Monday Postcard from Strasbourg

1. This beautiful house covered in wisteria is, I believe, the most Instagrammed image in all of Strasbourg. It’s located at the Ponts Couverts, an historic area of the small city that encompasses the three bridges and four towers that were once a 13th century defensive work on the River Ill.

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2. The little apartment we rented was right in the middle of the Jewish quarter, just two minutes’ walk away from the Place de la République – very different from the place that shares its name in Paris. Instead of the site of an imposing female statue representing an allegory of the republic, Strasbourg’s Place de la République is a beautiful park offering views of the imposing cathedral.

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3. Speaking of which, the cathedral is positively breathtaking. It’s visible from pretty much everywhere in the city, making it a very useful homing beacon. The Vosges sandstone used in its construction gives it its token color, and the ornate construction both in and out makes it rival Notre Dame in beauty, at least in my opinion. Since we visited for Palm Sunday weekend, we also got the opportunity to enjoy the cathedral from inside, where the stained glass – unusually devoid of red – adds even more to the ensemble.

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4. Since we were lucky enough to visit on a warm weekend, we spent a lot of time seeking out spots to sit and enjoy local beer in the sun. While sitting on one of the major squares, we saw a mass release of red balloons – environmentally unfriendly, yes, but still quite picturesque. (We also encountered several people throughout the weekend who asked if they could share our tables in the sun, prompting us to wonder if this was a Strasbourgeoise custom or if we just ended up attracting a lot of strange people).

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5. While we did partake in several tourist attractions, including the museum of Alsace and a visit of the old wine cellars in the hospice (strange, yet awesome), one of our absolute favorite activities in Strasbourg was to just wander the streets and bridges along the Ill. The local architecture features a lot of exposed beams, which are particularly picturesque and made Strasbourg seem a lot farther from Paris than it really is.

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