We boarded our home for a week, the Avalon Felicity, in Basel, Switzerland on Sunday afternoon, May 13, 2012 and the next morning we found ourselves in France. The major event for the morning would be a three-hour tour of the city of Strasbourg.
The tour began with a cruise in this boat along the city’s canals and the Ill River.
The Ill River
Our tour guide
Too bad I had to shoot through scratchy plastic windows!
The European Parliament building
Our first glimpse of the cathedral
We passed a few other churches.
After the cruise another guide took us on a short walk to the cathedral.
Above the central portal of the cathedral’s west facade
One of many souvenir shops that line the Place de la Cathedrale.
My, that’s a tall steeple!
The cathedral’s apse
These stained glass windows date from the 14th century.
The Pillar of Angels with a portion of the astronomical clock in the background.
Another portion of the astronomical clock, which was built in the 16th century and modified in the 19th century. The clock comes to life everyday at 12:30pm with a procession of the twelve Apostles.
France has not forgotten the Americans who died on her soil during World War II.
A window on the south facade transept
The organ was built in 1385, modified in 1489 and 1716, and thoroughly restored in 1981.
Most people of the Middle Ages were illiterate. They learned their biblical stories by studying the cathedral’s statues.
The Tempter and the Foolish Virgins
The cathedral’s tapestries are from the 17th century.
The pulpit was built in the 15th century.
Rose Window and nave from the apse.
The vaulted ceiling over the nave.
Golgotha — below the crucifix
Pieta side altar
North side of the cathedral’s tower.
The General LeClerc Monument
Strasbourg’s Opera House (Opera National du Rhin).
We returned to our ship for lunch. After lunch some of the passengers went on an optional Alsace wine-tasting tour while others toured Germany’s Black Forest. About 25 of us decided we would just like to return to town and look around some more and do some shopping. The bus driver dropped us off at a large shopping center but we soon discovered that there was nothing here for tourists and so we walked across town back to the cathedral where we found souvenir shops galore. My wife shopped while I took pictures, mostly of the cathedral’s exterior.
One of the squares we passed on the way to the Cathedral.
This square had a carousel.
The Cathedral wasn’t hard to find since it is by far the tallest building in town.
A large crowd in front of the cathedral was listening to a person with a beautiful soprano voice singing a lovely song. When I got close I was surprised to discover that this guy had the wonderful voice. His Gothic costume reminded me of some of our Oakland Raider fans back home.
His name is Luc Arbogast and they call him Le troubadour de la Cathedrale. You can find him and some of his songs on You Tube. I am unfamiliar with the instrument he was playing here.
The central portal of the west facade.
Statuary around the central portal
Two virtues trampling the vices.
Place de la Cathedrale
The Kammerzell House, one of the most famous half-timbered houses in Strasbourg, was built in the 1400s. The city’s tourism office is to the right.
For more than 200 years Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg was the tallest building in the world. It’s still the world’s sixth tallest church.
The original plans called for two spires but it never happened.
Lots of gargoyles and chimera up high.
The north side of the Place de la Cathedrale.
Sabina von Steinbach was the daughter of Erwin von Steinbach, the cathedral’s architect. Sabina was a mason in her own right and is credited with building a portion of the cathedral. This statue of her is next to one of her father.
- On our way back to the bus stop
Plane trees line the Place Broglie.
Upcoming events at the Opera House.
- A Nos Morts. A mother grieves for her two sons. One died for France fighting the Germans; the other died for Germany fighting the French. Strasbourg belonged to Germany from 1870 until 1919 and again from 1940 through 1944.
The bus got us back to the ship in time for dinner. After dinner we were entertained in the lounge with French chansons. We would be visiting various German ports during the next four days and ending our cruise in the Netherlands. This was our one day in France and it was magnifique!