Strasbourg, Alsace : landscape and architecture

I aspired to be an architect when I was in high school, but failed the exam twice, and life offered me something else as fascinating. So in every travel, the landscape and architecture of the place are some of my observations, especially during my stay in Strasbourg!

The timber houses with its ornamental banding, bay windows, and the fronts decorated with geranium flowers are some of the particularities of the city, which exist as well throughout Alsace region, both in the city and the countryside. Alsace, a region long accustomed to working with stone and wrought iron, also features fine examples of Romanesque, Gothic and Vaubanesque architecture. Villages typically feature a central square with a water fountain or a defensive wall and gate.

It says that some decoration themes represent some mythological stories and wine-related artifacts.  Wood was the primary material for its proximity to forests, and its ability to insulate the homes, thus a good use for region’s climate.

Apart of being the capital of Christmas in Europe, UNESCO also lists Grande île, the old medieval city of Strasbourg in their intangible world heritage. Walked around inside the Grande île, to la petite france (the little France), crossing the St. Martin bridge, see the river, the water source for the fishermen, the tanners and the millers in the Middle Age era.

Crossing the other bridge near Palais Rohan, I continued walking along the Quay of Bateliers, enjoying another forms of typical houses, accompanied by some pigeons (who were luckily less tyrannic than those in Paris), and the ducks.

And along the walk, you could find various houses with diverse timber colors, various type of doors, even cute little row windows at the rooftops. I was wondering if those windows were the eye holes of each room or just a plain decoration….(and started thinking that it must be painful to clean up the whole small windows like that…).

Anyway, If you happen to stop by in Paris, you could see the same type of structure in the Le Marais area, or even hidden in some streets along Buttes aux Cailles. I happen to have lived at both districts, and I walked past those homes many times.  See, even if I’m not an architect, but I could live among the non typical structure in Paris! 🙂


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