Strasbourg
Overview
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace
Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

 region
Régions of France
France is divided into 27 administrative regions , 22 of which are in Metropolitan France, and five of which are overseas. Corsica is a territorial collectivity , but is considered a region in mainstream usage, and is even shown as such on the INSEE website...

 in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament
Seat of the European Parliament in Strasbourg
The city of Strasbourg is the official seat of the European Parliament. The institution is legally bound to meet there twelve sessions a year lasting about four days each. Other work takes place in Brussels and Luxembourg City...

. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin
Bas-Rhin
Bas-Rhin is a department of France. The name means "Lower Rhine". It is the more populous and densely populated of the two departments of the Alsace region, with 1,079,013 inhabitants in 2006.- History :...

 département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking, explaining the city's Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 name. In 2006, the city proper had 272,975 inhabitants and its urban community
Urban Community of Strasbourg
The Urban Community of Strasbourg , also known by its French initials CUS, is the intercommunal structure gathering the city of Strasbourg and some of its suburbs....

 467,375 inhabitants. With 638,670 inhabitants in 2006, Strasbourg's metropolitan area (aire urbaine) (only the part of the metropolitan area on French territory) is the ninth largest in France.
Encyclopedia
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace
Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

 region
Régions of France
France is divided into 27 administrative regions , 22 of which are in Metropolitan France, and five of which are overseas. Corsica is a territorial collectivity , but is considered a region in mainstream usage, and is even shown as such on the INSEE website...

 in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament
Seat of the European Parliament in Strasbourg
The city of Strasbourg is the official seat of the European Parliament. The institution is legally bound to meet there twelve sessions a year lasting about four days each. Other work takes place in Brussels and Luxembourg City...

. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin
Bas-Rhin
Bas-Rhin is a department of France. The name means "Lower Rhine". It is the more populous and densely populated of the two departments of the Alsace region, with 1,079,013 inhabitants in 2006.- History :...

 département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking, explaining the city's Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 name. In 2006, the city proper had 272,975 inhabitants and its urban community
Urban Community of Strasbourg
The Urban Community of Strasbourg , also known by its French initials CUS, is the intercommunal structure gathering the city of Strasbourg and some of its suburbs....

 467,375 inhabitants. With 638,670 inhabitants in 2006, Strasbourg's metropolitan area (aire urbaine) (only the part of the metropolitan area on French territory) is the ninth largest in France. The transnational Eurodistrict
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...

 Strasbourg-Ortenau
Strasbourg-Ortenau
Strasbourg-Ortenau is a Franco-German eurodistrict, a cross-border administrative entity sharing common institutions, established on 17 October 2005 and definitely functional since 4 February 2010...

 had a population of 884,988 inhabitants in 2008.

Strasbourg is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

 (with its European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

, its European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines
European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines
The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines of the Council of Europe came into being in its current form in 1996. It consists of the Technical Secretariat of the European Pharmacopoeia Commission long referred to as the European Pharmacopoeia set up in 1964 by the European Pharmacopoeia...

 and its European Audiovisual Observatory
European Audiovisual Observatory
The European Audiovisual Observatory was set up by the Council of Europe as a Partial Agreement. Its legal basis is Resolution 70 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, 15 December 1992...

) and the Eurocorps
Eurocorps
Eurocorps is a multinational standing army corps available for the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance.Headquartered in Strasbourg, France, the force was created in May 1992, activated in October 1993 and declared operational in 1995....

, as well as the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 and the European Ombudsman
European Ombudsman
The European Ombudsman is an ombudsman for the European Union, based in the Salvador de Madariaga Building in Strasbourg.-History:...

 of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. The city is the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine
Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine
The Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine is an international organization whose function is to encourage European prosperity by guaranteeing a high level of security for navigation of the Rhine and environs...

.

Strasbourg's historic city centre, the Grande Île (Grand Island), was classified a World Heritage site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 in 1988, the first time such an honour was placed on an entire city centre. Strasbourg is fused into the Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a bridge of unity between France and Germany for centuries, especially through the University of Strasbourg
University of Strasbourg
The University of Strasbourg in Strasbourg, Alsace, France, is the largest university in France, with about 43,000 students and over 4,000 researchers....

, currently the largest in France, and the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 culture.

Economically, Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as of road, rail, and river communications. The port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Duisburg
Duisburg
- History :A legend recorded by Johannes Aventinus holds that Duisburg, was built by the eponymous Tuisto, mythical progenitor of Germans, ca. 2395 BC...

, Germany. In terms of city rankings, Strasbourg has been ranked third in France and 18th globally for innovation.

Etymology

The city's Gallicized
Francization
Francization or Gallicization is a process of cultural assimilation that gives a French character to a word, an ethnicity or a person.-French Colonial Empire:-Francization in the World:...

 name is of Germanic
Germanic languages
The Germanic languages constitute a sub-branch of the Indo-European language family. The common ancestor of all of the languages in this branch is called Proto-Germanic , which was spoken in approximately the mid-1st millennium BC in Iron Age northern Europe...

 origin and means "Town (at the crossing) of roads". The modern Stras- is cognate to the German Straße / Strasse which itself is derived from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 strata ("street"), while -bourg (French for "village") is cognate to the German -burg
Burg
Burg is the word for castle in various Germanic languages.Burg or Bürg or Buerg may refer to:*Burg bei Magdeburg, a city in Germany*Den Burg, a town in the Netherlands* Burg, former name of Melber, Kentucky...

("fortress, town, citadel") and English borough
Borough
A borough is an administrative division in various countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing township although, in practice, official use of the term varies widely....

. So the whole name would be roughly translated into English as "Fortress on the Street."

Geography

Strasbourg is situated on the Ill River
Ill (France)
The Ill is a river in Alsace, in north-eastern France. It is a left-side, or western tributary of the Rhine.It starts down from its source near the village of Winkel, in the Jura mountains, with a resurgence near Ligsdorf, turns around Ferrette on its east side, and then runs northward through...

, where it flows into the Rhine on the border with Germany, across from the German town Kehl
Kehl
Kehl is a town in southwestern Germany in the Ortenaukreis, Baden-Württemberg. It is located on the river Rhine, directly opposite the French city of Strasbourg.-History:...

. The city is situated in the Upper Rhine Plain
Upper Rhine Plain
The Upper Rhine Plain, Rhine Rift Valley or Upper Rhine Graben is a major rift, straddling the border between France and Germany. It forms part of the European Cenozoic Rift System, which extends across central Europe...

, approximately 20 km (12.4 mi) east of the Vosges Mountains
Vosges mountains
For the department of France of the same name, see Vosges.The Vosges are a range of low mountains in eastern France, near its border with Germany. They extend along the west side of the Rhine valley in a northnortheast direction, mainly from Belfort to Saverne...

 and 25 km (15.5 mi) west of the Black Forest
Black Forest
The Black Forest is a wooded mountain range in Baden-Württemberg, southwestern Germany. It is bordered by the Rhine valley to the west and south. The highest peak is the Feldberg with an elevation of 1,493 metres ....

.

The location and the resulting poor natural ventilation makes Strasbourg one of the most atmospherically polluted cities of France, although the progressive disappearance of heavy industry
Heavy industry
Heavy industry does not have a single fixed meaning as compared to light industry. It can mean production of products which are either heavy in weight or in the processes leading to their production. In general, it is a popular term used within the name of many Japanese and Korean firms, meaning...

 on both banks of the Rhine, as well as effective measures of traffic regulation in and around the city are showing encouraging results. The Grand contournement ouest (GCO) project, nurtured since 1999, plans the construction of a 24 km (14.9 mi) long highway connection between the junctions of the A 4
A4 autoroute
The A4 Autoroute, also known as l'autoroute de l'Est is a French autoroute that travels between the cities of Paris and Strasbourg. It forms parts of European routes E25 and E50....

 and the A 35
A35 autoroute
The A35 autoroute is a toll free highway in north eastern France. It is also known as the autoroute des cigognes and the Voie Rapide du Piémont des Vosges. It connects the German border in the Rhine valley with the Swiss frontier via Strasbourg...

 autoroutes in the north and of the A4
A4 autoroute
The A4 Autoroute, also known as l'autoroute de l'Est is a French autoroute that travels between the cities of Paris and Strasbourg. It forms parts of European routes E25 and E50....

 and the A352
A35 autoroute
The A35 autoroute is a toll free highway in north eastern France. It is also known as the autoroute des cigognes and the Voie Rapide du Piémont des Vosges. It connects the German border in the Rhine valley with the Swiss frontier via Strasbourg...

 and A35
A35 autoroute
The A35 autoroute is a toll free highway in north eastern France. It is also known as the autoroute des cigognes and the Voie Rapide du Piémont des Vosges. It connects the German border in the Rhine valley with the Swiss frontier via Strasbourg...

 autoroutes in the south, meant to divest another significant portion of motorized traffic from the unité urbaine
Unité urbaine
In France an unité urbaine is a statistical area defined by INSEE, the French national statistics office, for the measurement of contiguously built-up areas...

.

Climate

Winds coming from either direction being often deflected by these natural barriers, the average annual precipitation is low and the perceived summer temperatures can be inordinately high.

Prehistory

The first traces of human occupation in the environs of Strasbourg go back 600,000 years. Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

, bronze age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 and iron age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 artifacts have been uncovered by archeological excavations. It was permanently settled by proto-Celts around 1300 BC. Towards the end of the third century BC, it developed into a Celt
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

ish township with a market called "Argentorate". Drainage works converted the stilthouses to houses built on dry land.

From Romans to Renaissance

Argentoratum

The Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 under Nero Claudius Drusus
Nero Claudius Drusus
Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus , born Decimus Claudius Drusus also called Drusus, Drusus I, Nero Drusus, or Drusus the Elder was a Roman politician and military commander. He was a fully patrician Claudian on his father's side but his maternal grandmother was from a plebeian family...

 established a military outpost belonging to the Germania Superior
Germania Superior
Germania Superior , so called for the reason that it lay upstream of Germania Inferior, was a province of the Roman Empire. It comprised an area of western Switzerland, the French Jura and Alsace regions, and southwestern Germany...

Roman province
Roman province
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy , largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy...

 at Strasbourg's current location, and named it Argentoratum. (Hence the town is commonly called Argentina in medieval Latin
Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church, but also as a language of science, literature, law, and administration. Despite the clerical origin of many of its authors,...

.) The name "Argentoratum" was first mentioned in 12 BC and the city celebrated its 2,000th birthday in 1988. "Argentorate" as the toponym of the Gaulish settlement preceding it before being Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

ized, but it is not known by how long. The Roman camp was destroyed by fire and rebuilt six times between the first and the fifth centuries AD: in 70, 97, 235, 355, in the last quarter of the fourth century, and in the early years of the fifth century. It was under Trajan
Trajan
Trajan , was Roman Emperor from 98 to 117 AD. Born into a non-patrician family in the province of Hispania Baetica, in Spain Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in Spain, in 89 Trajan supported the emperor against...

 and after the fire of 97 that Argentoratum received its most extended and fortified shape. From the year 90 on, the Legio VIII Augusta
Legio VIII Augusta
Legio octava Augusta was a Roman legion created by Pompey in 65 BC, along with the 6th, 7th & 9th, and continuing in service to Rome for at least 400 years thereafter....

 was permanently stationed in the Roman camp of Argentoratum. It then included a cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 section and covered an area of approximately 20 hectares. Other Roman legions temporarily stationed in Argentoratum were the Legio XIV Gemina
Legio XIV Gemina
Legio quarta decima Gemina was a legion of the Roman Empire, levied by Julius Caesar in late 58 B.C. The cognomen Gemina suggests that the legion resulted from fusion of two previous ones, one of them being the Fourteenth legion that fought in the Battle of Alesia, the other being the Martia ...

 and the Legio XXI Rapax
Legio XXI Rapax
Legio vigesima prima rapax was a Roman legion levied in 31 BC by Augustus, probably from men previously enlisted in other legions. The XXI Rapax was destroyed in 92 by the Dacians and Sarmatians...

, the latter during the reign of Nero
Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

.

The centre of Argentoratum proper was situated on the Grande Île (Cardo
Cardo
The cardo was a north-south oriented street in Roman cities, military camps, and coloniae. The cardo, an integral component of city planning, was lined with shops and vendors, and served as a hub of economic life. The main cardo was called cardo maximus.Most Roman cities also had a Decumanus...

: current Rue du Dôme, Decumanus
Decumanus Maximus
In Roman city planning, a decumanus was an east-west-oriented road in a Roman city, castra , or colonia. The main decumanus was the Decumanus Maximus, which normally connected the Porta Praetoria to the Porta Decumana .This name comes from the fact that the via decumana or decimana In Roman city...

