Top Historic Sights in Strasbourg, France

Explore the historic highlights of Strasbourg

Kammerzell House

The Kammerzell House is one of the most famous buildings of Strasbourg and one of the most ornate and well preserved medieval civil housing buildings in late Gothic architecture in the areas formerly belonging to the Holy Roman Empire. Built in 1427 but twice transformed in 1467 and 1589, the building as it is now historically belongs to the German Renaissance but is stylistically still attached to the Rhineland black an ...
Founded: 1427 | Location: Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg Cathedral

Strasbourg Cathedral de Notre-Dame is known as one of the most beautiful gothic cathedrals in Europe. The Cathedral stands on the exact site of a roman temple built on a little hill above the muddy ground. The first version of the church was starting to be built during 1015 by proposal of Bishop Werner von Habsburg, but fire destroyed most of the original Romanesque building. By the time that cathedral was being renovated ...
Founded: 1015-1469 | Location: Strasbourg, France

Ponts Couverts

The Ponts Couverts are a set of three bridges and four towers that make up a defensive work erected in the 13th century on the River Ill in the city of Strasbourg in France. The three bridges cross the four river channels of the River Ill that flow through Strasbourg"s historic Petite France quarter. The Ponts Couverts have been classified as a Monument historique since 1928. Construction of the Ponts Co ...
Founded: 1230 | Location: Strasbourg, France

Palais Rohan

The Palais Rohan represents not only the high point of local baroque architecture, but has also housed three of the most important museums in the Strasbourg since the end of the 19th century: the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Museum of Fine Arts. The city gallery, Galerie Robert Heitz, is also in a side wing of the palace. The palace was commissioned by Cardinal Armand Gaston Maximilien de ...
Founded: 1731-1742 | Location: Strasbourg, France

Temple Neuf

The Temple Neuf in Strasbourg is a Lutheran church built on the site of the famous Dominican convent where Meister Eckhart studied. The Temple was constructed at the end of the 19th century after the old Dominican Church was destroyed during the Siege of Strasbourg on the night of 24 to 25 August, during the Franco-Prussian War. The ensuing fire also destroyed the libraries of the University of Strasbourg and the City of ...
Founded: 1874-1877 | Location: Strasbourg, France

Barrage Vauban

The Barrage Vauban is a weir (barrier across a river designed to alter its flow) erected in the 17th century on the river Ill west of the 'Petite France' district in Strasbourg. It was constructed from 1686 to 1700 by the French Engineer Jacques Tarade according to plans by Vauban. Several stories high, it houses sculptures in its main level and a panoramical terrace on its roof.
Founded: 1686-1700 | Location: Strasbourg, France

St. Thomas Church

The church of St. Thomas is the main Lutheran church of the city since its Cathedral became Catholic again after the annexation of the town by France in 1681. The site on which the current church stands was used as a place of worship under the patronage of Thomas the Apostle as early as the sixth century. In the ninth century, Bishop Adelochus established a magnificent church with adjoining school, however both burned dow ...
Founded: 1196 | Location: Strasbourg, France

Old St. Peter's Church

The Church of Old Saint Peter"s in Strasbourg is first mentioned in 1130. On 22 May 1398 the Chapter of the Abbey of Honau, which had been in Rhinau since 1290, moved to Old St Peter"s because of flooding in Rhinau. The Chapter stayed there until 1529, conducting its services in the choir, while the parish occupied the nave. When the Catholic rite was restored in 1683, the Chapter returned to the Church and stay ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Strasbourg, France

Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune Protestant Church

The Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune Protestant Church is one of the most important church buildings in Strasbourg. The church has been Lutheran since 1524 and its congregation forms part of the Protestant Church of Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine. The oldest part of the church is the small lower church used as a burial crypt, which is the remains of a Columban church erected in the 7th century. Three of the four arched ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Strasbourg, France

St. Stephen’s Church

Saint Stephen’s Church in Strasbourg is located inside the catholic ‘Saint-Étienne’ college, for which it serves as a chapel. Saint Stephen"s is one of the oldest churches in Strasbourg. The crypt contains the remains of a fifth-century Roman basilica. The site was originally occupied by a Roman fort. A new church was built on the site in early in 717 by Duke Adalbert of Alsace, brother of Sa ...
Founded: 717 AD | Location: Strasbourg, France

