STRASBOURG, FRANCE

La Petite France, Strasbourg
In the far east of France, near the border with Germany, a city of Strasbourg found its place, the town finely inwrought with both french and german culture. Although, throughout history, subjected to often violent disputes, it has also been the cultural bridge between two countries for centuries. Today is known, alongside with Bruxelles and Luxembourg, as one of EU's capitals and the headquarter of many important institutions, such as European Council, European Parliament, European Court of Human Rights and the seat of Ombudsman for the citizens of European Union.
La Petite France, Strasbourg
La Petite France, Strasbourg
Architectural specificity and diversity of Strasbourg is noticeable at every step, especially in the town center called Large Island, a place named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1988. It was the first case that such an honor was bestowed to the entire city center. Within the Large Island,  particular attention iz drawn to the Little France, a historical quarter which, despite its seemingly delectable name, hides completely different story. The name itself did not emerged from patriotic or architectural reasons, but from the title of Hospice of the Syphilitic, built in late 15. century, where the patients of this malaise were treated, which was subsequently called Fanzosenkrakheit or French disease in German. Regardless of these somewhat dark facts, the Little France is distinguished by its remarkably beautiful, sixteen-century styled houses which, with their alluring charm and grace, leaves the spectator instantly breathless.
Gutenberg Monument, Strasbourg
Strasbourg is also famous as the home of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of printing machine, arguably the most important creation in history of mankind. Not only that his invention enabled the spread of the written word, it potentiate the education for millions of people. Without it, the civilization as we know it would be unthinkable as well as impossible. Logically, the city was site of the first printed newspapers in 1605. The other interesting detail is that Strasbourg is a place where french national anthem, The Marseillaise, was composed in 1792. by Claude Joseph Rouget de Isle.
 Cathedral de Notre-Dame, Strasbourg
Cathedral de Notre-Dame, Strasbourg
Multiformity of Strasbuorg is clearly evident in coexistance of Catholic and Protestant culture. Besides Christian heirdom, the city is also home of the largest place of Islamic worship in France – the Great Mosque of Strasbourg. However, on the world-wide scale, the most notable is the cathedral Our Lady of Strasbourg. With its height of 142 meters it was, from mid-seventeenth to late-nineteenth century, the tallest building in the world. Victor Hugo described it as a gigantic and delicate marvel and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe as a sublimely towering, wide-spreading tree of God. These claims obtain their full significance with just one glance to the western front facade, a gothic masterpiece ornated with thousands of figures and to the central rose window, minutely stylized stained glass of extraordinary beauty and unforgettable grandiosity. Moreover, the cathedral, which is, much like the city itself, a cultural link of franco-german influences, is visible to the naked eye from far distances, through the plains of Alsace, all the way to Vosges Mountains and Black Forrest region on the opposite side of the river Rhine.
Have you ever visited Strasbourg? What are your impressions?
Cathedral de Notre-Dame, Strasbourg

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