: current Rue des Hallebardes). The outline of the Roman "castrum" is visible in the street pattern in the Grande Ile. Many Roman artifacts have also been found along the current Route des Romains, the road that lead to Argentoratum, in the suburb of Kœnigshoffen. This was where the largest burial places were situated, as well as the densest concentration of civilian dwelling places and commerces next to the camp. Among the most outstanding finds in Kœnigshoffen were (found in 1911–12) the fragments of a grand Mithraeum
Mithraeum
A Mithraeum is a place of worship for the followers of the mystery religion of Mithraism.The Mithraeum was either an adapted natural cave or cavern or an artificial building imitating a cavern. Mithraea were dark and windowless, even if they were not actually in a subterranean space or in a natural...

 that had been shattered by early Christians in the fourth century. From the fourth century, Strasbourg was the seat of the Bishopric of Strasbourg
Archbishopric of Strasbourg
- External links :* *...

 (made an Archbishopric in 1988). Archaeological excavations below the current Église Saint-Étienne in 1948 and 1956 unearthed the apse
Apse
In architecture, the apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome...

 of a church dating back to the late fourth or early fifth century, considered to be the oldest church in Alsace. It is supposed that this was the first seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Strasbourg
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Strasbourg
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Strasbourg is an archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in France.The archdiocese is unique in France as it has no suffragans and is immediately subject to the Holy See in Rome....

.

The Alemanni
Alamanni
The Alamanni, Allemanni, or Alemanni were originally an alliance of Germanic tribes located around the upper Rhine river . One of the earliest references to them is the cognomen Alamannicus assumed by Roman Emperor Caracalla, who ruled the Roman Empire from 211 to 217 and claimed thereby to be...

 fought a Battle of Argentoratum
Battle of Strasbourg
The Battle of Strasbourg, also known as the Battle of Argentoratum, was fought in 357 between the Late Roman army under the Caesar Julian and the Alamanni tribal confederation led by the joint paramount king Chnodomar...

 against Rome in 357. They were defeated by Julian
Julian the Apostate
Julian "the Apostate" , commonly known as Julian, or also Julian the Philosopher, was Roman Emperor from 361 to 363 and a noted philosopher and Greek writer....

, later Emperor of Rome
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

, and their King Chonodomarius was taken prisoner. On 2 January 366, the Alemanni crossed the frozen Rhine in large numbers to invade the Roman Empire. Early in the fifth century, the Alemanni appear to have crossed the Rhine, conquered, and then settled what is today Alsace and a large part of Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

.

Imperial city

The town was occupied successively in the fifth century by Alemanni, Huns
Huns
The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

 and Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

. In the ninth century it was commonly known as Strazburg in the local language, as documented in 842 by the Oaths of Strasbourg
Oaths of Strasbourg
The Oaths of Strasbourg were several historical documents which included mutual pledges of allegiance between Louis the German , ruler of East Francia, and his brother Charles the Bald , ruler of West Francia...

. This trilingual text contains, alongside texts in Latin and Old High German
Old High German
The term Old High German refers to the earliest stage of the German language and it conventionally covers the period from around 500 to 1050. Coherent written texts do not appear until the second half of the 8th century, and some treat the period before 750 as 'prehistoric' and date the start of...

 (teudisca lingua), the oldest written variety of Gallo-Romance
Gallo-Romance languages
The Gallo-Romance branch of Romance languages include French and the other langue d'oïl dialects, Occitan , Catalan, Franco-Provençal, Gallo-Italic, and other languages - Other possible classifications :...

 (lingua romana) clearly distinct from Latin, the ancestor of Old French
Old French
Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories that span roughly the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium and Switzerland from the 9th century to the 14th century...

. The town was also called Stratisburgum or Strateburgus in Latin, from which later came Strossburi in Alsatian and Straßburg in Standard German
Standard German
Standard German is the standard variety of the German language used as a written language, in formal contexts, and for communication between different dialect areas...

, and then Strasbourg in French. The Oaths of Strasbourg is considered as marking the birth of the two countries of France and Germany with the division of the Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire is a historiographical term which has been used to refer to the realm of the Franks under the Carolingian dynasty in the Early Middle Ages. This dynasty is seen as the founders of France and Germany, and its beginning date is based on the crowning of Charlemagne, or Charles the...

.

A major commercial centre, the town came under control of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 in 923, through the homage paid by the Duke of Lorraine to German King Henry I. The early history of Strasbourg consists of a long conflict between its bishop
Archbishopric of Strasbourg
- External links :* *...

 and its citizens. The citizens emerged victorious after the Battle of Oberhausbergen
Oberhausbergen
Oberhausbergen is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.-References:*...

 in 1262, when King Philip of Swabia
Philip of Swabia
Philip of Swabia was king of Germany and duke of Swabia, the rival of the emperor Otto IV.-Biography:Philip was the fifth and youngest son of Emperor Frederick I and Beatrice I, Countess of Burgundy, daughter of Renaud III, count of Burgundy, and brother of the emperor Henry VI...

 granted the city the status of an Imperial Free City
Free Imperial City
In the Holy Roman Empire, a free imperial city was a city formally ruled by the emperor only — as opposed to the majority of cities in the Empire, which were governed by one of the many princes of the Empire, such as dukes or prince-bishops...

.

Around 1200, Gottfried von Straßburg
Gottfried von Strassburg
Gottfried von Strassburg is the author of the Middle High German courtly romance Tristan and Isolt, an adaptation of the 12th-century Tristan and Iseult legend. Gottfried's work is regarded, alongside Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival and the Nibelungenlied, as one of the great narrative...

 wrote the Middle High German
Middle High German
Middle High German , abbreviated MHG , is the term used for the period in the history of the German language between 1050 and 1350. It is preceded by Old High German and followed by Early New High German...

 courtly romance Tristan, which is regarded, alongside Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival and the Nibelungenlied
Nibelungenlied
The Nibelungenlied, translated as The Song of the Nibelungs, is an epic poem in Middle High German. The story tells of dragon-slayer Siegfried at the court of the Burgundians, how he was murdered, and of his wife Kriemhild's revenge....

, as one of great narrative masterpieces of the German Middle Ages.

A revolution in 1332 resulted in a broad-based city government
Local government
Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government...

 with participation of the guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

s, and Strasbourg declared itself a free republic. The deadly bubonic plague
Bubonic plague
Plague is a deadly infectious disease that is caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis, named after the French-Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin. Primarily carried by rodents and spread to humans via fleas, the disease is notorious throughout history, due to the unrivaled scale of death...

 of 1348 was followed on 14 February 1349 by one of the first and worst pogroms in pre-modern history
Strasbourg pogrom
The Strasbourg pogrom occurred on February 14, 1349, when several hundred Jews were publicly burnt to death, and the rest of them expelled from the city. It was one of the first and worst pogroms in pre-modern history....

: several hundred Jews were publicly burnt to death, with the remainder of the Jewish population being expelled from the city. Until the end of the 18th century, Jews were forbidden to remain in town after 10 pm. The time to leave the city was signalled by a municipal herald
Herald
A herald, or, more correctly, a herald of arms, is an officer of arms, ranking between pursuivant and king of arms. The title is often applied erroneously to all officers of arms....

 blowing the Grüselhorn (see below, Museums, Musée historique);. A special tax, the Pflastergeld (pavement money), was furthermore to be paid for any horse that a Jew would ride or bring into the city while allowed to.

Strasbourg Cathedral
Strasbourg Cathedral
Strasbourg Cathedral or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Strasbourg, France. Although considerable parts of it are still in Romanesque architecture, it is widely consideredSusan Bernstein: , The Johns Hopkins University Press to be among the finest...

, on which construction began in the twelfth century, was completed in 1439 (though only the north tower was built) and became the World's Tallest Building, surpassing the Great Pyramid of Giza
Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact...

. A few years later, Johannes Gutenberg created the first European moveable type
Movable type
Movable type is the system of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document ....

 printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

 in Strasbourg.

In July 1518, an incident known as the Dancing Plague of 1518
Dancing Plague of 1518
The Dancing Plague of 1518 was a case of dancing mania that occurred in Strasbourg, France in July 1518...

 struck residents of Strasbourg. Around 400 people were afflicted with dancing mania
Dancing mania
Dancing mania was a social phenomenon that occurred primarily in mainland Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries. It involved groups of people, sometimes thousands at a time, who danced uncontrollably and bizarrely...

 and danced constantly for weeks, most of them eventually dying from heart attack, stroke or exhaustion.

In the 1520s during the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, the city, under the political guidance of Jacob Sturm von Sturmeck
Jacob Sturm von Sturmeck
Jacob Sturm von Sturmeck was a German statesman, one of the preeminent promoters of the Protestant Reformation in Germany.-Biography:...

 and the spiritual guidance of Martin Bucer
Martin Bucer
Martin Bucer was a Protestant reformer based in Strasbourg who influenced Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anglican doctrines and practices. Bucer was originally a member of the Dominican Order, but after meeting and being influenced by Martin Luther in 1518 he arranged for his monastic vows to be annulled...

 embraced the religious teachings of Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

. Their adherents established a Gymnasium
University of Strasbourg
The University of Strasbourg in Strasbourg, Alsace, France, is the largest university in France, with about 43,000 students and over 4,000 researchers....

, headed by Johannes Sturm
Johannes Sturm
Johannes Sturm, Latinized as Ioannes Sturmius was a German educator, influential in the design of the Gymnasium system of secondary education.- Biography :...

, made into a University in the following century. The city first followed the Tetrapolitan Confession
Tetrapolitan Confession
The Tetrapolitan Confession, also called the Confessio Tetrapolitana, Strasbourg Confession, or Swabian Confession, was the official confession of the followers of Huldrych Zwingli and the first confession of the reformed church...

, and then the Augsburg Confession
Augsburg Confession
The Augsburg Confession, also known as the "Augustana" from its Latin name, Confessio Augustana, is the primary confession of faith of the Lutheran Church and one of the most important documents of the Lutheran reformation...

. Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 iconoclasm
Iconoclasm
Iconoclasm is the deliberate destruction of religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually with religious or political motives. It is a frequent component of major political or religious changes...

 caused much destruction to churches and cloisters. Strasbourg was a centre of humanist scholarship and early book-printing in the Holy Roman Empire, and its intellectual and political influence contributed much to the establishment of Protestantism as an accepted denomination in the southwest of Germany. (John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

 had spent several years as a political refugee
Right of asylum
Right of asylum is an ancient juridical notion, under which a person persecuted for political opinions or religious beliefs in his or her own country may be protected by another sovereign authority, a foreign country, or church sanctuaries...

 in the city). Together with four other free cities
City-state
A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government.-Historical city-states:...

, Strasbourg presented the confessio tetrapolitana as its Protestant book of faith at the Imperial Diet of Augsburg
Diet of Augsburg
The Diet of Augsburg were the meetings of the Imperial Diet of the Holy Roman Empire in the German city of Augsburg. There were many such sessions, but the three meetings during the Reformation and the ensuing religious wars between the Roman Catholic emperor Charles V and the Protestant...

 in 1530, where the slightly different Augsburg Confession
Augsburg Confession
The Augsburg Confession, also known as the "Augustana" from its Latin name, Confessio Augustana, is the primary confession of faith of the Lutheran Church and one of the most important documents of the Lutheran reformation...

 was also handed over to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

.

After the reform of the Imperial constitution in the early sixteenth century and the establishment of Imperial Circle
Imperial Circle
An Imperial Circle comprised a regional grouping of territories of the Holy Roman Empire, primarily for the purpose of organizing a common defensive structure and of collecting the imperial taxes, but also as a means of organization within the Imperial Diet and the Imperial Chamber Court.Each...

s, Strasbourg was part of the Upper Rhenish Circle
Upper Rhenish Circle
The Upper Rhenish Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1500 on the territory of the former Duchy of Upper Lorraine and large parts of Rhenish Franconia including the Swabian Alsace region and the Burgundian duchy of Savoy....

, a corporation of Imperial estates in the southwest of Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

, mainly responsible for maintaining troops, supervising coining, and ensuring public security.

After the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg around 1440, the first printing offices outside the inventor's hometown Mainz
Mainz
Mainz under the Holy Roman Empire, and previously was a Roman fort city which commanded the west bank of the Rhine and formed part of the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire...

 were established around 1460 in the Alsatian capital by pioneers Johannes Mentelin
Johannes Mentelin
Johannes Mentelin, sometimes also spelled Mentlin, was a pioneering German book printer and bookseller of the incunabulum time...

 and Heinrich Eggestein
Heinrich Eggestein
Heinrich Eggestein is considered, along with Johannes Mentelin, to be the earliest book printer in Strasbourg and therefore one of the earliest anywhere in Europe outside Mainz.- Life :Before he came to Strasbourg in the beginning of the 1440s, Heinrich Eggestein had already...

