France is exciting, beautiful and poetic; its colors are sharper than in other countries and its sky is the most beautiful sky in Europe. Every time I come to France, I feel the excitement and the promise of a beautiful time I will have there.
We live in Croatia, so it took us almost 1000 kilometers to get to the France. Before our arrival, we passed through Slovenia, Austria and Germany – and yes, all those countries are beautiful in their own ways, but in my personal book of impressions, they just can’t compare. As we were coming closer to the French border we only made occasional stops on the highway to have coffee, because our excitement was tangible.
Until finally… Bienvenue a France! Our first stop was Strasbourg, a city we decided to visit because of my friend, who told me many wonderful things about it. We didn’t have much time, so we decided to skip all the advice given by the guides and just take a walk around the old town, enjoying the buzzing narrow streets filled with pâtisseries, boulangeries, fromageries, small cafés and beautiful artisan shops.
Strasbourg is famous for its specific architecture: buildings with visible timber frames that remind me of England. Regardless of their manner of build, they are all different and you just want to capture them all with your camera.
Our main goal was to find the cathedral – Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-Strasbourg – the symbol of Strasbourg. For a period of time between 17th and 19th centuries, this cathedral was the tallest building in the world. Today, it is the sixth tallest church in the world and the highest still-standing structure built entirely in the Middle Ages.
From a purely visual and aesthetic point of view by a fascinated tourist and great art lover, the cathedral is simply… Breathtaking. A giant building placed in the middle of the network of narrow streets, so big that it doesn’t fit in the focus of the camera. Magnificent, complicated and full of details on each of its facades. Makes one stop and think about how people could build such marvels.
There is a small square in front of the cathedral, filled with terraces and gift-shops. People are mesmerized by the cathedral and can’t look or move away from its shadow. They try to capture its grandness with their cameras or at least buy souvenirs with its picture to bring home and remember their time in Strasbourg.
After absorbing as much details of the cathedral and the city centre as our minds could take, we continued with our walk, window-shopped a little, had a drink in one of the charming small cafés and said goodbye to Strasbourg. With a promise to return one day, naturally 🙂
2 thoughts on “Strasbourg, the proud French lady”
Nice post of architectures and space. I found it’s quite interesting to view the space/place through different lenses…http://wp.me/p3bwN9-2X
Thank you, Gwen. It is difficult not to think about the relation between the building and its surrounding when you find yourself in front of something as grand as the Strasbourg cathedral. And thank you for the link, I found your post very interesting… I did some research on the same topic for my M.A. thesis so I quoted Lefebvre quite a lot. The notion of ”social” construction of space and creation of urban icons is a topic of great interest for me, so I’m glad to see other people’s perspectives on it 🙂