenish territories and until 1681 are displayed in the Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame, old master paintings from all the rest of Europe (including the Dutch Rhenish territories) and until 1871 as well as old master paintings from the Germanic Rhenish territories between 1681 and 1871 are displayed in the Musée des Beaux-Arts. Old master graphic arts until 1871 is displayed in the Cabinet des estampes et dessins. Decorative arts until 1681 ("German period") are displayed in the Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame, decorative arts from 1681 to 1871 ("French period") are displayed in the Musée des Arts décoratifs. International art (painting, sculpture, graphic arts) and decorative art since 1871 is displayed in the Musée d'art moderne et contemporain. The latter museum also displays the city's photographic library.

Other museums

  • The Musée archéologique presents a large display of regional findings from the first ages of man to the sixth century, focussing especially on the Roman and Celtic period.
  • The Musée alsacien is dedicated to traditional Alsatian daily life.
  • Le Vaisseau ("The vessel") is a science and technology centre, especially designed for children.
  • The Musée historique (historical museum) is dedicated to the tumultuous history of the city and displays many artifacts of the times, among which the 'Grüselhorn, the horn that was blown every evening at 10:00, during medieval times, to order the Jews out of the city.
  • The Musée de la Navigation sur le Rhin, also going by the name of Naviscope, located in an old ship, is dedicated to the history of commercial navigation on the Rhine.
  • The Musée vodou (Vodou museum) opened its doors on 28 November 2013. Displaying a private collection of artefacts from Haiti, it is located in a former water tower (château d'eau) built in 1883 and classified as a Monument historique.
  • The Musée du barreau de Strasbourg (The Strasbourg bar association museum) is a museum dedicated to the work and the history of lawyers in the city. [38] [39]

University museums

The Université de Strasbourg is in charge of a number of permanent public displays of its collections of scientific artefacts and products of all kinds of exploration and research. [40]

Museums in the suburbs

Demographics

The metropolitan area of Strasbourg had a population of 768,868 inhabitants in 2012 (French side of the border only), while the transnational Eurodistrict had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014.

Population growth

168417891851187118901910192119361946
22,00049,94375,56585,654123,500178,891166,767193,119175,515
195419621968197519821990199920062014
200,921228,971249,396253,384248,712252,338263,941272,975276,170
The Ill, seen from the terrace of the Palais Rohan Strasbourg River Ill.jpg
The Ill, seen from the terrace of the Palais Rohan

Population composition

2012%2007%
Total Population274,394100272,123100
0–14 years47,47317.346,26317.0
15–29 years77,71928.378,29128.8
30–44 years54,51419.954,85020.2
45–59 years45,43616.647,23617.4
60–74 years30,32111.127,0609.9
75+ years18,9316.918,4246.8

Culture

Strasbourg is the seat of internationally renowned institutions of music and drama:

Other theatres are the Théâtre jeune public, the TAPS Scala, the Kafteur ...  

Events

Education

Universities and tertiary education

Strasbourg, well known as centre of humanism, has a long history of excellence in higher-education, at the crossroads of French and German intellectual traditions. Although Strasbourg had been annexed by the Kingdom of France in 1683, it still remained connected to the German-speaking intellectual world throughout the 18th century and the university attracted numerous students from the Holy Roman Empire, including Goethe, Metternich and Montgelas, who studied law in Strasbourg, among the most prominent. With 19 Nobel prizes in total, Strasbourg is the most eminent French university outside of Paris.

Up until January 2009 there were three universities in Strasbourg, with an approximate total of 48,500 students as of 2007 (another 4,500 students are being taught at one of the diverse post-graduate schools): [45]

Since 1 January 2009, those three universities have merged and constitute now the Université de Strasbourg. Schools part of the Université de Strasbourg include:

Primary and secondary education

International schools include:

Multiple levels:

For elementary education: [46]

For middle school/junior high school education: [46]

For senior high school/sixth form college: [46]

Libraries

Lateral view of the National Library. Absolute Bibliotheque nationale 01.jpg
Lateral view of the National Library.

The Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire (BNU) is, with its collection of more than 3,000,000 titles, [48] the second largest library in France after the Bibliothèque nationale de France. It was founded by the German administration after the complete destruction of the previous municipal library in 1871 and holds the unique status of being simultaneously a students' and a national library. The Strasbourg municipal library had been marked erroneously as "City Hall" in a French commercial map, which had been captured and used by the German artillery to lay their guns. A librarian from Munich later pointed out "...that the destruction of the precious collection was not the fault of a German artillery officer, who used the French map, but of the slovenly and inaccurate scholarship of a Frenchman." [49]

The municipal library Bibliothèque municipale de Strasbourg (BMS) administrates a network of ten medium-sized librairies in different areas of the town. A six stories high "Grande bibliothèque", the Médiathèque André Malraux , was inaugurated on 19 September 2008 and is considered the largest in Eastern France. [50]

Incunabula

As one of the earliest centers of book-printing in Europe (see above: History), Strasbourg for a long time held a large number of incunabula—documents printed before 1500—in its library as one of its most precious heritages. After the total destruction of this institution in 1870, however, a new collection had to be reassembled from scratch. Today, Strasbourg's different public and institutional libraries again display a sizable total number of incunabula, distributed as follows: Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire, ca. 2 098 [51] Médiathèque de la ville et de la communauté urbaine de Strasbourg, 394 [52] Bibliothèque du Grand Séminaire, 238 [53] Médiathèque protestante, 94 [54] and Bibliothèque alsatique du Crédit Mutuel, 5. [55]

Transportation

One of Strasbourg's trams passes over one of its canals, whilst a tourist trip boat passes underneath Strasbourg PontTheatre 02.JPG
One of Strasbourg's trams passes over one of its canals, whilst a tourist trip boat passes underneath

Train services operate from the Gare de Strasbourg , the city's main station in the city centre, eastward to Offenburg and Karlsruhe in Germany, westward to Metz and Paris, and southward to Basel. Strasbourg's links with the rest of France have improved due to its recent connection to the TGV network, with the first phase of the TGV Est (Paris–Strasbourg) in 2007, the TGV Rhin-Rhône (Strasbourg-Lyon) in 2012, and the second phase of the TGV Est in July 2016.

Strasbourg also has its own airport, serving major domestic destinations as well as international destinations in Europe and northern Africa. The airport is linked to the Gare de Strasbourg by a frequent train service. [56] [57]

City transportation in Strasbourg includes the futurist-looking Strasbourg tramway that opened in 1994 and is operated by the regional transit company Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois (CTS), consisting of 6 lines with a total length of 55.8 km (34.7 mi). The CTS also operates a comprehensive bus network throughout the city that is integrated with the trams. With more than 500 km (311 mi) of bicycle paths, biking in the city is convenient and the CTS operates a cheap bike-sharing scheme named Vélhop'. The CTS, and its predecessors, also operated a previous generation of tram system between 1878 and 1960, complemented by trolleybus routes between 1939 and 1962.

Being a city on the Ill and close to the Rhine, Strasbourg has always been an important centre of fluvial navigation, as is attested by archeological findings. In 1682 the Canal de la Bruche was added to the river navigations, initially to provide transport for sandstone from quarries in the Vosges for use in the fortification of the city. That canal has since closed, but the subsequent Canal du Rhone au Rhine , Canal de la Marne au Rhin and Grand Canal d'Alsace are still in use, as is the important activity of the Port autonome de Strasbourg . Water tourism inside the city proper attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists yearly.