. Subsequently, the first modern newspaper was published in Strasbourg in 1605, when Johann Carolus
Johann Carolus
Johann Carolus was the publisher of the first newspaper, called Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien . The Relation is recognised by the World Association of Newspapers, as well as many authors as the world's first newspaper...

 received the permission by the City of Strasbourg to print and distribute a weekly journal written in German by reporters from several central European cities.

From Thirty Years' War to First World War

The Free City of Strasbourg remained neutral during the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

. In September 1681 it was annexed by King Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

, whose unprovoked annexation was recognized by the Treaty of Ryswick
Treaty of Ryswick
The Treaty of Ryswick or Ryswyck was signed on 20 September 1697 and named after Ryswick in the Dutch Republic. The treaty settled the Nine Years' War, which pitted France against the Grand Alliance of England, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the United Provinces.Negotiations started in May...

 (1697). The official policy of religious intolerance
Religious intolerance
Religious intolerance is intolerance against another's religious beliefs or practices.-Definition:The mere statement on the part of a religion that its own beliefs and practices are correct and any contrary beliefs incorrect does not in itself constitute intolerance...

 which drove many Protestants
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 from France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes
Edict of Nantes
The Edict of Nantes, issued on 13 April 1598, by Henry IV of France, granted the Calvinist Protestants of France substantial rights in a nation still considered essentially Catholic. In the Edict, Henry aimed primarily to promote civil unity...

 (1598) by the Edict of Fontainebleau
Edict of Fontainebleau
The Edict of Fontainebleau was an edict issued by Louis XIV of France, also known as the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The Edict of Nantes of 1598, had granted the Huguenots the right to practice their religion without persecution from the state...

 (1685) was not applied in Strasbourg and in Alsace. Strasbourg Cathedral, however, was restored from the Lutherans
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 to the Catholics. The German Lutheran university persisted until the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

. Famous students were Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer, pictorial artist, biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath. He is considered the supreme genius of modern German literature. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, and science. His Faust has been called the greatest long...

 and Herder
Johann Gottfried Herder
Johann Gottfried von Herder was a German philosopher, theologian, poet, and literary critic. He is associated with the periods of Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang, and Weimar Classicism.-Biography:...

.

During a dinner in Strasbourg organized by Mayor Frédéric de Dietrich on 25 April 1792, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle , was a French Army officer of the Revolutionary Wars. He is known for writing the words and music of the Chant de guerre pour l'armée du Rhin in 1792, which would later be known as La Marseillaise and become the French national anthem.- Biography :Rouget de Lisle was...

 composed "La Marseillaise
La Marseillaise
"La Marseillaise" is the national anthem of France. The song, originally titled "Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin" was written and composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in 1792. The French National Convention adopted it as the Republic's anthem in 1795...

". However, Strasbourg's status as a free city was revoked by the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

. Enragés
Enragés
Les Enragés were a loose amalgam of radicals active during the French Revolution. Politically they stood to the left of the Jacobins. Represented by Jacques Roux, Théophile Leclerc, Jean Varlet and others, they believed that liberty for all meant more than mere constitutional rights...

, most notoriously Eulogius Schneider
Eulogius Schneider
Eulogius Schneider was a Franciscan monk, professor in Bonn and Dominican in Strasbourg.- Life :...

, ruled the city with an increasingly iron hand. During this time, many churches and cloisters were either destroyed or severely damaged. The cathedral lost hundreds of its statues (later replaced by copies in the 19th century) and in April 1794, there was talk of tearing its spire
Spire
A spire is a tapering conical or pyramidal structure on the top of a building, particularly a church tower. Etymologically, the word is derived from the Old English word spir, meaning a sprout, shoot, or stalk of grass....

 down, on the grounds that it hurt the principle of equality. The tower
Tower
A tower is a tall structure, usually taller than it is wide, often by a significant margin. Towers are distinguished from masts by their lack of guy-wires....

 was saved, however, when in May of the same year citizens of Strasbourg crowned it with a giant tin Phrygian cap
Phrygian cap
The Phrygian cap is a soft conical cap with the top pulled forward, associated in antiquity with the inhabitants of Phrygia, a region of central Anatolia. In the western provinces of the Roman Empire it came to signify freedom and the pursuit of liberty, perhaps through a confusion with the pileus,...

. This artifact was later kept in the historical collections of the city until they were all destroyed in 1870.

In 1805, 1806 and 1809, Napoléon Bonaparte and his first wife, Joséphine
Joséphine de Beauharnais
Joséphine de Beauharnais was the first wife of Napoléon Bonaparte, and thus the first Empress of the French. Her first husband Alexandre de Beauharnais had been guillotined during the Reign of Terror, and she had been imprisoned in the Carmes prison until her release five days after Alexandre's...

 stayed in Strasbourg. In 1810, his second wife Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma
Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma
Marie Louise of Austria was the second wife of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French and later Duchess of Parma...

 spent her first night on French soil in the palace. Another royal guest was King Charles X of France
Charles X of France
Charles X was known for most of his life as the Comte d'Artois before he reigned as King of France and of Navarre from 16 September 1824 until 2 August 1830. A younger brother to Kings Louis XVI and Louis XVIII, he supported the latter in exile and eventually succeeded him...

 in 1828. In 1836, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte
Napoleon III of France
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte was the President of the French Second Republic and as Napoleon III, the ruler of the Second French Empire. He was the nephew and heir of Napoleon I, christened as Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte...

 unsuccessfully tried to lead his first Bonapartist
Bonapartist
In French political history, Bonapartism has two meanings. In a strict sense, this term refers to people who aimed to restore the French Empire under the House of Bonaparte, the Corsican family of Napoleon Bonaparte and his nephew Louis...

 coup in Strasbourg.
With the growth of industry and commerce, the city's population tripled in the 19th century to 150,000. During the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 and the Siege of Strasbourg
Siege of Strasbourg
The Siege of Strasbourg took place during the Franco-Prussian War, and resulted in the French surrender of the fortress on 28 September 1870.-Background:...

, the city was heavily bombarded by the Prussian army
Prussian Army
The Royal Prussian Army was the army of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was vital to the development of Brandenburg-Prussia as a European power.The Prussian Army had its roots in the meager mercenary forces of Brandenburg during the Thirty Years' War...

. On 24 August 1870, the Museum of Fine Arts was destroyed by fire, as was the Municipal Library housed in the Gothic former Dominican Church
Dominican Church
Dominican Church is the name of a number of churches belonging to the Dominicans, e.g.:*Dominican Church, Vienna, Austria*Dominican Church , Austria*Dominican Church , Hungary*Dominican Church , Poland...

, with its unique collection of medieval manuscripts (most famously the Hortus deliciarum
Hortus deliciarum
Hortus deliciarum is a medieval manuscript compiled by Herrad of Landsberg at the Hohenburg Abbey in Alsace, better known today as Mont Sainte-Odile. It was an illuminated encyclopedia, begun in 1167 as a pedagogical tool for young novices at the convent. It is the first encyclopedia that was...

), rare Renaissance books, archeological finds and historical artifacts. In 1871 after the war's end, the city was annexed to the newly established German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 as part of the Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen
Alsace-Lorraine
The Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine was a territory created by the German Empire in 1871 after it annexed most of Alsace and the Moselle region of Lorraine following its victory in the Franco-Prussian War. The Alsatian part lay in the Rhine Valley on the west bank of the Rhine River and east...

 (via the Treaty of Frankfurt
Treaty of Frankfurt (1871)
The Treaty of Frankfurt was a peace treaty signed in Frankfurt on 10 May 1871, at the end of the Franco-Prussian War.- Summary :The treaty did the following:...

) without a plebiscite
Referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...

. As part of Imperial Germany, Strasbourg was rebuilt and developed on a grand and representative scale (the Neue Stadt, or "new city"). Historian Rodolphe Reuss and Art historian
Art history
Art history has historically been understood as the academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style...

 Wilhelm von Bode
Wilhelm von Bode
Wilhelm von Bode was a German art historian and curator. Born Arnold William Bode in Calvörde, he was ennobled in 1913...

 were in charge of rebuilding the municipal archives, libraries and museums. The University
University of Strasbourg
The University of Strasbourg in Strasbourg, Alsace, France, is the largest university in France, with about 43,000 students and over 4,000 researchers....

, founded in 1567 and suppressed during the French Revolution as a stronghold of German sentiment, was reopened in 1872 under the name Kaiser-Wilhelms-Universität. A belt of massive fortification
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

s was established around the city, most of which still stand today, renamed after French generals and generally classified as Monuments historiques
Monument historique
A monument historique is a National Heritage Site of France. It also refers to a state procedure in France by which national heritage protection is extended to a building or a specific part of a building, a collection of buildings, or gardens, bridges, and other structures, because of their...

; most notably Fort Roon (now Fort Desaix) and Fort Podbielski (now Fort Ducrot) in Mundolsheim
Mundolsheim
Mundolsheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.-References:*...

, Fort von Moltke (now Fort Rapp)
Fort Rapp
Fort Rapp is part of the 14 fortifications erected in Alsace by the Prussian general Von Moltke after the fall of Strasbourg in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War and following the siege of Strasbourg....

 in Reichstett
Reichstett
Reichstett is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.Fort Rapp is located here.-References:*...

, Fort Bismarck (now Fort Kléber) in Wolfisheim
Wolfisheim
Wolfisheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.- References :*...

, Fort Kronprinz (now Fort Foch) in Niederhausbergen
Niederhausbergen
Niederhausbergen is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.Niederhausbergen is a small residential area on the outskirts of Strasbourg , located 6km northwest of the latter. It adjoins the hill Hausbergen, which represents the foothills of the Vosges du Nord region...

, Fort Kronprinz von Sachsen (now Fort Joffre) in Holtzheim
Holtzheim
Holtzheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.The village is surrounded by farmland and thereby separated from the Strasbourg conurbation: however, Strasbourg airport is less than two kilometres away to the south....

 and Fort Großherzog von Baden (now Fort Frère) in Oberhausbergen
Oberhausbergen
Oberhausbergen is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.-References:*...

. Those forts subsequently served the French army
French Army
The French Army, officially the Armée de Terre , is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces.As of 2010, the army employs 123,100 regulars, 18,350 part-time reservists and 7,700 Legionnaires. All soldiers are professionals, following the suspension of conscription, voted in...

 (Fort Podbielski/Ducrot for instance was integrated into the Maginot Line
Maginot Line
The Maginot Line , named after the French Minister of War André Maginot, was a line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, artillery casemates, machine gun posts, and other defences, which France constructed along its borders with Germany and Italy, in light of its experience in World War I,...

), and were used as POW-camps in 1918 and 1945. Two garrison
Garrison
Garrison is the collective term for a body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it, but now often simply using it as a home base....

 churches were also erected for the members of the Imperial German army, the Lutheran Église Saint-Paul
St. Paul's Church (Strasbourg)
The Lutheran St. Paul's Church of Strasbourg is a major Gothic Revival architecture building and one of the landmarks of the city of Strasbourg, in Alsace, France....

and the Roman Catholic Église Saint-Maurice.

1918 to the present

After World War I and the abdication of the German Emperor, Alsace-Lorraine
Alsace-Lorraine
The Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine was a territory created by the German Empire in 1871 after it annexed most of Alsace and the Moselle region of Lorraine following its victory in the Franco-Prussian War. The Alsatian part lay in the Rhine Valley on the west bank of the Rhine River and east...

 declared itself an independent Republic, but was occupied by French troops within a few days. On 11 November 1918 (Armistice Day)
Armistice with Germany (Compiègne)
The armistice between the Allies and Germany was an agreement that ended the fighting in the First World War. It was signed in a railway carriage in Compiègne Forest on 11 November 1918 and marked a victory for the Allies and a complete defeat for Germany, although not technically a surrender...

, communist insurgents proclaimed a "soviet government" in Strasbourg, following the example of Kurt Eisner
Kurt Eisner
Kurt Eisner was a Bavarian politician and journalist. As a German socialist journalist and statesman, he organized the Socialist Revolution that overthrew the Wittelsbach monarchy in Bavaria in November 1918....

 in Munich as well as other German towns. The insurgency was brutally repressed on 22 November by troops commanded by French general Henri Gouraud; a major street of the city now bears the name of that date (Rue du 22 Novembre). In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

 reattributed the city to France. In accordance with U.S. President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

's "Fourteen Points
Fourteen Points
The Fourteen Points was a speech given by United States President Woodrow Wilson to a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1918. The address was intended to assure the country that the Great War was being fought for a moral cause and for postwar peace in Europe...

