Strasbourg, France


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The magnificent cathedral in Strasbourg, France is considered one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in the world. The outside of the huge structure is covered with incredibly complex and ornate sculptures, adding to the splendour. Strasbourg also is known for being the home of several European institutions, including the the headquarters of the Council of Europe and the official home of the European Parliament. And the city also is the self-proclaimed Capitale de Noel (Christmas Capital).

On the third day of our Rhine River cruise, we were lucky to arrive in Strasbourg on Christmas Eve. That evening, we took in the night-time festive decorations and attended a unique Christmas Eve Midnight Mass in Strasbourg Cathedral. On Christmas Day we toured through the city, walking somewhat back in time from the modern European Quarter, to the 19th-century German quarter, and on to the Petit France quarter that dates from the 16th and 17th century.

Below are trip highlights from Christmas Eve and Day of 2019 in Strasbourg, France. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

12/24/2019
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Strasbourg Arrival
When we arrived into Strasbourg, France there was so little space at the dock that we assumed we would be rafting against another river cruise boat. But the captain brought us onto the dock with feet to spare at each end. He did have some help with crew calling out distances from the bow and stern.
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Pool
The pool on the upper deck of the AmaMora on a still evening in Strasbourg.
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Strasbourg Canal
Looking along the canal that rings Strasbourg’s old town.
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Capitale de Noel
Strasbourg proclaims itself the Capitale de Noel (“Christmas Capital”) and was wonderfully decorated with lights for the season. Here we are about to enter the old town.
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Rue Du Maroquin
Half-timbered buildings along Rue Du Maroquin in Strasbourg, lit up for the Christmas season.
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Strasbourg Cathedral
Spectacular Strasbourg Cathedral is considered one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in the world. Construction of the cathedral began in 1176, and from 1647 to 1874 it was the world’s tallest building.
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Police
Security at Strasbourg Cathedral for Midnight Mass was extremely high, with police everywhere carrying automatic weapons. These are just some of the police vehicles we saw parked around the cathedral.
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Cathedral Entrance
The exterior of Strasbourg Cathedral is covered with incredibly complex and ornate sculptures. Examples such as these at the entry door cover the building from ground to spire. It’s quite an impressive sight.
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Midnight Mass
Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at Strasbourg Cathedral was a unique and unforgettable experience.
12/25/2019
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Parc de l’Orangerie
Walking through the 18th-century Parc de l’Orangerie in Strasbourg, France on a rainy Christmas morning. The building pictured is the Josephine Pavilion, built in 1804 and named after the wife of Napoleon.
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Council of Europe
The Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg, France. The 47-member international organization, distinct from the European Union, was formed after World War II to protect human rights and uphold democracy in Europe.
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European Court of Human Rights
The dramatic European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg, France. The judicial body was setup by the Council of Europe in 1959 and has since heard over 10,000 cases regarding violations of the European Convention on Human Rights.
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European Parliament
Strasbourg is official home of the European Parliament, the legislative branch of the European Union. Most of the Parliament’s work takes place in Brussels, with some in Luxembourg City, but the institution is legally bound to meet in Strasbourg 12 times a year and all votes must take place here. The west side of the building, partly visible in the photo and better visible in satellite imagery, is purposely left unfinished to symbolize that the EU is a work in progress.
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Avenue d’Alsace
Looking north along a Strasbourg canal from a bridge on Avenue d’Alsace. Directly to the left, out of the picture, is the US Consulate General.
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St. Paul’s Church
St. Paul’s Church, built in the late 19th century, is one of Strasbourg’s landmark buildings. The building was designed for the military service and has an unusual 19 different entrances to provide separate entrances for each rank, including the Emperor.
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Avenue Victor Schoelcher
Looking east along Avenue Victor Schoelcher between the National and University Library, left, and the National Theatre of Strasbourg. This is the Neustadt district, created when Strasbourg was under German control between 1871 and 1918. The original narrow and crooked streets were replaced by grand boulevards and monumental buildings.
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Palais du Rhin
The Palais du Rhin was built between 1884 and 1889 as the official residence of the Kaiser after Germany annexed much of the Alsace region and made Strasbourg the capital of the new German province. The large white statue in the foreground is the Monument aux Morts de Strasbourg, erected in 1936 in memory of the city’s residents killed during World War I.
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Rue Merciere
Strasbourg Cathedral visible past half-timbered buildings along Rue Merciere. It’s always a thrill to round a corner where the cathedral bursts into view.
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Maison Kammerzell
Maison Kammerzell, near Strasbourg Cathedral, was built in 1427 and is one of the most notable buildings in Strasbourg.
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Place Kleber
Looking across Place Kleber, Strasbourg’s main square, to the traditional Christmas tree standing at the east end. The statue in the center is of the square’s namesake, Strasbourg-born Jean-Baptiste Kleber, a general during the French Revolutionary Wars.
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Petit-France
Looking east along the River III in Strasbourg’s historic Petit-France district. On the left are the Maison des Tanneurs, foreground, and Place Benjamin-Zix, with the small orange Christmas market buildings.
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Pont Couverts
The view to the Pont Couverts, a centuries-old defensive structure consisting of three bridges and four towers. The photo was taken from the 17th-century Barrage Vauban. the Petit-France district is just beyond.
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Saint Thomas Church
The interior of Saint Thomas Church in Strasbourg, built starting in 1196.
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Strasbourg Cathedral
A final view to Strasbourg Cathedral before we catch a bus back to the AmaMora. The cathedral is spectacular and we never tired of looking at it.
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AmaMora
Our river boat the AmaMora, decorated for the holiday season, moored at Strasbourg, France.
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Santa
Jennifer with Santa during the AmaMora‘s Christmas party. For the past twenty years, we’ve always spent Christmas aboard Dirona. This year the boat was a lot bigger, but just as much fun.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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