Strasbourg and Europe

© WEBER + KEILING , IOEW  architectes

Choosing Strasbourg to become the European capital after the end of the Second World War did not happen by chance, but it was the symbol of reconciliation between different peoples and the future of Europe.

The history of Strasbourg has been closely linked with Europe for many years. Long before European institutions were established in Strasbourg, our city was known throughout Europe for its untiring quest for freedom and overstepping borders. Capital of printing and the home of Rhineland humanism, Strasbourg, a city shunted to and fro between France and Germany for centuries, initially became a symbol of separation and suffering and then a symbol of European reconciliation.

The choice of Strasbourg as European capital is the fruit of this convergence towards a single ideal founded on universal values: Peace, human rights and democracy. A meeting point between peoples for strengthening pacific cooperation between them, Strasbourg is also a city where democratic dialogue is practiced inside parliamentary assemblies, which makes European construction much more than just a single market: A real community of destiny. It is this meeting and this sense that we give to Europe as it is presented at the Lieu d’Europe permanent exhibition: in Strasbourg, Europe today is you, it is us, and it is what we decide to do with it all together.

Strasbourg’s European dimension is an undeniable reality. Receiving numerous international institutions, the presence of diplomatic and consular bodies, the frequent visits of top-level political personalities make Strasbourg the second diplomatic city in France and place it amongst recognized international capitals, even though they are not state capitals, as is the case for New York and Geneva.

Council of Europe, European Parliament, European Court for Human Rights, European ombudsman, ARTE, European Pharmacopoeia: All as many institutions present in Strasbourg that place human beings at the heart of the project for Europe.

This “Europe in Strasbourg” can be visited by means of a tourist circuit that gives visitors the possibility of strolling through the European neighbourhood and discovering all the emblematic buildings in which our European history is being written. The starting and finishing point for the trip, which lasts about an hour and a half, is the Lieu d’Europe. The “Strasplus” application is available for providing even more details on the circuit to visitors who wish to learn even more.