", the return of the city to France was carried out without a referendum. The date of the assignment was retroactively established on Armistice Day. It is doubtful whether a referendum among the citizens of Strasbourg would have been in France's favor, because the political parties that strove for an autonomy
Autonomy
Autonomy is a concept found in moral, political and bioethical philosophy. Within these contexts, it is the capacity of a rational individual to make an informed, un-coerced decision...

 of Alsace, or a connection to France, had achieved only small numbers of votes in the last Reichstag elections before the War.

In 1920, Strasbourg became the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine
Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine
The Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine is an international organization whose function is to encourage European prosperity by guaranteeing a high level of security for navigation of the Rhine and environs...

, previously located in Mannheim
Mannheim
Mannheim is a city in southwestern Germany. With about 315,000 inhabitants, Mannheim is the second-largest city in the Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg, following the capital city of Stuttgart....

, one of the oldest European institutions. It moved into the former Imperial Palace
Palais du Rhin
The Palais du Rhin , former Kaiserpalast , is a building situated in the German section of Strasbourg, dominating the Place de la République with its massive dome...

.

When the Maginot Line
Maginot Line
The Maginot Line , named after the French Minister of War André Maginot, was a line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, artillery casemates, machine gun posts, and other defences, which France constructed along its borders with Germany and Italy, in light of its experience in World War I,...

 was built, the Sous-secteur fortifié de Strasbourg (fortified sub-sector of Strasbourg) was laid out on the city's territory as a part of the Secteur fortifié du Bas-Rhin, one of the sections of the Line. Blockhouse
Blockhouse
In military science, a blockhouse is a small, isolated fort in the form of a single building. It serves as a defensive strong point against any enemy that does not possess siege equipment or, in modern times, artillery...

s and casemate
Casemate
A casemate, sometimes rendered casement, is a fortified gun emplacement or armored structure from which guns are fired. originally a vaulted chamber in a fortress.-Origin of the term:...

s were built along the Grand Canal d'Alsace
Grand Canal d'Alsace
The Grand Canal of Alsace is a canal in eastern France, channeling the Upper Rhine river. It is 50 kilometers long between Kembs and Vogelgrun, and provides access to the region from the Rhine River, Basel in Switzerland, and the North Sea for barges of up to 1,350 metric tons...

 and the Rhine in the Robertsau forest and the port.

Between the German invasion of Poland
Invasion of Poland (1939)
The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War in Poland and the Poland Campaign in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the start of World War II in Europe...

 on 1 September 1939 and the Anglo-French declaration of War against the German Reich
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 on 3 September 1939, the entire city (a total of 120 000 people) was evacuated, like other border towns as well. Until the arrival of the Wehrmacht troops mid-June 1940, the city was, for ten months, completely empty, with the exception of the garrisoned soldiers. The Jews of Strasbourg
History of Jews in Alsace
The history of the Jews in Alsace is one of the oldest in Europe. It was first attested in 1165 by Benjamin of Tudela, who wrote about a "large number of learned men" in "Astransbourg", and it is assumed that it dates back until around the year 1000 CE...

 had been evacuated to Périgueux
Périgueux
Périgueux is a commune in the Dordogne department in Aquitaine in southwestern France.Périgueux is the prefecture of the department and the capital of the region...

 and Limoges
Limoges
Limoges |Limousin]] dialect of Occitan) is a city and commune, the capital of the Haute-Vienne department and the administrative capital of the Limousin région in west-central France....

, the University had been evacuated to Clermont-Ferrand
Clermont-Ferrand
Clermont-Ferrand is a city and commune of France, in the Auvergne region, with a population of 140,700 . Its metropolitan area had 409,558 inhabitants at the 1999 census. It is the prefecture of the Puy-de-Dôme department...

.

After the ceasefire following the Fall of France
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

 in June 1940, Alsace was annexed to Germany and a rigorous policy of Germanization was imposed upon it by the Gauleiter Robert Heinrich Wagner
Robert Heinrich Wagner
Robert Heinrich Wagner was Gauleiter of Baden and Head of the Civil Government of Alsace during the German occupation of France in World War II....

. When, in July 1940, the first evacuees were allowed to return, only residents of Alsatian origin were admitted. The last Jews were expelled on 15 July 1940 and the main synagogue, a huge Romanesque revival building that had been a major architectural landmark with its 54-metre-high dome since its completion in 1897, was set ablaze, then razed. From 1943 the city was bombarded by Allied aircraft. While the First World War had not notably damaged the city, Anglo-American bombing caused extensive destruction in raids of which at least one was allegedly carried out by mistake. In August 1944, several buildings in the Old Town were damaged by bombs, particularly the Palais Rohan
Palais Rohan, Strasbourg
The Palais Rohan is one of the most important buildings in the city of Strasbourg in Alsace, France. It represents not only the high point of local baroque architecture, according to widespread opinion among art historians, but has also housed three of the most important museums in the city since...

, the Old Customs House (Ancienne Douane) and the Cathedral. On 23 November 1944, the city was officially liberated by the 2nd French Armored Division under General Leclerc
Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque
Philippe François Marie, comte de Hauteclocque, then Leclerc de Hauteclocque, by a 1945 decree that incorporated his French Resistance alias Jacques-Philippe Leclerc to his name, , was a French general during World War II...

. In 1947, a fire broke out in the Musée des Beaux-Arts
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg
The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg is the old masters paintings collection of the city of Strasbourg, located in the Alsace region of France. The museum is housed in the first and second floors of the baroque Palais Rohan since 1898...

 and devastated a significant part of the collections. This fire was an indirect consequence of the bombing raids of 1944: because of the destructions inflicted on the Palais Rohan, humidity had infiltrated the building, and moisture had to be fought. This was done with welding torches
Oxy-fuel welding and cutting
Oxy-fuel welding and oxy-fuel cutting are processes that use fuel gases and oxygen to weld and cut metals, respectively. French engineers Edmond Fouché and Charles Picard became the first to develop oxygen-acetylene welding in 1903...

, and a bad handling of these caused the fire.

In the 1950s and 1960s the city was enlarged by new residential areas meant to solve both the problem of housing shortage due to war damage and that of the strong growth of population due to the baby boom
Baby boom
A baby boom is any period marked by a greatly increased birth rate. This demographic phenomenon is usually ascribed within certain geographical bounds and when the number of annual births exceeds 2 per 100 women...

 and immigration from North Africa: Cité Rotterdam in the North-East, Quartier de l'Esplanade in the South-East, Hautepierre in the North-West. Between 1995 and 2010, a new district has been built in the same vein, the Quartier des Poteries, south of Hautepierre.

In 1958, a violent hailstorm destroyed most of the historical greenhouses of the Botanical Garden
Jardin botanique de l'Université de Strasbourg
The Jardin Botanique de l'Université de Strasbourg , also known as the Jardin botanique de Strasbourg and the Jardin botanique de l'Université Louis Pasteur, is a botanical garden and arboretum located at 28 rue Goethe, Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France...

 and many of the stained glass windows of St. Paul's Church
St. Paul's Church (Strasbourg)
The Lutheran St. Paul's Church of Strasbourg is a major Gothic Revival architecture building and one of the landmarks of the city of Strasbourg, in Alsace, France....

.

In 1949, the city was chosen to be the seat of the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

 with its European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

 and European Pharmacopoeia
European Pharmacopoeia
The European Pharmacopoeia of the Council of Europe is a pharmacopoeia, listing a wide range of active substances and excipients used to prepare pharmaceutical products in Europe...

. Since 1952, the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 has met in Strasbourg, which was formally designated its official 'seat' at the Edinburgh meeting of the European Council
European Council
The European Council is an institution of the European Union. It comprises the heads of state or government of the EU member states, along with the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council, currently Herman Van Rompuy...

 of EU heads of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and government in December 1992. (This position was reconfirmed and given treaty status in the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam
Amsterdam Treaty
The Amsterdam Treaty, officially the Treaty of Amsterdam amending the Treaty of the European Union, the Treaties establishing the European Communities and certain related acts, was signed on 2 October 1997, and entered into force on 1 May 1999; it made substantial changes to the Maastricht Treaty,...

). However, only the (four-day) plenary sessions of the Parliament are held in Strasbourg each month, with all other business being conducted in Brussels
Brussels and the European Union
Brussels is considered to be the de facto capital of the European Union, having a long history of hosting the institutions of the European Union within its European Quarter...

 and Luxembourg
Luxembourg (city)
The city of Luxembourg , also known as Luxembourg City , is a commune with city status, and the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It is located at the confluence of the Alzette and Pétrusse Rivers in southern Luxembourg...

. Those sessions take place in the Immeuble Louise Weiss, inaugurated in 1999, which houses the largest parliamentary assembly room in Europe and of any democratic institution in the world. Before that, the EP sessions had to take place in the main Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

 building, the Palace of Europe, whose unusual inner architecture had become a familiar sight to European TV audiences. In 1992, Strasbourg became the seat of the Franco-German TV channel
Television channel
A television channel is a physical or virtual channel over which a television station or television network is distributed. For example, in North America, "channel 2" refers to the broadcast or cable band of 54 to 60 MHz, with carrier frequencies of 55.25 MHz for NTSC analog video and...

 and movie-production society Arte
Arte
Arte is a Franco-German TV network. It is a European culture channel and aims to promote quality programming especially in areas of culture and the arts...

.

In 2000, an Islamist plot to blow up the cathedral
Strasbourg cathedral bombing plot
The Strasbourg Cathedral bombing plot was an al-Qaeda plan to bomb the Strasbourg Christmas market at the feet of Strasbourg Cathedral during the Christmas celebrations of 2000...

 was prevented by German authorities.

On 6 July 2001, during an open-air concert
Open air concert
An open air concert is a concert taking place outside a hall in the open air.-Overview:Open air concerts can range from small, acousitic gatherings taking place at a municipal park, to large multi-day music festivals, involving some of the most famous music acts in the world...

 in the Parc de Pourtalès, a single falling Platanus
Platanus
Platanus is a small genus of trees native to the Northern Hemisphere. They are the sole living members of the family Platanaceae....

 tree killed thirteen people and injured 97. On 27 March 2007, the city was found guilty of neglect over the accident and fined € 150,000.

In 2006, after a long and careful restoration, the inner decoration of the Aubette, made in the 1920s by Hans Arp
Jean Arp
Jean Arp / Hans Arp was a German-French, or Alsatian, sculptor, painter, poet and abstract artist in other media such as torn and pasted paper....

, Theo van Doesburg
Theo van Doesburg
Theo van Doesburg was a Dutch artist, practicing in painting, writing, poetry and architecture. He is best known as the founder and leader of De Stijl.-Biography:-Early life:...

, and Sophie Taeuber-Arp
Sophie Taeuber-Arp
Sophie Taeuber-Arp was a Swiss artist, painter and sculptor. Born in Davos, Switzerland, Sophie Täuber began her art studies in her homeland, at the School of Applied Arts in St. Gallen...

 and destroyed in the 1930s, was made accessible to the public again. The work of the three artists had been called "the Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio...

 of abstract art
Abstract art
Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. Western art had been, from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an...

".

Main sights

Architecture

The city is chiefly known for its sandstone
Sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

 Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 Cathedral
Strasbourg Cathedral
Strasbourg Cathedral or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Strasbourg, France. Although considerable parts of it are still in Romanesque architecture, it is widely consideredSusan Bernstein: , The Johns Hopkins University Press to be among the finest...

 with its famous astronomical clock
Strasbourg astronomical clock
The Strasbourg astronomical clock is located in the Cathédrale Notre-Dame of Strasbourg, Alsace, France. It is the third clock on that spot and dates from the time of the first French possession of the city...

, and for its medieval cityscape of Rhineland
Rhineland
Historically, the Rhinelands refers to a loosely-defined region embracing the land on either bank of the River Rhine in central Europe....

 black and white timber-framed
Timber framing
Timber framing , or half-timbering, also called in North America "post-and-beam" construction, is the method of creating structures using heavy squared off and carefully fitted and joined timbers with joints secured by large wooden pegs . It is commonplace in large barns...

 buildings, particularly in the Petite-France
Petite-France
Petite-France is an area in Strasbourg, Alsace, France.It is located on the Grande Île , where the river Ill splits up into a number of canals and cascades through a small area of medieval half-timbered houses and baroque sandstone buildings...

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.
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
Romanesque architecture
Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of Medieval Europe characterised by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque architecture, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 10th century. It developed in the 12th century into the Gothic style,...

