We’ve had a wonderful couple of days getting out and exploring the city. We’ve only scratched the surface, but are feeling happier each day that we decided to spend some time here. I’ll let this beautiful city speak for itself (warning: lots of photos!):
An outdoor antique market in one of city squares.
There are bike lanes throughout the city and bike riders everywhere!
The south side of the spectacular Strasbourg Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame), which was completed in 1439.
The cathedral’s west front is decorated with thousands of figures. The single spire is the cathedral’s most defining feature. You can orient yourself to the spire from just about anywhere in the central city.
The intricately carved pulpit dates from 1486.
The elaborate pipe organ hangs high above the sanctuary. It was added in 1878.
The River Ill runs through the central city, and has wide paths on each side for strolling. Several of the bridges are bedecked with flowers.
Strasbourg’s distinctive architecture fills the central city and lines the river. Fifteenth century buildings are still being used today.
Interesting rooflines are not difficult to find.
Outdoor restaurants can be found throughout the central city. Tarte flambée, a speciality of the Alsace region, are very popular. An extremely thin crust is topped with creme fraiche, thinly sliced onions and bacon, with other toppings added according to taste, then baked in a wood-fire oven.
On the north side of the city is Parc de l’Orangerie, the “lungs of Strasbourg.” The park contains huge, old trees of many varieties, paths for strolling, formal gardens, sculptures, a lake, and even a small zoo.
A formal garden space in the park.
The park area was originally intended to be an orange grove. The residence was dedicated to Empress Josephine in 1804.
There are storks’ nests on each of the residence’s chimneys!
This sculpture sits across from the residence. It is constructed of concrete over natural rock – the name is unknown.
Across the street from the park is the European Parliament, the legislative seat of the European Union. The flags of each member nation fly in front. We were unable to see much of the campus because lots of construction is currently going on – trucks and other equipment blocked almost ever road.
We have so far found the city very easy to navigate, either by walking, tram, or bus, and we’re looking forward to discovering more in the coming weeks!