The tram system that now criss-crosses the historic city centre complements walking and biking in it. The centre has been transformed into a pedestrian priority zone that enables and invites walking and biking by making these active modes of transport comfortable, safe and enjoyable. These attributes are accomplished by applying the principle of "filtered permeability" to the existing irregular network of streets. It means that the network adaptations favour active transportation and, selectively, "filter out" the car by reducing the number of streets that run through the centre. While certain streets are discontinuous for cars, they connect to a network of pedestrian and bike paths which permeate the entire centre. In addition, these paths go through public squares and open spaces increasing the enjoyment of the trip. This logic of filtering a mode of transport is fully expressed in a comprehensive model for laying out neighbourhoods and districts – the Fused Grid.

At present the A35 autoroute, which parallels the Rhine between Karlsruhe and Basel, and the A4 autoroute, which links Paris with Strasbourg, penetrate close to the centre of the city. The Grand contournement ouest (GCO) project, programmed since 1999, plans to construct a 24-kilometre-long (15 mi) highway connection between the junctions of the A4 and the A35 autoroutes in the north and of the A35 and A352 autoroutes in the south. This routes well to the west of the city and is meant to divest a significant portion of motorized traffic from the unité urbaine. [58] The GCO project is opposed by environmentalists, who created a ZAD (or Zone to Defend). [59]

Strasbourg Public Transportation Statistics

The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Strasbourg, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 52 min. 7% of public transit riders, ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 9 min, while 11% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day. The average distance people usually ride in a single trip with public transit is 3.9 km (2.4 mi), while 0% travel for over 12 km (7.5 mi) in a single direction. [60]

European role

The Palace of Europe of the Council of Europe Council of Europe Palais de l'Europe aerial view.JPG
The Palace of Europe of the Council of Europe

Institutions

Strasbourg is the seat of over twenty international institutions, [61] most famously of the Council of Europe and of the European Parliament, of which it is the official seat. Strasbourg is considered the legislative and democratic capital of the European Union, while Brussels is considered the executive and administrative capital and Luxembourg the judiciary and financial capital. [62]

Strasbourg is the seat of the following organisations, among others:

Eurodistrict

France and Germany have created a Eurodistrict straddling the Rhine, combining the Greater Strasbourg and the Ortenau district of Baden-Württemberg, with some common administration. It was established in 2005 and is fully functional since 2010.

Sports

Stade de la Meinau, home of RC Strasbourg Stade de la Meinau.JPG
Stade de la Meinau, home of RC Strasbourg

Sporting teams from Strasbourg are the Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace (football), Strasbourg IG (basketball) and the Étoile Noire (ice hockey). [63] The women's tennis Internationaux de Strasbourg is one of the most important French tournaments of its kind outside Roland-Garros. In 1922, Strasbourg was the venue for the XVI Grand Prix de l'A.C.F. which saw Fiat battle Bugatti, Ballot, Rolland Pilain, and Britain's Aston Martin and Sunbeam.

Honours

Honours associated with the city of Strasbourg.

Notable people

In chronological order, notable people born in Strasbourg include: Eric of Friuli, Johannes Tauler, Sebastian Brant, Jean Baptiste Kléber, Louis Ramond de Carbonnières, François Christophe Kellermann, Marie Tussaud, Ludwig I of Bavaria, Charles Frédéric Gerhardt, Louis-Frédéric Schützenberger, Gustave Doré, Émile Waldteufel, René Beeh, Jean/Hans Arp, Charles Münch, Hans Bethe, Maurice Kriegel-Valrimont, Marcel Marceau, Tomi Ungerer, Arsène Wenger, Petit and Matt Pokora.

In chronological order, notable residents of Strasbourg include: Johannes Gutenberg, Hans Baldung, Martin Bucer, John Calvin, Joachim Meyer, Johann Carolus, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz, Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, Georg Büchner, Louis Pasteur, Ferdinand Braun, Albrecht Kossel, Georg Simmel, Albert Schweitzer, Otto Klemperer, Marc Bloch, Alberto Fujimori, Marjane Satrapi, Paul Ricoeur and Jean-Marie Lehn.

Twin towns and sister cities

Strasbourg is twinned with: [65]

Strasbourg has cooperative agreements with:

In film

In literature

In music

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