Strasbourg, France

Come see why the entire old town of Strasbourg was honored by being the first area entirely named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The history and architecture will amaze you.

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1 Mute Swan Swimming in Ill River in Strasbourg, France

The white plumage and graceful S-shaped neck of the mute swan makes it one of the prettiest waterfowl species. It is easily recognized by the distinct black knob on top of its orange bill. This gorgeous bird was found peacefully swimming in the Ill River in Strasbourg, France.

Quai Mullenheim & Avenue d’Alsace, 67000 Strasbourg, France
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2 St. Paul’s Church in Strasbourg, France

St. Paul’s Church of Strasbourg has been a handsome feature on the Ill River since it was finished in 1897. The Greek Revival facade by architect Louis Muller has an enormous yet elegant rose window at the base of twin bell towers that rise 279 feet. Église Saint-Paul de Strasbourg was originally built to serve soldiers from the German Empire. This garrison was part of the Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine. The occupation ended in 1918.

1 Place du Général Eisenhower, 67000 Strasbourg, France
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3 Ponte de l’Abreuvoir in Strasbourg, France

The Ponte de l’Abreuvoir is an iron, girder footbridge with red sandstone batteries in the Ill River. Originally built in 1905, it connects the Quai des Bateliers with the Grande Ȋle.

Passerelle de l'Abreuvoir 67000 Strasbourg, France
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4 Vine-covered Quai Along Ill River in Strasbourg, France

A quay is a pier alongside a body of water that is used to moor boats. Spelled “quai” in French, they often serve as a promenade like this vine-covered stone wall along the Ill River. Quays surround the Grande Ȋle which is an elliptical shaped island in Strasbourg, France. The entire Grand Island is a UNESCO World Heritage site because its streets and buildings still reflect its Medieval history.

5 Quai Au Sable 67000 Strasbourg, France
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5 Half-timbered Building in Strasbourg, France

Many of the buildings in Strasbourg, France, are half-timbered, a construction technique that dates back to the Neolithic Period. The lattice style of “X” shaped timbers is called a saltire or St. Andrews Cross. This example on Quai des Bateliers is probably very old but its modern purpose is the Ville et Campagne store, which translates to “city and countryside.”

23 Quai des Bateliers, 67000 Strasbourg, France
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6 Pruned Sycamore Trees Along Quai in Strasbourg, France

A common site along quays, promenades and roads in southern France are rows of sycamore trees. In the spring before their leaves grow, they display knobby, bulbous limbs after years of pruning. These ornamental plane trees were created in Oxford, England, during the 16th century. They were extensively planted along roads by order of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte to provide shade for his marching armies.

19 Quai des Bateliers 67000 Strasbourg, France
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7 Palais Rohan on Ill River in Strasbourg, France

The Palais Rohan, shown here along the Quai Au Sable facing the Ill River, was built in the 18th century by a bishop of Strasbourg. The Rohan Palace has welcomed several prominent guests including King Louis XV of France, Queen Marie Antoinette and Napoléon Bonaparte, the Emperor of France. Today it houses the Imperial Museums of Archeology, Decorative Arts and Fine Arts. In the background is the north bell tower of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg.

Palais Rohan 2 Place du Château, 67000 Strasbourg, France
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8 Pediment Sculptures on Palais Rohan in Strasbourg, France

Along the inner courtyard roofline of the Palais Rohan is this pediment with four baroque sculptures and, in the center, is a relief of the arms of the prince bishops. This was the residence of Prince-Bishop of Strasbourg XVIII.

2 Place du Château, 67000 Strasbourg, France
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9 Watchful Female Mallard Duck in Strasbourg, France

This female mallard was taking a nap along the banks of the Ill River with her beak tucked into her plumage. When I approached, she opened one eye, sized me up and decided that having her picture taken was not worth the effort to fly away.

3 impasse de la Grande Boucherie, 67000 Strasbourg, France
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10 Archaeological Museum in Palais Rohan of Strasbourg, France

The Archaeological Museum of Strasbourg has a fascinating collection of artifacts that chronical the history of the region and city dating back to the start of human existence through 600,000 BC and into Medieval times. The Musée Archéologique’s exhibits are arranged by period and include rooms called Prehistory, Bronze and Iron Ages, the Gallo-Roman civilization and early Middle Ages. The museum is in the basement of Palais Rohan shown here from the inner courtyard.

2 Place du Château, 67000 Strasbourg, France
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11 Palais Rohan from Place Du Château in Strasbourg, France

Place Du Château is a large, public square on the Grand Island of Strasbourg, France. When it was built in 1215, it was called the Court of Bishops. Now called the Castle Square, it provides a stunning view of the northern façade of the Palais Rohan. Behind this camera position is the southern side of Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg.

2 Place du Château, 67000 Strasbourg, France
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12 Strasbourg Cathedral Western Façade in Strasbourg, France

This western façade of the Medieval Strasbourg Cathedral is stunning with its thousands of sculptures and statues carved from pink Vosges sandstone. It is easy to see why construction took 263 years, from 1176 until 1439. Its single bell tower stands 466 feet which gave it the distinction of the world’s tallest building for hundreds of years.

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg Place de la Cathédrale, 67000 Strasbourg, France
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13 Strasbourg Cathedral Main Portal in Strasbourg, France

The Gothic features of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg’s main portal are incredibly ornate. Most of the statues date back from the 13th to the 15th century. Below the giant rose window are rows of spires that crown the archivolt and tympanum. In the center of the pediment is the Virgin Mary holding the Christ Child.

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg Place de la Cathédrale, 67000 Strasbourg, France
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