 Église Saint-Étienne, partly destroyed in 1944 by Anglo-American bombing raids
Strategic bombing
Strategic bombing is a military strategy used in a total war with the goal of defeating an enemy nation-state by destroying its economic ability and public will to wage war rather than destroying its land or naval forces...

, the part Romanesque, part Gothic, very large Église Saint-Thomas
Saint Thomas Church (Strasbourg)
The Saint-Thomas Church is a historical building in Strasbourg, eastern France. It is the main Protestant church of the city since its Cathedral became Catholic again after the annexation of the town by France in 1681...

with its Silbermann
Gottfried Silbermann
Gottfried Silbermann was an influential German constructor of keyboard instruments. He built harpsichords, clavichords, organs, and fortepianos; his modern reputation rests mainly on the latter two.-Life:...

 organ on which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

 and Albert Schweitzer
Albert Schweitzer
Albert Schweitzer OM was a German theologian, organist, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary. He was born in Kaysersberg in the province of Alsace-Lorraine, at that time part of the German Empire...

 played, the Gothic Eglise Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune Protestant
Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune Protestant Church
The Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune Protestant Church is one of the most important church buildings of the city of Strasbourg, France, from the art historical and architectural viewpoints. It got its name, "Young St. Peter's", because of the existence of three other St. Peter's churches in the same city:...

with its crypt dating back to the seventh century and its cloister
Cloister
A cloister is a rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries, with open arcades on the inner side, running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth...

 partly from the eleventh century, the Gothic Église Saint-Guillaume
Saint William's Church, Strasbourg
Saint William's Church is a gothic church presently of the Lutheran branch of Christianity located in Strasbourg, France...

with its fine early-Renaissance stained glass
Stained glass
The term stained glass can refer to coloured glass as a material or to works produced from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant buildings...

 and furniture, the Gothic Église Saint-Jean, the part Gothic, part Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

 Église Sainte-Madeleine
Sainte-Madeleine Church, Strasbourg
The Sainte-Madeleine Church is a Catholic church in Strasbourg, France, which was built in Gothic style in the late 15th century but largely rebuilt in a style close to Jugendstil after a devastating fire in 1904...

, etc.
The Neo-Gothic
Gothic Revival architecture
The Gothic Revival is an architectural movement that began in the 1740s in England...

 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.
Among the numerous secular medieval buildings, the monumental Ancienne Douane (old custom-house
Custom House
A custom house or customs house was a building housing the offices for the government officials who processed the paperwork for the import and export of goods into and out of a country. Customs officials also collected customs duty on imported goods....

) stands out.

The German Renaissance
German Renaissance
The German Renaissance, part of the Northern Renaissance, was a cultural and artistic movement that spread among German thinkers in the 15th and 16th centuries, which originated from the Italian Renaissance in Italy...

 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
French Baroque and Classicism
17th-century French art is generally referred to as Baroque, but from the mid to late 17th century, French art is more often referred to as Neo-classicism, which implies an adherence to certain rules of proportion and sobriety uncharacteristic of the Baroque as it was practiced in Southern and...

 with several hôtels particuliers (i.e. palace
Palace
A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

s), among which the Palais Rohan
Palais Rohan, Strasbourg
The Palais Rohan is one of the most important buildings in the city of Strasbourg in Alsace, France. It represents not only the high point of local baroque architecture, according to widespread opinion among art historians, but has also housed three of the most important museums in the city since...

(now housing three museums) is the most spectacular. Other buildings of its kind are the Hôtel du Préfet, the Hôtel des Deux-Ponts and the city-hall Hôtel de Ville etc. The largest baroque building of Strasbourg though is the 1720s main building of the Hôpital civil.
As for French Neo-classicism
Neoclassicism
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

, it is the Opera House on Place Broglie that most prestigiously represents this style.

Strasbourg also offers high-class eclecticist
Eclecticism in art
Eclecticism is a kind of mixed style in the fine arts: "the borrowing of a variety of styles from different sources and combining them" . Significantly, Eclecticism hardly ever constituted a specific style in art: it is characterized by the fact that it was not a particular style...

 buildings in its very extended German district, 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
Architectural style
Architectural styles classify architecture in terms of the use of form, techniques, materials, time period, region and other stylistic influences. It overlaps with, and emerges from the study of the evolution and history of architecture...

 that summons and mixes up five centuries of European architecture as well as Neo-Egyptian, Neo-Greek
Neo-Grec
Neo-Grec is a term referring to late manifestations of Neoclassicism, early Neo-Renaissance now called the Greek Revival style, which was popularized in architecture, the decorative arts, and in painting during France's Second Empire, or the reign of Napoleon III, a period that lasted...

 and Neo-Babylonian styles. The former imperial palace Palais du Rhin
Palais du Rhin
The Palais du Rhin , former Kaiserpalast , is a building situated in the German section of Strasbourg, dominating the Place de la République with its massive dome...

, 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 and the École des Arts décoratifs with its lavishly ornate façade of painted bricks, woodwork and majolica
Maiolica
Maiolica is Italian tin-glazed pottery dating from the Renaissance. It is decorated in bright colours on a white background, frequently depicting historical and legendary scenes.-Name:...

.

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
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 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
Contemporary architecture
Contemporary architecture is generally speaking the architecture of the present time.The term contemporary architecture is also applied to a range of styles of recently built structures and space which are optimized for current use....

, Strasbourg possesses some fine Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

 buildings (the huge Palais des Fêtes, some houses and villas on Avenue de la Robertsau and Rue Sleidan), good examples of post-World War II functional architecture (the Cité Rotterdam, for which Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier
Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier , was a Swiss-born French architect, designer, urbanist, writer and painter, famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930...

 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
European Court of Human Rights building
The building of the European Court of Human Rights is located in the European Quarter of Strasbourg, France. It was designed by the Richard Rogers Partnership and Claude Buche and was completed in 1994.-Design:...

 by Richard Rogers
Richard Rogers
Richard George Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside CH Kt FRIBA FCSD is a British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs....

 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
Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
The Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg is an art museum in Strasbourg, France, which was founded in 1973 and opened in its own building in November 1998....

and the Hôtel du Département facing it, as well as, in the outskirts, the tramway-station Hoenheim
Hoenheim
Hoenheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.-Heraldry:"D'or aux trois corbeaux de sable posés deux et un"....

-Nord designed by Zaha Hadid
Zaha Hadid
Zaha Hadid, CBE is an Iraqi-British architect.-Life and career:Hadid was born in 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq. She received a degree in mathematics from the American University of Beirut before moving to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.After graduating she worked...

.

The city has many bridges, including the medieval, four-towered Ponts Couverts.

Next to it is a part of the 17th-century Vauban
Vauban
Sébastien Le Prestre, Seigneur de Vauban and later Marquis de Vauban , commonly referred to as Vauban, was a Marshal of France and the foremost military engineer of his age, famed for his skill in both designing fortifications and breaking through them...

 fortifications, the Barrage Vauban. 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
Place Kléber
The Place Kléber is the central square of Strasbourg, France.Place Kleber, the largest square at the center of the city of Strasbourg in the heart of the city's commercial area, was named after general Jean-Baptiste Kléber, born in Strasbourg in 1753. In the square is a statue of Kléber, under...

. Located in the heart of the city's commercial area, it was named after general Jean-Baptiste Kléber
Jean Baptiste Kléber
Jean Baptiste Kléber was a French general during the French Revolutionary Wars. His military career started in Habsburg service, but his plebeian ancestry hindered his opportunities...

, born in Strasbourg in 1753 and slaughtered in 1800 in Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

. 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
Aubette (building)
Aubette is a historical building on Place Kléber in Strasbourg, France. It was built by Jacques-François Blondel in 1765–1772. Between 1926 and 1928 it was redecorated by Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Jean Arp and De Stijl artist Theo van Doesburg. The work of the three artists had been called "the Sistine...

 (Orderly Room), built by Jacques François Blondel
Jacques-François Blondel
Jacques-François Blondel was a French architect. He was the grandson of François Blondel , whose course of architecture had appeared in four volumes in 1683 -Biography:...

, architect of the king, in 1765–1772.

Parks

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
André Le Nôtre
André Le Nôtre was a French landscape architect and the principal gardener of King Louis XIV of France...

 and remodeled as an English garden
Landscape garden
The term landscape garden is often used to describe the English garden design style characteristic of the eighteenth century, that swept the Continent replacing the formal Renaissance garden and Garden à la française models. The work of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown is particularly influential.The...

 on behalf of Joséphine de Beauharnais
Joséphine de Beauharnais
Joséphine de Beauharnais was the first wife of Napoléon Bonaparte, and thus the first Empress of the French. Her first husband Alexandre de Beauharnais had been guillotined during the Reign of Terror, and she had been imprisoned in the Carmes prison until her release five days after Alexandre's...

, now displaying noteworthy French gardens, a neo-classical castle and a small zoo
Zoo
A zoological garden, zoological park, menagerie, or zoo is a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also be bred....

; the Parc de la Citadelle, built around impressive remains of the 17th-century fortress
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

 erected close to the Rhine by Vauban
Vauban
Sébastien Le Prestre, Seigneur de Vauban and later Marquis de Vauban , commonly referred to as Vauban, was a Marshal of France and the foremost military engineer of his age, famed for his skill in both designing fortifications and breaking through them...

; the Parc de Pourtalès, laid out in English style around a baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 castle (heavily restored in the 19th century) that now houses a small three star hotel, and featuring an open-air museum
Open air museum
An open-air museum is a distinct type of museum exhibiting its collections out-of-doors. The first open-air museums were established in Scandinavia towards the end of the nineteenth century, and the concept soon spread throughout Europe and North America. Open-air museums are variously known as...

 of international contemporary sculpture.
The Jardin botanique de l'Université de Strasbourg
Jardin botanique de l'Université de Strasbourg
The Jardin Botanique de l'Université de Strasbourg , also known as the Jardin botanique de Strasbourg and the Jardin botanique de l'Université Louis Pasteur, is a botanical garden and arboretum located at 28 rue Goethe, Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France...

 (botanical garden) was created under the German administration next to the Observatory of Strasbourg
Observatory of Strasbourg
The Observatory of Strasbourg is an astronomical observatory in Strasbourg, France.Following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, the city of Strasbourg became part of the German Empire. The University of Strasbourg was refounded in 1872 and a new observatory began construction in 1875...

, built in 1881, and still owns some greenhouse
Greenhouse
A greenhouse is a building in which plants are grown. These structures range in size from small sheds to very large buildings...

s 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
Kehl
Kehl is a town in southwestern Germany in the Ortenaukreis, Baden-Württemberg. It is located on the river Rhine, directly opposite the French city of Strasbourg.-History:...

 on both sides of the Rhine, is the most recent (2004) and most extended (60 hectare) park of the agglomeration.

Museums

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

Fine Art museums

Unlike most other cities, Strasbourg's collections of European art
Western art history
Western art is the art of the North American and European countries, and art created in the forms accepted by those countries.Written histories of Western art often begin with the art of the Ancient Middle East, Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Aegean civilisations, dating from the 3rd millennium BC...

 are divided into several museums according not only to type and area, but also to epoch. Old master
Old Master
"Old Master" is a term for a European painter of skill who worked before about 1800, or a painting by such an artist. An "old master print" is an original print made by an artist in the same period...

 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
Graphic arts
A type of fine art, graphic art covers a broad range of art forms. Graphic art is typically two-dimensional and includes calligraphy, photography, drawing, painting, printmaking, lithography, typography, serigraphy , and bindery. Graphic art also consists of drawn plans and layouts for interior...

 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.
  • The Musée des Beaux-Arts
    Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg
    The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg is the old masters paintings collection of the city of Strasbourg, located in the Alsace region of France. The museum is housed in the first and second floors of the baroque Palais Rohan since 1898...

    owns paintings by Hans Memling
    Hans Memling
    Hans Memling was a German-born Early Netherlandish painter.-Life and works:Born in Seligenstadt, near Frankfurt in the Middle Rhein region, it is believed that Memling served his apprenticeship at Mainz or Cologne, and later worked in the Netherlands under Rogier van der Weyden...

    , Francisco de Goya
    Francisco Goya
    Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era...

    , Tintoretto
    Tintoretto
    Tintoretto , real name Jacopo Comin, was a Venetian painter and a notable exponent of the Renaissance school. For his phenomenal energy in painting he was termed Il Furioso...

    , Paolo Veronese
    Paolo Veronese
    Paolo Veronese was an Italian painter of the Renaissance in Venice, famous for paintings such as The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi...

    , Giotto di Bondone
    Giotto di Bondone
    Giotto di Bondone , better known simply as Giotto, was an Italian painter and architect from Florence in the late Middle Ages...

