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

Luxembourg Palace

The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.

The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.

In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.

During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.

Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.

The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.

During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.