Saint William's Church

Saint William"s Church is a gothic church is known for its sumptuous interior combining the Gothic and Baroque styles. Since the end of the 19th century, the excellent acoustics of the church has allowed it to serve as a venue for concerts of classical music, in particular for the Passions of Johann Sebastian Bach. Returning unharmed from the Crusades, the knight Henri de Müllenheim undertook the construction o ...
Founded: 1301 | Location: Strasbourg, France

Palais du Rhin

The Palais du Rhin, the former Kaiserpalast (Imperial palace) is a huge building, it and the surrounding gardens, as well as the neighbouring stables, are an outstanding landmark of 19th-century Prussian architecture. After the Franco-Prussian War, Strasbourg, then German, was faced with the question of an official residence for the Kaiser. The decision was made to create a building symbolic of imperial power, and after m ...
Founded: 1884 | Location: Strasbourg, France

St. Nicholas Church

Saint Nicholas Church is a small Gothic church where Jean Calvin led services and preached in 1538. The Church no longer functions as a parish church, today it is used by a Charismatic group called 'Renouveau Saint Nicholas'. The church was built between 1387 and 1454 on the site of an earlier church dedicated to Mary Magdalene. This earlier church, which dated from 1182, was founded by the Knight Walther Spend ...
Founded: 1387-1454 | Location: Strasbourg, France

Sainte-Madeleine Church

The Sainte-Madeleine Church was built in Gothic style in the late 15th century, but largely rebuilt in a style close to Jugendstil after a devastating fire in 1904. Destroyed again during World War II, the church was re-constructed in its modern form. This is the fourth building dedicated to Mary Magdalene built in the city since the 13th century. The church is classified as a historic monument by a decree of 6 December 1 ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Strasbourg, France

St. Paul's Church

The St. Paul"s Church is a major Gothic Revival architecture building and one of the landmarks of Strasbourg. Built between 1892 and 1897 during the time of the Reichsland Elsass-Lothringen (1870–1918), the church was designed for the Lutheran members of the Imperial German garrison stationed in Strasbourg. In 1919, after the return of Alsace to France, the church was handed over to the Protestant Reformed Chur ...
Founded: 1892-1897 | Location: Strasbourg, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Royal Palace of Naples

Royal Palace of Naples was one of the four residences near Naples used by the Bourbon Kings during their rule of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1734-1860): the others were the palaces of Caserta, Capodimonte overlooking Naples, and the third Portici, on the slopes of Vesuvius.

Construction on the present building was begun in the 17th century by the architect Domenico Fontana. Intended to house the King Philip III of Spain on a visit never fulfilled to this part of his kingdom, instead it initially housed the Viceroy Fernando Ruiz de Castro, count of Lemos. By 1616, the facade had been completed, and by 1620, the interior was frescoed by Battistello Caracciolo, Giovanni Balducci, and Belisario Corenzio. The decoration of the Royal Chapel of Assumption was not completed until 1644 by Antonio Picchiatti.

In 1734, with the arrival of Charles III of Spain to Naples, the palace became the royal residence of the Bourbons. On the occasion of his marriage to Maria Amalia of Saxony in 1738, Francesco De Mura and Domenico Antonio Vaccaro helped remodel the interior. Further modernization took place under Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. In 1768, on the occasion of his marriage to Maria Carolina of Austria, under the direction of Ferdinando Fuga, the great hall was rebuilt and the court theater added. During the second half of the 18th century, a 'new wing' was added, which in 1927 became the Vittorio Emanuele III National Library. By the 18th century, the royal residence was moved to Reggia of Caserta, as that inland town was more defensible from naval assault, as well as more distant from the often-rebellious populace of Naples.

During the Napoleonic occupation the palace was enriched by Joachim Murat and his wife, Caroline Bonaparte, with Neoclassic decorations and furnishings. However, a fire in 1837 damaged many rooms, and required restoration from 1838 to 1858 under the direction of Gaetano Genovese. Further additions of a Party Wing and a Belvedere were made in this period. At the corner of the palace with San Carlo Theatre, a new facade was created that obscured the viceroyal palace of Pedro de Toledo.

In 1922, it was decided to transfer here the contents of the National Library. The transfer of library collections was made by 1925.

The library suffered from bombing during World War II and the subsequent military occupation of the building caused serious damage. Today, the palace and adjacent grounds house the famous Teatro San Carlo, the smaller Teatrino di Corte (recently restored), the Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III, a museum, and offices, including those of the regional tourist board.