As the first city centre to be named a UNESCO World Heritage site in its entirety, Strasbourg is among the world’s most beautiful and historic destinations and, with its impressive architecture and many museums, it is not difficult to see why. Close to the Germanic border, its traditions and culture is an eclectic mix of French and European heritage, making it an immensely popular destination during European trips and cruises as visitors come to experience a true sense of European medieval heritage.
It is, in part, due to this heritage that Strasbourg has such a high number of prominent museums. To gain a thorough knowledge of Strasbourg’s intriguing history, visitors to the city are encouraged to visit the Historical Museum, which was founded in 1920 to represent the city’s political, economic, social and urban environmental history.
The other important institution to visit is The Museum of the Oeuvre Notre Dame, which is the city’s museum of Upper Rhenish fine arts. With some of its artefacts dating back to the early Middle Ages, it is famed for the great number of original sculptures, glass windows and architectural segments it displays. It is also the home of the original plans for one of the city’s most celebrated structures – the Strasbourg Cathedral.
Religious points of interest
The Strasbourg Cathedral is known to be Europe’s tallest medieval building and was the tallest in the world between the years of 1647 and 1874 whilst still being considered as one of the greatest examples of Gothic architecture. As a point of high interest for both local residents and those visiting the Alsace region capital, many of the best tours in the area feature this prominent structure. The Strasbourg Cathedral is so tall it can be seen from across the Rhine in the Black Forest, creating an atmospheric welcome for those coming to the city via the water on European river cruises.
Architecture and parks
While the Strasbourg Cathedral is one of the city’s most celebrated works of architecture, there are a number of other prominent examples throughout Strasbourg. Alongside a number of other medieval churches in the city, the Opera House on Place Brogile represents a great example of French Neo-classicism.
Next to its significant architecture, there are also a number of prominent parks in Strasbourg which include the Parc de l’Orangerie, which was remodelled as an English garden for Joséphine de Beauharnais, and the Parc de la Citadelle, which sits around the remains of a 17th century fortress.