Notre-Dame Cathedral of Strasbourg

The Notre Dame de Strasbourg
Photo by: ChristinaT , Creative Commons

A trip to Old Strasbourg, a part of the Alsace region in northeastern France, can be both fun and fascinating. It’s one of those cozy destinations whose old world appeal can cast a magical spell on visitors. It’s an ancient city dominated by the single soaring spire of a medieval cathedral. Notre-Dame Cathedral of Strasbourg, the city’s most prominent landmark, was constructed centuries ago. It was the highest structure in the western world right up to the 19th Century. It remains today a showcase of 13th-century Gothic architecture.

Strasbourg was discovered by the Romans in 12th Century BC, but later on, the Barbarian tribes gained a stronghold on it and changed its name from Argentoratum to Strateburgum. During the Middle Ages, structures like covered bridges were built as a line of defense for the town and as a way to facilitate trade.

Old Strasbourg also has attractions for the young & young-at-heart whenever the Christmas holidays approach. There’s the traditional Christkindelmärik, or outdoor Christmas markets at the bottom of the cathedral where vendors sell a variety of items ranging from hot spiced red wine to pretzels, crepes, and cakes, crafts and decors. Strasbourg actually melds the cultural influences of Germany and France.

Beyond the beautifully decorated houses, Strasbourg is a place for government, a university area, and a wonderful place to relax. You can stroll through the winding streets and pass through cobblestone roads, or enjoy a gourmet meal or traditional dishes, or visit a monastery, or some of the art galleries & museums. Also worth checking out is the palais des Rohan, a grand palace housing the apartments of the Cardinals and museums. Indeed, historic sites with marvelous architecture, great food & ambience, and festive Christmas markets are just a few of the reasons why old Strasbourg is one of the must-see destinations.

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