    , Sandro Botticelli
    Sandro Botticelli
    Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance...

    , Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck
    Anthony van Dyck
    Sir Anthony van Dyck was a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England. He is most famous for his portraits of Charles I of England and his family and court, painted with a relaxed elegance that was to be the dominant influence on English portrait-painting for the next...

    , El Greco
    El Greco
    El Greco was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. "El Greco" was a nickname, a reference to his ethnic Greek origin, and the artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters, Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος .El Greco was born on Crete, which was at...

    , Correggio
    Antonio da Correggio
    Antonio Allegri da Correggio , usually known as Correggio, was the foremost painter of the Parma school of the Italian Renaissance, who was responsible for some of the most vigorous and sensuous works of the 16th century...

    , Cima da Conegliano
    Cima da Conegliano
    Giovanni Battista Cima, also called Cima da Conegliano was an Italian Renaissance painter.-Biography:Giovanni Battista Cima was born at Conegliano, now part of the province of Treviso, in 1459 or 1460...

     and Piero di Cosimo
    Piero di Cosimo
    Piero di Cosimo , also known as Piero di Lorenzo, was an Italian Renaissance painter.-Biography:The son of a goldsmith, Piero was born in Florence and apprenticed under the artist Cosimo Rosseli, from whom he derived his popular name and whom he assisted in the painting of the Sistine Chapel in...

    , among others.
  • The Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame (located in a part-Gothic, part-Renaissance building next to the Cathedral) houses a large and renowned collection of medieval and Renaissance upper-Rhenish art, among which original sculptures, plans and stained glass from the Cathedral and paintings by Hans Baldung
    Hans Baldung
    Hans Baldung, known as Hans Baldung Grien/Grün was a German Renaissance artist in painting and printmaking in woodcut. He was considered the most gifted student of Albrecht Dürer.-Life:...

     and Sebastian Stoskopff
    Sebastian Stoskopff
    Sebastian Stoskopff was an Alsatian painter. He is considered one of the most important German still life painters of his time. His works, which were rediscovered after 1930, portray goblets, cups and especially glasses...

    .
  • The Musée d'Art moderne et contemporain
    Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
    The Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg is an art museum in Strasbourg, France, which was founded in 1973 and opened in its own building in November 1998....

    is among the largest museums of its kind in France.
  • The Musée des Arts décoratifs
    Musée des Arts décoratifs, Strasbourg
    The Musée des Arts décoratifs of the city of Strasbourg, France, is found on the ground floor of the Palais Rohan, the former city palace of the Prince-Bishops from the Rohan family. One half of the museum is made up of the magnificent chambers in the late baroque, Rococo and Empire styles...

    , located in the sumptuous former residence of the cardinals of Rohan, the Palais Rohan
    Palais Rohan, Strasbourg
    The Palais Rohan is one of the most important buildings in the city of Strasbourg in Alsace, France. It represents not only the high point of local baroque architecture, according to widespread opinion among art historians, but has also housed three of the most important museums in the city since...

     displays a reputable collection of 18th century furniture and china.
  • The Cabinet des estampes et des dessins
    Cabinet des estampes et des dessins (Strasbourg)
    The Cabinet des estampes et des dessins is a museum in Strasbourg in the Bas-Rhin department of France. It is dedicated to engravings and drawings , but also woodcuts and lithographies, covering a period of five centuries from the 14th to the 19th. Graphic art since 1870 is displayed in the Musée...

    displays five centuries of engraving
    Engraving
    Engraving is the practice of incising a design on to a hard, usually flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver, gold, steel, or glass are engraved, or may provide an intaglio printing plate, of copper or another metal, for printing...

    s and drawings, but also woodcut
    Woodcut
    Woodcut—occasionally known as xylography—is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges...

    s and lithographies
    Lithography
    Lithography is a method for printing using a stone or a metal plate with a completely smooth surface...

    .
  • The Musée Tomi Ungerer/Centre international de l'illustration, located in a large former villa next to the Theatre, displays original works by Ungerer and other artists (Saul Steinberg
    Saul Steinberg
    Saul Steinberg was a Romanian-born American cartoonist and illustrator, best known for his work for The New Yorker.-Biography:...

    , Ronald Searle
    Ronald Searle
    Ronald William Fordham Searle, CBE, RDI, is a British artist and cartoonist, best known as the creator of St Trinian's School. He is also the co-author of the Molesworth series....

    ...) as well as Ungerer's large collection of ancient toys.

Other museums

  • The Musée archéologique
    Musée archéologique (Strasbourg)
    The Musée archéologique of Strasbourg, France is the largest of the numerous Alsacian museums displaying regional archeological findings from Prehistory to the Merovingian dynasty...

    presents a vast 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
    Musée alsacien (Strasbourg)
    The Musée alsacien is a museum in Strasbourg in the Bas-Rhin department of France. It opened on 11 May 1907 and is dedicated to all aspects of daily life in pre-industrial and early industrial Alsace...

    is dedicated to every aspects of traditional Alsatian daily life.
  • Le Vaisseau ("The vessel") is a science and technology centre, especially designed for children.
  • The Musée historique
    Musée historique de Strasbourg
    The Musée historique de la ville de Strasbourg is a museum in Strasbourg in the Bas-Rhin department of France. It is located in the Renaissance building of the former slaughterhouse and is dedicated to the tumultuous history of the city from the early Middle Ages until the contemporary period.-...

    (historical museum) is dedicated to the tumultuous history of the city and displays many artifacts of the times. It previously displayed the Grüselhorn, the medieval horn that was blown every evening at 10 to order the Jews out of the city, but this item was accidentally dropped and shattered into many small fragments and thus is no longer displayed.
  • 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.

University museums

The Université de Strasbourg
University of Strasbourg
The University of Strasbourg in Strasbourg, Alsace, France, is the largest university in France, with about 43,000 students and over 4,000 researchers....

 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.
  • The Musée zoologique is one of the oldest in France and is especially famous for its collection of birds. The museum is co-administrated by the municipality.
  • The Musée de Sismologie
    Seismology
    Seismology is the scientific study of earthquakes and the propagation of elastic waves through the Earth or through other planet-like bodies. The field also includes studies of earthquake effects, such as tsunamis as well as diverse seismic sources such as volcanic, tectonic, oceanic,...

     et Magnétisme terrestre
    Magnetism
    Magnetism is a property of materials that respond at an atomic or subatomic level to an applied magnetic field. Ferromagnetism is the strongest and most familiar type of magnetism. It is responsible for the behavior of permanent magnets, which produce their own persistent magnetic fields, as well...

    displays antique instruments of measure
  • The Musée Pasteur
    Louis Pasteur
    Louis Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist born in Dole. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of diseases. His discoveries reduced mortality from puerperal fever, and he created the first vaccine for rabies and anthrax. His experiments...

    is a collection of medical curiosities
  • The Musée de minéralogie
    Musée de minéralogie
    The Musée de minéralogie is a museum in Strasbourg in the Bas-Rhin department of France. It belongs to the University of Strasbourg, of which is displays the historical collections of minerals....

    is dedicated to minerals
  • The Musée d'Égyptologie
    Egyptology
    Egyptology is the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the AD 4th century. A practitioner of the discipline is an “Egyptologist”...

    houses a collections of archaeological findings made in and brought from Egypt and Sudan
  • The Crypte aux étoiles ("star crypt
    Crypt
    In architecture, a crypt is a stone chamber or vault beneath the floor of a burial vault possibly containing sarcophagi, coffins or relics....

    ") is situated in the vaulted basement below the Observatory of Strasbourg
    Observatory of Strasbourg
    The Observatory of Strasbourg is an astronomical observatory in Strasbourg, France.Following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, the city of Strasbourg became part of the German Empire. The University of Strasbourg was refounded in 1872 and a new observatory began construction in 1875...

     and displays old telescopes and other antique astronomical devices such as clocks and theodolite
    Theodolite
    A theodolite is a precision instrument for measuring angles in the horizontal and vertical planes. Theodolites are mainly used for surveying applications, and have been adapted for specialized purposes in fields like metrology and rocket launch technology...

    s.

Demographics

The metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 of Strasbourg includes 638,670 inhabitants (2006), while the Eurodistrict
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...

 has a population of 884,988 inhabitants.
1684 1789 1851 1871 1910 1921 1936 1946
22 000 49 943 75 565 85 654 178 891 166 767 193 119 175 515
1954 1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006
200 921 228 971 249 396 253 384 248 712 252 338 263 941 272 975

Culture

Strasbourg is the seat of some internationally reputed institutions in the musical and dramatic domain:
  • The Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg
    Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg
    The Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg is a French orchestra based in Strasbourg. It is one of the two permanent orchestras of the Opéra national du Rhin. The orchestra's current principal venue is the Palais de la musique et des congrès « Pierre Pflimlin » .The orchestra was founded in 1855...

    , founded in 1855, one of the oldest symphonic orchestras in western Europe.
  • The Opéra national du Rhin
    Opéra national du Rhin
    LOpéra national du Rhin is an opera company which performs in Alsace, eastern France, and which includes the Opéra in Strasbourg, the company's ballet in Mulhouse , and the "Opéra Studio" , a training centre for young singers, in Colmar...

  • The Théâtre national de Strasbourg
  • The Percussions de Strasbourg
  • The Théâtre du Maillon
  • The "Laiterie"

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

Events

  • Musica, international festival of contemporary classical music (autumn)
  • Festival international de Strasbourg
    Strasbourg Music Festival
    The Strasbourg Music Festival is a prominent annual two-week festival of classical music...

     (founded in 1932), festival of classical music and jazz
    Jazz
    Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

     (summer)
  • Festival des Artefacts, festival of contemporary non-classical music
  • Les Nuits électroniques de l'Ososphère
  • The Spectre Film Festival
    Spectre Film Festival
    The Spectre Film Festival is an annual film festival which was created by the French association Les Films du SpectreThe festival is devoted to science fiction, fantasy and horror and takes place every September in Strasbourg-Beginning:First edition...

     is an annual film festival
    Film festival
    A film festival is an organised, extended presentation of films in one or more movie theaters or screening venues, usually in a single locality. More and more often film festivals show part of their films to the public by adding outdoor movie screenings...

     that is devoted to science fiction, horror
    Horror film
    Horror films seek to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience's most primal fears. They often feature scenes that startle the viewer through the means of macabre and the supernatural, thus frequently overlapping with the fantasy and science fiction genres...

     and fantasy
    Fantasy
    Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

    .
  • The Strasbourg International Film Festival is an annual film festival focusing on new and emerging independent film
    Independent film
    An independent film, or indie film, is a professional film production resulting in a feature film that is produced mostly or completely outside of the major film studio system. In addition to being produced and distributed by independent entertainment companies, independent films are also produced...

    makers from around the world.

Universities and schools

Strasbourg, which was a humanism
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

 centre, has a long history of higher-education excellence, merging 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
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

, including Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer, pictorial artist, biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath. He is considered the supreme genius of modern German literature. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, and science. His Faust has been called the greatest long...

, Metternich and Montgelas
Maximilian von Montgelas
Maximilian Josef Garnerin, Count von Montgelas was a Bavarian statesman, from a noble family in Savoy. His father John Sigmund Garnerin, Baron Montgelas, entered the military service of Maximilian III, Elector of Bavaria, and married the Countess Ursula von Trauner...

, who studied law in Strasbourg, among the most prominent. Nowadays, Strasbourg is known to offer among the best university courses in France, after Paris.

Until January 2009 there were three universities in Strasbourg
University of Strasbourg
The University of Strasbourg in Strasbourg, Alsace, France, is the largest university in France, with about 43,000 students and over 4,000 researchers....

, 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
Postgraduate education
Postgraduate education involves learning and studying for degrees or other qualifications for which a first or Bachelor's degree generally is required, and is normally considered to be part of higher education...

 schools):
  • Strasbourg I – Louis Pasteur University
    Louis Pasteur University
    Louis Pasteur University , also known as Strasbourg I or ULP was a large university in Strasbourg, Alsace, France. As of January 15, 2007, there were 18,847 students enrolled at the university, including around 3,000 foreign students. Research and teaching at ULP concentrates on the natural...

  • Strasbourg II – Marc Bloch University
    Marc Bloch University
    The Université Marc Bloch, also known as Strasbourg II or UMB was a university in Strasbourg, Alsace, France. As of 2006, it had around 13,000 students. Its name used to be Université des Sciences Humaines , but it was renamed in 1998 in honour of the French historian Marc Bloch...

