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Strasbourg France: Dual Identities

My first time to Strasbourg was in December of 2013, for the Christmas Market. While disappointed in the quality of the products being sold at the Market, I absolutely loved walking around Strasbourg. I knew I wanted to come back in the springtime to see more of what the city had to offer.

So a year and some months later, when I was left with having to change my plans because of sore ribs, from my mountain biking nose dive, I decided it was a perfect time to go ahead and make that trip.

Strasbourg, France is only 1.5 hour from Stuttgart, so this day trip even afforded me the opportunity to train chest and have a run before heading out.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day…only in the mid-50s but the sun was shining high in the sky.

Take a boat ride along the III River

Take a boat ride along the III River

Strasbourg is another European city filled with an incredible history and location.

Located on the France and German border the III River runs through it, surrounding the city center.

Strasbourg is a city of dual identities; all through the city you can find both the French and German influences. Strasbourg has been a free republic, and has fallen under German and French rule. The architecture to me is very German; most street names are still listed both in French and German.

However, the culture is clearly French.

French is spoken, French foods dominate the restaurants, drivers don’t automatically stop at cross walks, college students crowded the public spaces with music and booze, and overly public display of affection is…well, displayed.

Petite France Strasbourg through trees

There is a lot to see in Strasbourg, but you don’t really need more than a full day or weekend to get to take full advantage of the city. I spent about 5 hours mostly walking around, but there are many museums and churches to visit and plenty of shopping to be done.

I would also recommend you make sure to take the time to enjoy a wonderful French meal, and at least one glass of wine.

You can take Segway city tours, boat tour on the river and rent bicycles to get around. I chose to walk.

View of La Petite France in Strasbourg from Barrage Vauban

View of La Petite France in Strasbourg from Barrage Vauban

My first stop was to walk over to La Petite Paris…a section of the city I hadn’t visited back when there for the Christmas Market.

The Barrage Vauban is where the III River enters the city. From the Barrage Vauban you get a great view of La Petite Paris and a look at the Strasbourg Cathedral tower in the distance. After walking around La Petite Paris…which quite frankly, I didn’t get the name being that it reminded me nothing of Paris, but rather a lot more of a German village, I headed into the City Center towards the Strasbourg Cathedral.

Barrage Vauban Strasbourg

Barrage Vauban Strasbourg

The Gothic Cathedral dominates the city center and it’s free to visit the inside. You can also choose to walk up 333 stairs and get an “aerial” view of the city. Unfortunately, I was too hungry at the time to wait in line, so I started to look for a place to eat instead.

Strasbourg Cathedral

Strasbourg Cathedral

After eating a flambée, I headed to Palais du Rhin.

The park was filled with students and people talking, reading and enjoying the beautiful weather. Surrounding the Palais Rhin are multiple other important buildings to include: National and University Library of Strasbourg, National Theatre of Strasbourg, Préfecture de la région Alsace, préfecture du Bas-Rhin.

Palais du Rhin

Palais du Rhin

Theatre National de Strasbourg

Theatre National de Strasbourg

From there, I walked along the river to make my way back towards where I’d parked. Again, I ran into a lot of locals, simply laying out by the river enjoying the day. The houses/architecture along the river and the many bridges is very picturesque.

Strasbourg People Along River

It was all and all a great afternoon, and I was correct in thinking I would enjoy Strasbourg in the springtime!

Strasbourg Along River

 

How About You? Have you visited Strasbourg?  Do you see the French and German influence? Feel free to comment below or contact Ann’s Adventure Tour Travel Writer and Blogger here.