Strasbourg. Petite France
This part of my photo tour is about a small part of Strasbourg, but also the most popular one – the Little France or La Petite France.
Like Brugge, Strasbourg is very popular tourist destination. Therefore, if you want to enjoy the place without thousands of other eager for sightseeing visitors it is better to start your day early. As we had a little one our time schedule was fully dependent on her. That was also the reason why we did not go to museums and planned more out-door activities or just walking in the area. And of course, we could not pass by any single play ground in the town. As for excursions we took only boat trip (in the middle of which she fell asleep on my arms). Although it is worth to discover the town from the river as you may see the same buildings from unusual angle and the audio guide is very informative.
Let’s come back to the little France.
The Little France is an island in the heart of the town. The name of the island is Grande Île which means”Main Island”. This is a place where the river Ill splits up into a number of canals and cascades. All these channels go through the several little islands with medieval half-timbered houses and baroque sandstone buildings.
The name Little France sound great, right? Patriotic and romantic? However, in 15th century people had a lack of romanticism and were very pragmatic. They were also very pragmatic in the naming: straight forward and very clear so no misunderstanding could occur. The name Petite-France (“Little France”) comes from the “hospice of the syphilitic” (Hospice des Vérolés, in French), which was built in the late fifteenth century on this island, to cure persons with syphilis, which was called the “French disease” back that time.
Nowadays there is no that hospital anymore and the name has got its present romantic image.
For the sake of a great shot
The place Benjamin Zix: the busiest square in The Petite France
Postal card view: Maison des tanneurs (House of tanners)
A bit of colors
However it was a grey day it was still and quiet so we enjoyed the reflection of the houses in the water of the river
Thousands of by-passers tried to look through the window and catch a moment from the life of invisible residents
And the eyes
Just like at Granny’s place
A glass of Pino Gris, please!
When I am surrounded by all these five-hundred old walls I feel myself in medieval Europe.
That short period of time between lunch and dinner
The river locks
Here you go, a big fly has arrived
I believe they have the perfect view on the Little France, the residents of this house
The Barrage Vauban
The Barrage Vauban (Vauban covered bridge) was constructed in 17th century. The construction was started in 1686 after Louis XIV conquered Strasbourg and lasted 14 years. The design of the bridge was made by Vauban, a famous engineer of fortifications. Although, the construction was made by the French Engineer Jacques Tarade. The bridge has three levels two of which are covered galleries and a panoramic terrace on its roof.
The purpose of the bridge was to protect the south of the town from artillery attacks since the artillery of that days had progressed a lot and the current means of protection did not give the full coverage against modern cannons.
The place where all channels meet together
The Brigde was named “la grande écluse” – the big lock. The purpose of the bridge was, in case of invasion or attack, to block the arches by closing the valves. As a result the level of the Ill river raised and flooded all the lands located on the south of the city. This made impossible to access the area by the enemy.
You may take a walk though the panoramic terrace and enjoy the view on the Little France and the rest of the city.
Walking along a channel to the Little France
Just look at this blossom garden
I am able to forget about time in a place like this one
The true residents of the area
It is impossible to mix the Alsace style with anything else
This one can give you a lesson on begging etiquette
Olive tree in a city center
While standing in a line to buy tickets for a boat trip
Saint-Thomas church on an edge of the Little France
The Église Saint-Thomas is famous, among others, for its Silbermann organ on which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Albert Schweitzer played. Nowadays the church is the main Lutheran church of the city since its Cathedral became Catholic again after the annexation of the town by France in 1681. It is nicknamed the “Protestant Cathedral” (la cathédrale du Protestantisme alsacien, Kathedrale der Protestanten) or the Old Lady (Die alte Dame), and the only example of a hall church in the Alsace region.
Let’s do shopping
I wander how she is able to keep the form if she eats all these sweets
The presentation is the top
Need a kiss? Here we go!
Ginger star is also good, right?
A bouquet for a charming lady
Sunflowers to keep your smile
Very useful page is the website of the Tourist office: http://www.otstrasbourg.fr/
Besides boat trips there is variety of tours to discover the city. Next time when I am in the city I will rent bikes or try the segway.
Strasbourg is an ideal destination fora a long weekend. Three days are enough to discover the queit sreets of the city, enjoy its day and night life and even do some activities without being on hurry.