Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Old Strasbourg

Cultural capital of Alsace and only a few kilometers from the Rhine, Strasbourg has changed hands a number of times.  It is now in France and is home to the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights and a student population of over 50,000.

We awoke to rain, so decided to visit some of the local museums.  Three are located in the Place Rohan, named for the former archbishop/prince of the city.  We arrived to find that the Archbishop's Palace was (unsurprisingly) adjacent to the glorious, lacy, pink sandstone Cathedral of Notre Dame dating from 1284.  Dove inside for a quick look, then braved the rain to the palace for a wander through the Archeological Museum (displays from Neolithic to WWI) and the Decorative Arts Museum (basically some of the Archbishop's rooms, restored) and decided to skip the Beaux-Arts Museum in favor of lunch.  The palace was visited by assorted kings and even Marie Antoinette on her way to marry Louis.  Napoleon, of course, used it as headquarters for several campaigns.

That accomplished, we took a ride on the Batorama for a cruise on the canals of the city.  Unfortunately the boat was covered in a curved, glass dome which made photography nearly impossible due to endless reflections.

Approach to cathedral

Lacy stonework and rose window

From the inside

Ornate work on pulpit

Elaborate organ

Nave and altar

Astronomical clock

Side nave

Archbishop's downspout

Archbishop Rohan's Palace

Fancy, ceramic, wood stove/heater

Archbishop's library and Napoleon's map room

Royal bed

House in Old Town

Canal-side homes

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