Hello everyone, I’m Sara and today I’m going to talk about the wonderful city of Strasbourg in Northeast of France. Strasbourg is a city very known for its history. In fact, the city is located in the border between France and Germany. For this, it has been in the spotlight for almost a century by both French and German armies. The German presence has impacted a lot the whole region between 1870 and 1918. Region of Alsace finally returned to France after World War 1, and so for the city of Strasbourg.
The Region of Alsace is a region with a different culture, both on political and linguistic aspect. Indeed, on the political aspect, the differences come from Law because in this region many acts of law have been adopted in the 19th and 20th century and so, they are mainly inspired from German Law.
On the linguistic aspect, the traditional language of the region is Alsatian, an Alemannic dialect of Upper German spoken on both sides of the Rhine. This way, the local language is very different from the rest of the country. But the locals also speak French so no worries if you plan to visit the city! 😉
Road signs sometimes translated … … and sometimes not! ^^’
The development of the German language in the region is linked to the fact that the region had no direct connection with the French state for several centuries. It was linked to Germany for many centuries.
The architecture of the city is also very specific because many buildings are inspired from German architecture. The city is chiefly known for its sandstone Gothic Cathedral with its famous astronomical clock but also for several other medieval churches that have survived the many wars and destructions that have plagued the city:
The astronomical clock
The city of Strasbourg claims itself as A European Capital in the same terms as Brussels or Luxembourg. In this way, the city is the seat of many European Institutions. I had the chance to visit the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament with the student union of the Law Department of my university. I will explain more in detail the role and the importance of each European Institution in another chapter.
The European Parliament is the most impressive because it’s a huge and nice place. It was created in 1952 with the beginning of the European Community, at the same moment that many other institutions. The main building is called Louis Weiss and the whole Parliament has been built in a modern style mixed with elements from the European tradition. The inside of the Parliament is a modern space where as the architecture of the main building is aimed at showing the roman glorious past of the acceding countries.
The building called Louise Weiss is the seat of the European Parliament
Strasbourg not only is important politically but also economically because it is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as a hub of road, rail, and river transportation.
Strasbourg is also a very important city in terms of international events and so, many foreigners live in it. Because of the border with German, some German people live or work in the city, but the contrary is way more relevant because there are more French inhabitants working in Germany.
From a historical point of view, the invasion of the region of Alsace by the German Army was a hard blow for French because the city of Strasbourg is very symbolic for being the birthplace of French National Anthem La Marseillaise. On the other hand, the city was also very symbolic for the Germans because It was in Strasbourg that German was first used for the liturgy. It was also in Strasbourg that the first German Bible was published in 1466.
The next chapter will be focused on the places visited during my trip with Law department of Jean Monnet University.