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France: Strasbourg Cathedral de Notre-Dame


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Strasbourg’s cathedral would make any city in the world proud, any non church goer stop and admire it’s commanding presence.

Strasbourg is about an hour’s drive from Stuttgart, Germany. It’s a beautiful drive along the countryside. When you cross the Rhine River coming into the city, you might see a huge Viking River Cruise ship in the river, waiting at the wharf, or you might glimpse the steeple of the Cathedral first started at the end of the 12th Century.

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The dark colours of the cathedral are in sharp contrast to the creams and whites of medieval Strasbourg, as well as the Petite France.

The Cathedral de Notre-Dame’s spires can be seen from many vantage points around the city of Strasbourg, but a first view of the cathedral close up as you turn a corner and approach it… so stunning, awesome, and breathtaking.

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This church is very impressive on the outside as well as the inside. The amount of detail that is carved into the outside of the church simply takes your breath away when you first see it

The actual design is reminiscent to the cathedral in Milan. The details and stained glass is amazing and one wonders how these masterpieces were built without today’s technology. Located in the center or town in a square it is surrounded by shops restaurants and people selling knockoffs. Inside is very ornate and dark as are most Gothic style churches. What is interesting is the astronomical clock on the south side of the cathedral which was built in the early-1800’s. It stands about 50 feet and is one of largest in the world. There are information plaques around the cathedral in three different languages, English included, which makes thinks easier.

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Do not come to eastern France without stopping in Strasbourg to soak up the uniquely French/German culture and for admiring the cathedral. It’s one of the highlights of France and Europe.
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The intricate carvings on the exterior of the cathedral are nothing but exquisite and admiral given the fact they were constructed with no modern day tools. The interior leaves nothing to disappoint, enhanced only by the fact that it contains one of the largest astronomical clocks in the world.
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One of the most amazing examples of Gothic architecture with a bit of Romanesque architecture in the oldest parts of the structure… It was also incredibly for it’s time and is still the 6th tallest church in the world.
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The Church also offers souvenirs items inside

For those with good knees and who are relatively in shape, the climb to the top of the cathedral is well worth it. The cost is 5 euro per person (Free entrance every first Sunday of the month). It’s a small spiral staircase that has no lighting other than one comes in via the periodic windows, so this isn’t a good excursion for those who have vision issues in low light or are claustrophobic. The staircase is so small that people really can’t pass one another, so you ascend/descend only as fast as the person in front of you can go.

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Asians and Germans at the top of the Cathedral

I think the most important reason to visit this cathedral is to experience the feeling of just being there. You realize that centuries of the finest workmanship and the most knowledgeable of all the craftsmen spent their lives creating this very building. The history, the inventions, the architectural wisdom of the cathedral stand in the midst of a heavenly city, the capital of the European Union. Absolutely, well worth the visit,

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