From an iconic building of the Robertsau…
Over the ages, the Kaysersguet has seen many illustrious residents, including an adviser to King Louis XV, the chief magistrate of Strasbourg and the founder of the Neueste Nachrichten (the predecessor of the local newspaper, the Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace). The 19th-century saw the addition of an English-style garden around the main building, with its own vegetable patch and an orchard, as well as a number of outbuildings, some of which (the orangery, the neoclassical pavilion, the icehouse, the iron-framed glasshouse and the gardener’s house) can still be seen today.
The City of Strasbourg took up ownership of the house in 1926 to house members of the city’s administration, including city architect Henri Jung. The family of Paul Wach, a senator and former deputy mayor, lived here until 2006, whence the name Villa Wach, by which is often known.
… to a citizen-led project
The citizen-led initiative for a Lieu d’Europe centre for fostering the European ideal and Strasbourg’s central position in Europe first saw the light of day in the 1980s and was eventually launched in 2009. Led by the City of Strasbourg, the centre brings together European institutions and national and regional authorities, as well as local inhabitants and non-profit associations.
The Lieu d’Europe is housed in a municipally-owned building and is a partnership-based initiative, largely defined by Strasbourg’s role in Europe. To provide the resources for the city to carry out its responsibilities as the seat of European institutions, the French law of 19 December 2013 made provision for a new partnership framework – a three-year contract, Strasbourg European capital, signed by the State, the Grand Est region, the General Council of the Bas-Rhin département and the City of Strasbourg.
The programme put on at the Lieu d’Europe
underpins the quality of the partnerships with institutions and associations that existed before the launch of the centre. The centre’s new vocation is projected through the restored architectural legacy and rooms of the Kaysersguet.