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 overcoming 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 result of this convergence towards a single ideal founded on universal values: Peace, human rights and democracy. A meeting point between peoples to 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. Hosting 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 it is not a state capital, as it is the case for New York and Geneva.