  • Strasbourg III – Robert Schuman University
    Robert Schuman University
    The Université Robert Schuman, also known as Strasbourg III or URS, was a university in Strasbourg, Alsace, France. In 2007, there were nearly 10,000 students enrolled at the university, including more than 1,500 foreign students. The university tended to teach and research in fields such as law,...



Since 1 January 2009, those three universities have merged and constitute now the Université de Strasbourg.
As part of the Université de Strasbourg, one can find:
  • The IEP (Institut d'études politiques de Strasbourg
    Institut d'études politiques de Strasbourg
    The Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Strasbourg, also known as IEP Strasbourg or Sciences Po Strasbourg was the second IEP, founded on October 9, 1945, after the IEP Paris . Since January 1, 2009, it is part of University of Strasbourg, the largest university in France...

    ), is the University of Strasbourg's political science & international studies center.
  • The EMS (École de management Strasbourg), is the University of Strasbourg's Business School.
  • The INSA (Institut national des sciences appliquées), is the University of Strasbourg's Engineering School.
  • The ENA (École nationale d'administration
    École nationale d'administration
    The École Nationale d'Administration , one of the most prestigious of French graduate schools , was created in 1945 by Charles de Gaulle to democratise access to the senior civil service. It is now entrusted with the selection and initial training of senior French officials...

    ). ENA trains most of the nation's high-ranking civil servants. The relocation to Strasbourg was meant to give a European vocation to the school & to implement the French "décentralisation" plan defined by the government.
  • The ESAD (École supérieure des Arts décoratifs) is an art school
    Art school
    Art school is a general term for any educational institution with a primary focus on the visual arts, especially illustration, painting, photography, sculpture, and graphic design. The term applies to institutions with elementary, secondary, post-secondary or undergraduate, or graduate or...

     of Europe-wide reputation.
  • The ISU (International Space University
    International Space University
    The International Space University is a private university founded in 1987. The University currently offers three degree granting programs — Master of Science in Space Management, Master of Science in Space Studies and Executive MBA — in addition to a non-degree-granting Space Studies Program.The...

    ) is located in the south of Strasbourg (Illkirch-Graffenstaden
    Illkirch-Graffenstaden
    -Geography:The larger adjacent communes, like Illkirch-Graffenstaden, are effectively outer suburbs of the Strasbourg conurbation. These include Strasbourg-Meinau, Ostwald and Geispolsheim...

    ).
  • The ECPM (École européenne de chimie, polymères et matériaux
    École européenne de chimie, polymères et matériaux
    This school is specialised in Chemistry, Polymers and Materials engineering.*see the french article...

    ).
  • The INET (Institut national des études territoriales).
  • The ENGEES (École nationale du génie de l'eau et de l'environnement de Strasbourg).
  • The CUEJ (Centre universitaire d'enseignement du journalisme).

Libraries

The Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire
Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire
The Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire , is a public library in Strasbourg, France. It is located on Place de la République, the former Kaiserplatz, and faces the Palais du Rhin.- History :...

 (BNU) is, with its collection of more than 3,000,000 titles, the second largest library in France after the Bibliothèque nationale de France
Bibliothèque nationale de France
The is the National Library of France, located in Paris. It is intended to be the repository of all that is published in France. The current president of the library is Bruno Racine.-History:...

. 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 student's and a national library.

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
André Malraux
André Malraux DSO was a French adventurer, award-winning author, and statesman. Having traveled extensively in Indochina and China, Malraux was noted especially for his novel entitled La Condition Humaine , which won the Prix Goncourt...

, was inaugurated on 19 September 2008 and is considered the largest in Eastern France.

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 in her library as one of her 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 sizeable total number of incunabula, distributed as follows: Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire, ca. 2 300  Médiathèque de la ville et de la communauté urbaine de Strasbourg, 349  Bibliothèque du Grand Séminaire, 237  Médiathèque protestante, 66  and Bibliothèque alsatique du Crédit Mutuel, 5. 

Transportation

Strasbourg has its own airport
Strasbourg Airport
Strasbourg Airport or Aéroport de Strasbourg is an airport located in Entzheim and 10 km west-southwest of Strasbourg, both communes of the Bas-Rhin département in the Alsace région of France. The number of passengers for 2009 was listed at 1,109,397.-Local Transport:The airport is served by...

, serving major domestic destinations as well as international destinations in Europe and northern Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

.

Train services operate from Gare de Strasbourg
Gare de Strasbourg
Gare de Strasbourg is a rail station in the commune of Strasbourg, in Bas-Rhin, France. It is the eastern terminus of the Paris–Strasbourg railway.- Services :The station is the main station in Strasbourg and one of the main stations in the east of France....

 eastward to Offenburg
Offenburg
Offenburg is a city located in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. With about 60,000 inhabitants, it is the largest city and the capital of the Ortenaukreis.Offenburg also houses University of Applied Sciences Offenburg...

 and Karlsruhe
Karlsruhe
The City of Karlsruhe is a city in the southwest of Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg, located near the French-German border.Karlsruhe was founded in 1715 as Karlsruhe Palace, when Germany was a series of principalities and city states...

 in Germany, westward to Metz
Metz
Metz is a city in the northeast of France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers.Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region and prefecture of the Moselle department. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France, Germany, and Luxembourg, Metz forms a central place...

 and Paris, and southward to Basel
Basel
Basel or Basle In the national languages of Switzerland the city is also known as Bâle , Basilea and Basilea is Switzerland's third most populous city with about 166,000 inhabitants. Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany...

. Since 10 June 2007, Strasbourg has benefited from the opening of the first phase of TGV Est
LGV Est
The LGV Est européenne is an extension to the French high-speed rail network, connecting currently Vaires-sur-Marne and Baudrecourt , and later Vaires-sur-Marne and Vendenheim . , it is the newest high-speed line in France and still under construction, with of a planned in service...

 (Paris–Strasbourg). The TGV Rhin-Rhône
LGV Rhin-Rhône
The LGV Rhin-Rhône is a high-speed railway line composed of three different branches:* The Eastern branch, from Genlis, near Dijon to Lutterbach, near Mulhouse* The Western branch, crossing Dijon, joining the LGV Sud-Est near Montbard...

 (Strasbourg-Lyon
Lyon
Lyon , is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located at from Paris, from Marseille, from Geneva, from Turin, and from Barcelona. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais....

) is currently under construction and due to open in 2012.

City transportation in Strasbourg is served by a futurist-looking tram system that has been operated since 1994 by the regional transit company Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois
Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois
CTS is the company responsible for the comprehensive public transport network of the Urban Community of Strasbourg, the urban community of the French city of Strasbourg....

 and now (2010) consists of 6 lines (A, B, C, D, E and F) adding up to a total of 55.8 km (34.7 mi). A former tram system, partly following different routes, had been operating since 1878 but was ultimately dismantled in 1960.

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"
Permeability (spatial and transport planning)
Permeability or connectivity describes the extent to which urban forms permit movement of people or vehicles in different directions. The terms are often used interchangeably, although differentiated definitions also exist...

 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 (see drawing). This logic of filtering a mode of transport is fully expressed in a comprehensive model for laying out neighbourhoods and districts – the Fused Grid
Fused Grid
The Fused Grid is a street network pattern first proposed in 2002 and subsequently applied in Calgary, Alberta and in Stratford, Ontario . It represents a synthesis of two well known and extensively used network concepts: the "grid" and the “Radburn” pattern, derivatives of which are found in most...


Being a city next to the Rhine and along some of its most important canals (Marne-Rhine Canal
Marne-Rhine Canal
The Marne-Rhine Canal is a canal in north eastern France. It connects the river Marne in Vitry-le-François with the Rhine in Strasbourg. Combined with the canalised part of the Marne, it allows transport between Paris and eastern France. The original objective of the canal was to connect Paris...

, Grand Canal d'Alsace
Grand Canal d'Alsace
The Grand Canal of Alsace is a canal in eastern France, channeling the Upper Rhine river. It is 50 kilometers long between Kembs and Vogelgrun, and provides access to the region from the Rhine River, Basel in Switzerland, and the North Sea for barges of up to 1,350 metric tons...

), while crossed by the Ill
Ill (France)
The Ill is a river in Alsace, in north-eastern France. It is a left-side, or western tributary of the Rhine.It starts down from its source near the village of Winkel, in the Jura mountains, with a resurgence near Ligsdorf, turns around Ferrette on its east side, and then runs northward through...

, Strasbourg has always been an important centre of fluvial navigation, as is attested by archeological findings as well as the important activity of the Port autonome de Strasbourg. Water tourism inside the city proper attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists yearly.

European role

Institutions

Strasbourg is the seat of over twenty international institutions, most famously of the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

 and of the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

, of which it is the official seat
Seat of the European Parliament in Strasbourg
The city of Strasbourg is the official seat of the European Parliament. The institution is legally bound to meet there twelve sessions a year lasting about four days each. Other work takes place in Brussels and Luxembourg City...

. Strasbourg is considered the legislative and democratic capital of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, while Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 is considered the executive and administrative capital and Luxembourg
Luxembourg (city)
The city of Luxembourg , also known as Luxembourg City , is a commune with city status, and the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It is located at the confluence of the Alzette and Pétrusse Rivers in southern Luxembourg...

 the judiciary and financial capital
Financial capital
Financial capital can refer to money used by entrepreneurs and businesses to buy what they need to make their products or provide their services or to that sector of the economy based on its operation, i.e. retail, corporate, investment banking, etc....

.

Strasbourg is:
  • since 1920 the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine
    Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine
    The Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine is an international organization whose function is to encourage European prosperity by guaranteeing a high level of security for navigation of the Rhine and environs...

    .
  • since 1949 the seat of the Council of Europe
    Council of Europe
    The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

     with all the bodies and organisations affiliated to this institution
  • since 1952 the seat of the European Parliament
    European Parliament
    The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

  • the seat of the European Ombudsman
    European Ombudsman
    The European Ombudsman is an ombudsman for the European Union, based in the Salvador de Madariaga Building in Strasbourg.-History:...

  • the seat of the Eurocorps
    Eurocorps
    Eurocorps is a multinational standing army corps available for the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance.Headquartered in Strasbourg, France, the force was created in May 1992, activated in October 1993 and declared operational in 1995....

     headquarters,
  • the seat of the Franco-German television channel Arte
    Arte
    Arte is a Franco-German TV network. It is a European culture channel and aims to promote quality programming especially in areas of culture and the arts...

  • the seat of the European Science Foundation
    European Science Foundation
    The European Science Foundation is an association of 78 member organisations devoted to scientific research in 30 European countries. It is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organisation that facilitates cooperation and collaboration in European research and development, European...

  • the seat of the International Institute of Human Rights
    International Institute of Human Rights
    The International Institute of Human Rights is an association under French local law based in Strasbourg, France...

  • the seat of the Human Frontier Science Program
    Human Frontier Science Program
    The Human Frontier Science Program is a program, based in Strasbourg, France, that funds basic research in life sciences. HFSP is supported by 13 countries and the European Union...

  • the seat of the International Commission on Civil Status
    International Commission on Civil Status
    The International Commission on Civil Status, or ICCS , is an European intergovernmental organization and the first organization created after World War II in order to work for European integration. Established in Amsterdam, Netherlands on September 29 and 30, 1948, it predates both the Council of...

  • the seat of the Assembly of European Regions
    Assembly of European Regions
    The Assembly of European Regions , the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 270 regions from 33 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.- Historical background...

  • the seat of the Centre for European Studies
    University of Strasbourg
    The University of Strasbourg in Strasbourg, Alsace, France, is the largest university in France, with about 43,000 students and over 4,000 researchers....

     (French: Centre d'études européennes de Strasbourg)

Eurodistrict

France and Germany have created a Eurodistrict
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...

 straddling the Rhine, combining the Greater Strasbourg and the Ortenau
Ortenaukreis
Ortenaukreis is a district in the west of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Neighboring districts are Rastatt, Freudenstadt, Rottweil, Schwarzwald-Baar and Emmendingen...

 district of Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg is one of the 16 states of Germany. Baden-Württemberg is in the southwestern part of the country to the east of the Upper Rhine, and is the third largest in both area and population of Germany's sixteen states, with an area of and 10.7 million inhabitants...

, with some common administration. The combined population of this district is 884,988 according to the latest official national statistics.

Sports

Internationally-renowned teams from Strasbourg are the "Racing Club de Strasbourg
RC Strasbourg
Racing Club de Strasbourg is a French association football club founded in 1906 and professional since 1933, based in the city of Strasbourg, in Alsace...

" (football), the "SIG" (basketball) and the "Étoile Noire
Étoile Noire de Strasbourg
The Association Étoile Noire de Strasbourg or CSG Strasbourg is a French ice hockey team based in Strasbourg playing in the Ligue Magnus.-History:...

