Strasbourg - City of France
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace région in northeastern France.Located close to the border with Germany, it is the préfecture of the Bas-Rhin département.
Strasbourg is the seat of several European institutions such as the Council of Europe with its European Court of Human Rights, its European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and its European Audiovisual Observatory, the Eurocorps as well as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of the European Union. Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as of road, rail, and river communications. The port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Duisburg, Germany. The city is the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine.
Strasbourg is situated on the Ill River, where it flows into the Rhine on the border with Germany, across from the German town Kehl. The city is situated in the Rhine valley, approximately 20 km east of the Vosges Mountains and 25 km west of the Black Forest. Winds coming from either direction being often deflected by these natural barriers, the average annual precipitation is low and the perceived summer temperatures can be inordinately high.
At the site of Strasbourg, the Romans established a military outpost and named it Argentoratum. It belonged to the Germania Superior Roman province. While the centre of Argentoratum proper was situated on the Grande Île most Roman artifacts have been found along the current Route des Romains in the suburb of Koenigshoffen, on the road that lead to it. From the 4th century, Strasbourg was the seat of the Archbishopric of Strasbourg.
After the reform of the Imperial constitution in the early 16th century and the establishment of Imperial Circles, Strasbourg was part of the Upper Rhenish Circle, a corporation of Imperial estates in the southwest of Holy Roman Empire, mainly responsible for maintaining troops, supervising coining, and ensuring public security.
On November 11, 1918, communist insurgents proclaimed a "soviet government" in the city, following the example of Kurt Eisner in Munich as well as other German towns. The insurgency was brutally repressed on November 22; a major street of the city now bears the name of that date.
In 2000, an Islamist plot to blow up the cathedral was prevented by German authorities. On July 6, 2001, during an open-air concert in the Parc de Pourtalès, a single falling Platanus caused one of the worst disasters of its kind in history, killing thirteen people and injuring 97.
In 2006, after a long and careful restoration, the inner decoration of the Aubette, made in the 1920s by Hans Arp, Theo van Doesburg, and Sophie Taeuber-Arp and destroyed in the 1930s, was made accessible to the public again. The work of the three artists had been called "the Sistine Chapel of abstract art".
Strasbourg is the seat of some internationally reputed institutions in the musical and dramatic domain:
The philharmonic orchestra Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg, founded in 1855, one of the oldest symphonic orchestras in western Europe.
The Opéra national du Rhin
The Théâtre national de Strasbourg
The Percussions de Strasbourg
The Théâtre du Maillon
Other theatres are the Théâtre jeune public, the TAPS Scala, the Kafteur...
Strasbourg, which was a humanism centre, has a long history of higher-education excellence, merging French and German intellectual traditions. Although Strasbourg had been annexed by the Kingdom of France in 1683, it still remained connected to the German-speaking intellectual world throughout the 18th century and the university attracted numerous students from the Holy Roman Empire, including Goethe, Metternich and Montgelas, who studied law in Strasbourg, among the most prominent. Nowadays, Strasbourg is known to offer among the best university courses in France, after Paris.
The municipal library Bibliothèque municipale de Strasbourg administrates a network of ten medium-sized librairies in different areas of the town. A six stories high "Grande bibliothèque", the Médiathèque André Malraux, was inaugurated on September 19, 2008 and is considered the largest in Eastern France.
FRANCE National Bird : Cockerel (alias Red Junglefowl, when not domesticated)
FRANCE National Flower : Iris
FRANCE National Game : Football