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  • Writer's pictureElyse Marie

Strasbourg, France

We are traveling in today's blog for a 3 day quick stay in Strasbourg, France... with kids. If you're unable to travel... still check out the blog because I even have a great recipe to share from the region. Now, Strasbourg has a welcoming and festive feel, even entering on a damp, cold day. There are so many details in the city, architecture, and surrounding sculptures that you won't be able to soak it all in quickly... so pack a camera and take some close ups.

Walking into this city is an overstimulation in the most fantastic way really. From the numerous ornaments, lights, and decorations hanging overhead and adorning most of the buildings through the city; to the statues caved into structures or free standing; to the sound of street musicians lost in melody; to the cluster of languages being spoken as tourists from all over unite; to the smells of the AMAZING foods and drinks wafting from the store fronts. It's just so much to take in, a whimsical fairy tale for those on an adventure. I don't think 3 days was an appropriate stay. But it was our start.

We began with the Statue Gutenberg, notoriously famous for creating printing throughout Europe, and furthermore, creating the first recorded printed version of the Bible. What a great quick history lesson as we walked through the brick streets toting our suitcase behind us. Check out some homeschool worksheets here

We stayed at the Hotel Cathedrale, directly across from the Strasbourg Cathedral. What a beautiful stay it way, the bells, busy street, and street musicians were welcoming sounds through our hotel window. The staff was friendly and very kind in navigating my poor French, or offering to just speak English. We dropped our baggage and headed out for a snack on a very limited budget for the weekend. Truth be told, we probably could not actually afford the vacation, but we needed a mental break, so we made it happen. Funny how dividing up food really made the weekend just that much more memorable and fun, everything was carefully calculated. While we were soaking in the sound of the bells ringing from the top of the Cathedral, we split a quick crepe and sat on street against the brick building behind us to just stare at the massive carved sandstone building staring back at us, that sat over 500 years old. How incredible. We then hurried across to the building to climb to the top before they closed for the night. This 330 step winding tower climb was thrilling really. See, I hate heights, and at the time I was pregnant. Every so often we'd come around to some tall window slits in the tower, and I'd look straight down and giggle a bit... unsettling really but quite fun. When we made it to the top we snapped a quick picture and crossed to the bell tower. As our luck would have it, the bells rang out as we were standing under them, and my daughter jumped out of her skin! :) What a memory.

Now inside the Cathedral, the ornate carvings continue. But what is truly spectacular is the Astronomical Clock. To the best of my knowledge, 3 clocks have stood here. The first built in the 14th century. The second in the 16th century. And the third and current from 1843which features the automata, perpetual calendar, orrery, sun and moon dial showing their position, and solar and lunar eclipses. The main attraction here is the 12:00 Noon procession of hand carved 18 inch figures of Christ and the Apostles. Check out more here:

Another must see, I feel, is the La Palais Rohan along with the Decorative Arts museum which occupies the first floor here. La Palais Rohan was once residence to Prince-Bishops and Cardinals of the House of Rohan. It is historically known to host numerous French Monarchs including Louis XV, Marie Antoinette, Napoleon, Josephine, and Charles X. My kids really enjoyed viewing these famous rooms and furnishings of even Napoleon through the tour (see the green room photo). The history is rich, audio tours are plentiful, and curriculum materials are really endless from art to architecture, rulers and history, food and culture... I have no doubt you can build a more than adequate study on Strasbourg, France to validate a trip that way. Here's some info

Finally, the food. Just 2 recommendations for now as our trip was short. But let's eat food the right way... historically. Let's head to the Maison Kammerzell which is the oldest restaurant here in Strasbourg. Standing since 1427, the house/restaurant is filled with beautiful handprinted murals and stained glass windows. The paintings were commissioned in 1905 to be done by Leo Schnug who was a young 27 at the time. The rooms are just gorgeous, inlayed with details and colors to keep the mind questioning the history of each scenic journey... which means you may keep bothering the wait staff with questions as I did...

Want a further dive into the history of the Kammerzell House? Click here:

Back to the food. I think a must try, aside from those crepes, cheeses, wines, and sweets would be a Tarth Flambee or Flammekueche which is fantastic. We recommend the enchanting Gurtlerhoft restaurant in Strasbourg. What exactly is a Flammekeuche or flame cake? Well... I guess the slang would be German Pizza... but I'm going to give you a little more here. Check out this quick link and recipe for the nitty gritty...

Ya have ta try it!


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