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Strasbourg

| May 20, 2012 | 0 Comments

Strasbourg is the capital and prime city of the Alsace region, the fifth smallest of the 27 regions of France. It is located at the French’s north-eastern territories and is known to be a seat of power for the European Parliament. The city itself can be found along the banks of the Ill River, which is connected to the Rhine River on Germany’s border in the town of Kehl.

The city had been around at least as early as when the Romans occupied what is currently French soil. It was known as Argentoratum or Argentorate, a name given to it by Nero Claudius Drusus when he established it as a military outpost. From about 1AD to 500AD, the city had been destroyed and rebuilt six times. The history of Strasbourg under the Romans was action-packed. The city was the seat of the Bisphoric Strasbourg during the 4th century. It is in this city where an ancient alliance of Germanic tribes, called the Alemanni, decided to fight back against Rome and battled with Emperor Julian the Apostate’s forces in 357. The Romans eventually won, and the Alemanni king Chonodomarius was taken as prisoner. Strasbourg also became a major commercial centre under the Holy Roman Empire on 923. Subsequently, the Huns and the Franks the same lands. By the ninth century, the former Argentoratum had become known as the Strazburg in the Gallo-Romance language—an earlier form of French.

In history, Strasbourg stands out as a city that remained neutral during the Thirty Year’s War, one of the most destructive wars in the European continent. It was officially annexed to France by the Treaty of Ryswick. Its status as a free city was cut short by the French Revolution, although In 1919, it was re-attributed back to France under the Treaty of Versailles. Since then European political bodies began making their homes in Strasbourg. Headquarters of several European institutions can be found in the city today, including the Council of Europe, the Eurocorps, the European Parliament, and the European Ombudsman of the European Union. It is also the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine.

Today, aside from being hosts to some of the most influential organizations in Europe, Strasbourg is also the home of about 700,000 people and a favorite destination among tourists. And the city has a lot to offer to visitors.

The city is known for its sandstone Gothic cathedral with its famous astronomical clock. Its streets are teeming with notable sites which are evidence of the fine architecture used in designing them, including other churches, former town halls, bridges, which includes the medieval, four-towered Ponts Couverts, squares, prominent parks, fine art museums, and university museums.

The second largest library in France can also be found in Strasbourg, attracting thousands of academics and scholars. The library, known as the Bibliotheque Nationale et Universitaire, has a collection of more than 3,000,000 titles. Apart from this, internationally-acclaimed institutions in the performing arts can also be found in the city, among them the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, one of the oldest symphonic orchestras in Western Europe.

Strasbourg hosts Musica, the international festival of contemporary classical music, Festival International de Strasbourg, a showcase of classical music and jazz, and Festival des Artefacts, which celebrates contemporary non-classical music. It is also the venue for Les Nuits Electroniques de l’Ososphere, the Spectre Film Festival, an annual film festival devoted to science fiction, horror and fantasy, and The Strasbourg International Film Festival, an annual film festival focusing on new and emerging independent film-makers from around the world are some of the important events held in the city.

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Category: Alsace

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