Strasbourg captures the heart

There’s more to Strasbourg than the famous sausage that bears its name or it being the formal seat of the European Parliament – it’s a wonderful place to visit for so many different reasons.   What makes it so special is the Grande Ile, Strasbourg’s Unesco World heritage listed island bordered by the River Ill that is criss-crossed by narrow lanes, canals and locks.

Strasbourg – Grande Ile Image: GRACIE

Wear shoes that are made for walking – think smart and attractive trainers that will keep you ahead of the pack while not suffering – and discover the fascinating blend of cultures built up over time, creating its romantic character.

Strasbourg – Grande Ile Image: GRACIE

It seems there’s a photo opportunity everywhere you look.  It’s impossible not to get carried away with the half-timbered wobbly houses that were home to the millers and tanners during the Middle Ages.

Strasbourg – typical medieval half-timbered house Image: GRACIE

Each one has it’s very own character made all the more charming with the thickets of geraniums and blooms of every imaginable colour and combination.  Prepare to have your heart captured.

Strasbourg – Grande Ile Image: GRACIE

Another cathedral?  This one will give you cause to pause.  A stroll through the old town is not complete without a visit to the Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg.  Famous for its towering Romanesque-Gothic architecture, (a 320+ stair climb offers a superb view) it houses an amazing astronomical clock, magnificent pulpit, glorious stain glass windows and a stunning organ.

Strasbourg – Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg Image: GRACIE

Strasbourg – Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg showing stain glass windows and organ Image: GRACIE

Strasbourg – Maison Kammerzell 15th century public building with ornate carvings and superb leaded windows Image: GRACIE

Peppered through the squares and narrow streets is a variety of food stores that beg attention.  A tempting selection of cakes, breads and cheeses catch the eye and tantalise the taste buds sweeping away any thoughts of dieting.

Strasbourg -Pâtisserie Riss displaying cakes decorated for the World Cup Soccer Image: GRACIE

Strasbourg – Delicatessen – Cheese please! Image: GRACIE

Strasbourg – Pâtisserie Riss displaying the famous Kougelhopf Image: GRACIE

The famous Kougelhopf yeast based cake is not to be skipped.  The original versions included raisins and almonds whilst todays offerings have their own special additions.  Just go and try.

It’s impossible not to come away having lost your heart to this romantic city with it’s unique blend of French and German culture and endless charm.  If you get half the chance, take time out for a visit .