" (ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

). The women's tennis tournament "Internationaux de Strasbourg
Internationaux de Strasbourg
The Internationaux de Strasbourg is a tennis tournament held in Strasbourg, France. Held since 1987, this WTA Tour event is an International-level tournament played on outdoor clay courts....

" is one of the most important French tournaments of its kind outside Roland-Garros.

Notable people

In chronological order, notable people born in Strasbourg include: Johannes Tauler
Johannes Tauler
Johannes Tauler was a German mystic theologian.- Life :He was born about the year 1300 in Strasbourg, and was educated at the Dominican convent in that city, where Meister Eckhart, who greatly influenced him, was professor of theology in the monastery school...

, Sebastian Brant
Sebastian Brant
Sebastian Brant was an Alsatian humanist and satirist. He is best known for his satire Das Narrenschiff .-Biography:...

, Jean Baptiste Kléber
Jean Baptiste Kléber
Jean Baptiste Kléber was a French general during the French Revolutionary Wars. His military career started in Habsburg service, but his plebeian ancestry hindered his opportunities...

, Louis Ramond de Carbonnières
Louis Ramond de Carbonnières
Louis François Élisabeth Ramond, baron de Carbonnières , was a French politician, geologist and botanist...

, Marie Tussaud
Marie Tussaud
Anna Maria Tussaud was an artist known for her wax sculptures and Madame Tussaud's, the wax museum she founded in London.- Biography :...

, Ludwig I of Bavaria
Ludwig I of Bavaria
Ludwig I was a German king of Bavaria from 1825 until the 1848 revolutions in the German states.-Crown prince:...

, Charles Frédéric Gerhardt
Charles Frédéric Gerhardt
Charles Frédéric Gerhardt was a French chemist.-Biography:He was born in Strasbourg, where he attended the gymnasium. He then studied at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, where Friedrich Walchner's lectures first attracted his interest to chemistry...

, Gustave Doré
Gustave Doré
Paul Gustave Doré was a French artist, engraver, illustrator and sculptor. Doré worked primarily with wood engraving and steel engraving.-Biography:...

, Émile Waldteufel
Émile Waldteufel
Émile Waldteufel was a French composer of dance music.-Life:Émile Waldteufel was born in Strasbourg to a Jewish Alsatian family of musicians....

, Jean/Hans Arp
Jean Arp
Jean Arp / Hans Arp was a German-French, or Alsatian, sculptor, painter, poet and abstract artist in other media such as torn and pasted paper....

, Charles Münch, Hans Bethe
Hans Bethe
Hans Albrecht Bethe was a German-American nuclear physicist, and Nobel laureate in physics for his work on the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. A versatile theoretical physicist, Bethe also made important contributions to quantum electrodynamics, nuclear physics, solid-state physics and...

, Marcel Marceau
Marcel Marceau
Marcel Marceau was an internationally acclaimed French actor and mime most famous for his persona as Bip the Clown.-Early years:...

, Tomi Ungerer
Tomi Ungerer
Jean-Thomas "Tomi" Ungerer is a French illustrator best known for his erotic and political illustrations as well as children's books.- Biography :...

, Arsène Wenger
Arsène Wenger
Arsène Wenger, OBE is a French association football manager and former player, who has managed English Premier League side Arsenal since 1996...

 and Petit
Petit (Portuguese footballer)
Armando Gonçalves Teixeira , commonly known as Petit, is a Portuguese footballer who plays for 1. FC Köln in the German first division, as a defensive midfielder....

.

In chronological order, notable residents of Strasbourg include: Johannes Gutenberg, Hans Baldung
Hans Baldung
Hans Baldung, known as Hans Baldung Grien/Grün was a German Renaissance artist in painting and printmaking in woodcut. He was considered the most gifted student of Albrecht Dürer.-Life:...

, Martin Bucer
Martin Bucer
Martin Bucer was a Protestant reformer based in Strasbourg who influenced Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anglican doctrines and practices. Bucer was originally a member of the Dominican Order, but after meeting and being influenced by Martin Luther in 1518 he arranged for his monastic vows to be annulled...

, John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

, Joachim Meyer
Joachim Meyer
Joachim Meyer was a self described Freifechter living in the then Free Imperial City of Strassburg in the 16th century and the author of a fechtbuch Gründtliche Beschreibung der kunst des Fechten first published in 1570.Meyer's book was reprinted in 1600, and may have been an...

, Johann Carolus
Johann Carolus
Johann Carolus was the publisher of the first newspaper, called Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien . The Relation is recognised by the World Association of Newspapers, as well as many authors as the world's first newspaper...

, Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer, pictorial artist, biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath. He is considered the supreme genius of modern German literature. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, and science. His Faust has been called the greatest long...

, Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz
Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz
Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz was a Baltic German writer of the Sturm und Drang movement.-Life:...

, Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, Georg Büchner
Georg Büchner
Karl Georg Büchner was a German dramatist and writer of poetry and prose. He was the brother of physician and philosopher Ludwig Büchner. Büchner's talent is generally held in great esteem in Germany...

, Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist born in Dole. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of diseases. His discoveries reduced mortality from puerperal fever, and he created the first vaccine for rabies and anthrax. His experiments...

, Ferdinand Braun
Karl Ferdinand Braun
Karl Ferdinand Braun was a German inventor, physicist and Nobel laureate in physics. Braun contributed significantly to the development of the radio and television technology: he shared with Guglielmo Marconi the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics.-Biography:Braun was born in Fulda, Germany, and...

, Albrecht Kossel
Albrecht Kossel
Ludwig Karl Martin Leonhard Albrecht Kossel was a German biochemist and pioneer in the study of genetics. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1910 for his work in determining the chemical composition of nucleic acids, the genetic substance of biological cells.Kossel...

, Georg Simmel
Georg Simmel
Georg Simmel was a major German sociologist, philosopher, and critic.Simmel was one of the first generation of German sociologists: his neo-Kantian approach laid the foundations for sociological antipositivism, asking 'What is society?' in a direct allusion to Kant's question 'What is nature?',...

, Albert Schweitzer
Albert Schweitzer
Albert Schweitzer OM was a German theologian, organist, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary. He was born in Kaysersberg in the province of Alsace-Lorraine, at that time part of the German Empire...

, Otto Klemperer
Otto Klemperer
Otto Klemperer was a German conductor and composer. He is widely regarded as one of the leading conductors of the 20th century.-Biography:Otto Klemperer was born in Breslau, Silesia Province, then in Germany...

, Marc Bloch
Marc Bloch
Marc Léopold Benjamin Bloch was a French historian who cofounded the highly influential Annales School of French social history. Bloch was a quintessential modernist. An assimilated Alsatian Jew from an academic family in Paris, he was deeply affected in his youth by the Dreyfus Affair...

, Alberto Fujimori
Alberto Fujimori
Alberto Fujimori Fujimori served as President of Peru from 28 July 1990 to 17 November 2000. A controversial figure, Fujimori has been credited with the creation of Fujimorism, uprooting terrorism in Peru and restoring its macroeconomic stability, though his methods have drawn charges of...

, Marjane Satrapi
Marjane Satrapi
Marjane Satrapi is an Iranian-born French contemporary graphic novelist, illustrator, animated film director, and children's book author...

, Paul Ricoeur and Jean-Marie Lehn
Jean-Marie Lehn
Jean-Marie Lehn is a French chemist. He received the Nobel Prize together with Donald Cram and Charles Pedersen in 1987 for his work in Chemistry, particularly his synthesis of the cryptands...

.

Twin Towns – Sister Cities

Strasbourg is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, United States, since 1960 Leicester
Leicester
Leicester is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England, and the county town of Leicestershire. The city lies on the River Soar and at the edge of the National Forest...

, East Midlands
East Midlands
The East Midlands is one of the regions of England, consisting of most of the eastern half of the traditional region of the Midlands. It encompasses the combined area of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and most of Lincolnshire...

, England, since 1960 Stuttgart
Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

, Baden-Württemberg, Germany (then West-Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

), since 1962 Dresden
Dresden
Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area....

, Saxony, Germany (then East-Germany), since 1990 Ramat Gan, Israel, since 1991 Jacmel
Jacmel
Jacmel, also known by its indigenous Taíno name of Yaquimel, is a town in southern Haiti founded in 1698. It is the capital of the department of Sud-Est and has an estimated population of 40,000, while the municipality of Jacmel had a population of 137,966 at the 2003 Census.The buildings are...

, Haiti, since 1996 (Coopération décentralisée) Veliky Novgorod
Veliky Novgorod
Veliky Novgorod is one of Russia's most historic cities and the administrative center of Novgorod Oblast. It is situated on the M10 federal highway connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg. The city lies along the Volkhov River just below its outflow from Lake Ilmen...

, Novgorod Oblast
Novgorod Oblast
Novgorod Oblast is a federal subject of Russia , located between Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Its administrative center is the city of Veliky Novgorod. Some of the oldest Russian cities, including Veliky Novgorod and Staraya Russa, are located there...

, Russia, since 1997 (Coopération décentralisée) Fes
Fes
Fes or Fez is the second largest city of Morocco, after Casablanca, with a population of approximately 1 million . It is the capital of the Fès-Boulemane region....

, Morocco (Coopération décentralisée) Douala
Douala
Douala is the largest city in Cameroon and the capital of Cameroon's Littoral Province. Home to Cameroon's largest port and its major international airport, Douala International Airport, it is the commercial capital of the country...

, Cameroon (Coopération décentralisée) Bamako
Bamako
Bamako is the capital of Mali and its largest city with a population of 1.8 million . Currently, it is estimated to be the fastest growing city in Africa and sixth fastest in the world...

, Mali (Coopération décentralisée)

In popular culture

  • One of the longest chapters of Laurence Sterne
    Laurence Sterne
    Laurence Sterne was an Irish novelist and an Anglican clergyman. He is best known for his novels The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, and A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy; but he also published many sermons, wrote memoirs, and was involved in local politics...

    's novel Tristram Shandy
    The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
    The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman is a novel by Laurence Sterne. It was published in nine volumes, the first two appearing in 1759, and seven others following over the next 10 years....

    ("Slawkenbergius's tale") takes place in Strasbourg.
  • An episode of Matthew Gregory Lewis's novel The Monk
    The Monk
    The Monk: A Romance is a Gothic novel by Matthew Gregory Lewis, published in 1796. It was written before the author turned 20, in the space of 10 weeks.-Characters:...

    takes place in the forests then surrounding Strasbourg.
  • British art-punk
    Art punk
    Art punk or avant punk refers to punk rock of an experimental bent, or with connections to art school, the art world, or the avant garde....

     band The Rakes
    The Rakes
    The Rakes were an English indie rock band from London. They split up in October 2009.-History:The Rakes formed in 2004. Since coming to fame in 2005, they were associated with the British post-punk/art rock scene, a genre shared by bands such as Bloc Party, Maxïmo Park, and The Futureheads...

     had a minor hit in 2005 with their song "Strasbourg". This song features witty lyrics with themes of espionage and vodka and includes a cleverly placed count of 'eins, zwei, drei, vier!!', even though Strasbourg's spoken language
    Spoken language
    Spoken language is a form of human communication in which words derived from a large vocabulary together with a diverse variety of names are uttered through or with the mouth. All words are made up from a limited set of vowels and consonants. The spoken words they make are stringed into...

     is French.
  • On their 1974 album Hamburger Concerto, Dutch progressive band Focus
    Focus (band)
    Focus is a Dutch rock band which was founded by classically trained organist/flautist Thijs van Leer in 1969, and is most famous for the instrumental pieces "Hocus Pocus" and "Sylvia"...

     included a track called "La Cathédrale de Strasbourg", which included chimes from a cathedral-like bell.
  • The opening scenes of the 1977 Ridley Scott
    Ridley Scott
    Sir Ridley Scott is an English film director and producer. His most famous films include The Duellists , Alien , Blade Runner , Legend , Thelma & Louise , G. I...

     film The Duellists
    The Duellists
    The Duellists is a 1977 historical drama film that was Ridley Scott's first feature film as a director. It won the Best Debut Film award at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival...

    take place in Strasbourg in 1800.
  • The 2008 film In the City of Sylvia is set in Strasbourg.
  • Early February 2011, principal photography for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
    Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
    Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is an upcoming 2011 British-American action mystery film directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Susan Downey, and Dan Lin. It is a sequel to the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes, based on the character of the same name created by Sir Arthur...

    moved for 2 days to Strasbourg. Shooting took place on, around and inside the Strasbourg Cathedral. The scene is said to be the opening scene of the movie, as it will cover an assassination-bombing in a German speaking town.

External links

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