Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Two Lands, One City
Situated on the Ill River, Strasbourg is a city perched between the massive powers of France and Germany. Due to this, the city has a unique atmosphere; one that on many levels has allowed it to have distinct touches of Deutschland as well as français flare.
This has also meant that the city of Strasbourg has had a rather tumultuous history; since 1917 alone the city has switch hands between France and Germany four times! Since cooler heads did eventually prevailed between the two nations, you can walk freely from country to country or as I did straddle the border and be in two places at once!
Strasbourg is a lovely little city which is now home of the European Parliament. Despite the modern editions that the European project has brought to it, Strasbourg reminded me of the Belle's village from Beauty and the Beast with some German aspects thrown in.
One of the highlights was Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-Strasbourg. Described by Victor Hugo as a "gigantic and delicate marvel," the cathedral is very awe-inspiring and a great example of Gothic architecture. I'm not really a church person (whether or not I'm traveling) but it really was lovely. The stained glass was just divine...no pun intended. In all serious, it really did fill the cathedral with such vibrant dancing colors. I wish my photographs could do it justice.
I recommend Strasbourg if you happen to be in the Alsace region and would like to experience a city caught between to cultures. Truly an excellent day trip!
PS: Food was A-MAZING! I think I ate my body weight in french bread, cheese and wine. Deeeeeeeeeeeee-lish!