Strasbourg and the canals
The River Ill surrounds the historic centre, forming a tangle of canals that can be crossed thanks to charming bridges scattered throughout the city. Another way to move around the centre is to take a ride on the boats operated by the Batorama company, which organises two different tours depending on whether visitors just want to circumnavigate the city centre or they want to pass by the Parliament. The perspective on the water is totally different, and the slow gliding of the boats allows visitors to discover every detail and to enjoy in a relaxed way the magnificent views that Strasbourg offers.
This canal system is the result of a work that was carried out with great precision. The system of the locks which operate as real lifts for boats is very interesting. When the water level drops, the boat enters a kind of tank, the downstream doors close and the tank is filled or emptied depending on whether the boat has to proceed in a more or less deep watercourse. When the tank is ready, the upstream doors open to allow the vehicle to continue without obstacles.
After the experience on the river, it’s possible to reach all the city’s attractions on foot, including the beautiful Cathedral. Although the initial project included the construction of two towers, at the end only one was built. The solitary tower, which is 142m high, stands out towards the sky. If you go up, you’ll be enchanted by the breathtaking view over the city’s rooftops. The central rosette, the carved stones, the interior illuminated by the windows and the colourful organ are just some of the features that make this place a unique example of Gothic architecture.
Photography lovers cannot do without a shot from the Vauban Terrace, which offers a picturesque view of the Ponts Couverts originally erected for defensive purposes.
In addition to its beauty, Strasbourg is also a lively cultural centre that houses several museums. Among them, there’s the eighteenth-century Palais Rohan, where you can find three different museums.
The Petite France
Not to be missed is also the Petite France, a neighbourhood with timber frame houses, small cafes and restaurants looking onto the river, romantic bridges and flower-filled windowsills. The Petit France has been part of the Unesco Heritage sites since the 80s, thanks to the fascinating atmosphere that reigns in its narrow streets. Tradition, elegance and French delicacy, as well as the attention to details, are just some of the impressions you receive during a walk in Strasbourg’s most beautiful district.