Day 1,617 of Traveling the World | Strasbourg, France | July 7, 2022

Strasbourg is the European city of your dreams! It has everything going on. Gigantic ancient cathedral? Check. Flowers everywhere? Check. Busy cobblestone pedestrian paths jammed with restaurants and retail stores? Check. Old buildings that have been maintained in great condition? Check. Does a river run through it? Check. Pretty bridges cross-crossing that river? Check. Resultant canals and river boat tour companies? Check. Good public transportation? Check. Bakeries, patisseries, and boulangeries everywhere (and we mean everywhere!)? Check. In other words, Strasbourg has it all. Since it once was part of Germany, the border of which is only about 15 miles from there, it also has a wonderful two-country personality. There is a healthy mix of French and German restaurants. Both languages abound on menus.

We could have walked the canals, and near the River Ill, for days. It was very pleasant and welcoming. We stumbled on one of the most ancient buildings in the city, Eglise St. Pierre le Jeune, the Church of Young St. Peter (yes, there is an “Old St. Peter’s” in town). We spent a long time there, as the frescoes on the ancient walls were partially intact, and it had the prettiest chandeliers we have ever seen in a church! Wait until you get to the photo below! It also had an outdoor cloister, with colonnaded arcades, garden, and well. What a place! Oh, and the city’s cathedral isn’t too shabby, either!

Overall, we would return to Strasbourg and stay for a longer time next time! We figured out the excellent public transportation system of above-ground trains that run all over the city, and enjoyed getting around. There are several pedestrian streets that are interesting to walk on. Additionally, it is so close to Germany that we are heading there, as well (but just for a few days). Enjoy the photos! Yes, it is even better than it looks!

Charming, charming, charming! Strasbourg is what you envision when you think of a trip to Europe!
There were flowers on every bridge around the city.
In the background, a tower of the Ponts Couvert, with flowers, of course!
This area is called Le Petite France, with buildings from the 1500s and 1600s.
The Barrage Vauban, a fortified bridge made of pink sandstone, built in the 1600s.
The opulent Strasbourg Cathedral, which until 1874 was the tallest building in the world. The half-timbered building on the right corner is none too shabby, either.
…and this magnificent structure is on the opposite corner!
The Cathedral’s Rose Window.
There are many sets of glorious stained glass windows in the cathedral…we especially liked these.
The organ case and pipes are exquisite!
The only church we have seen on our travels to have an Astronomical Clock inside! At the top of the hour at different times of day we are told that various scenes move around. We were there prior to 4:00 pm one day and people started crowding around it about 15 minutes prior to the top of the hour, getting their cameras and cell phones ready. We waited until 4, at which time many more people had crowded around expectantly. When 4 o’clock came around there were just a couple of dings and nothing moved. After a few more seconds the crowd realized that there was nothing else coming. Many laughed and the crowd slowly dispersed. Maybe when we return some day we’ll be there at the right time for the show.
The Palais des Rohan, built for the Prince Bishop of Strasbourg in the 1720s. It was designed after the large mansions popular in Paris at the time.
The Museum of History, which sits on the River Ill. We saw many buildings here with the tiny dormer windows on the roof, which looked to us like eyes peeking at us.
This looks like it could be the year 1800, doesn’t it? It seems very unchanged by the passage of time.
The Au Pont St. Martin Alsatian Restaurant on the River Ill in La Petite France, a three-story half-timbered building with flowers galore, one of the prettiest buildings we saw in Strasbourg.
This is the organ in St. Thomas Church, which Mozart (the cutout on the right) played and praised in 1778.
This restaurant captures more of the German look of the city, with a young woman in a dirndl with braids beside a flower box.
A pretty view from one bridge toward the next.
The busy and beautiful Grand Rue, the main shopping and dining pedestrian street in the city.
The outside spire of the Church of Young St. Peter, one of the most unusual we have ever visited.
This is a view to the front from the rear of the church, with the organ gallery and choir screen located midway to the main altar. Unbelievably, the church has been Lutheran since 1524, just seven years after Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses!
The main chandelier over the middle aisle…
…matched with these stunning Angel side “chandeliers,” running along the side aisles. We have never seen lights like these in a church, and think they are absolutely stunning.
The oldest parts of this ancient church include this Baptistry from the 14th century. You can still see some of the faded frescoes on the walls. (As we unknowingly walked toward the font, a gentle alarm rang steadily until we backed away. There was no warning, and nobody came to check on it.)
The very front of the church, after the organ gallery mid-way.
This is a pretty little side chapel called “the Angel Stoup,” which is a holy water font. We don’t know why it would have its own space, as fonts are usually near the main entrance, nor do we know why there are two chairs and a kneeler.
Outside are the Kreuzgang Cloisters, an enclosed four-sided walkway with gardens and a well in the center.
Tombstones of the monks on one side.
This lovely sculpture with notably long slender fingers was in one of the niches.
These are the “newer arches” on just one side.
It looks like some services are held outside in the cloister in nicer weather. We liked the ceiling ornamentation.
A whimsical cookie jar in a shop window!
Never ever did we know there was a school to teach pole dancing! We looked at their website, and indeed, in addition to pole dancing, they also teach burlesque, salsa, cabaret, and chair dancing, all at pretty reasonable prices!
The one gold tooth is a funny touch on this alligator!