Strasbourg, a lovely city in France with German influences, is home to one of the most fascinating and magnificent churches in all of Europe: the Strasbourg Cathedral. It’s filled with a turbulent history and gorgeous, intricate art – and you can experience it all for yourself when you board La Nouvelle Etoile or Panache and embark on one of our luxurious cruises.
The Violence and Beauty of the Strasbourg Cathedral
In the Beginning
The Strasbourg Cathedral was originally erected in 1015, but was later destroyed by a fire. By the time reconstruction began in the twelfth century, the Gothic architectural style had begun to develop and can be seen throughout much of the church. The building was not completed until 1439.
Since its creation, it has become a significant cultural and religious monument to the people of Strasbourg. Due to its importance to the city’s inhabitants, it has often been a target during times of upheaval and unrest.
Over the course of its life, it has endured many scars and acts of violence but has always remained standing. It suffered damages in the three wars that raged around it. In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War, it had its choir stalls and the roof of its nave set aflame. It saw all but one of its bells removed during WWI and, during WWII, Hitler ordered its priceless stained-glass windows be dismantled and squirreled away. Luckily American soldiers discovered them in a German salt mine in 1945 and returned them to their rightful home.
The Marvels Within
This cathedral is filled with breathtaking art. Two of the most intriguing aspects are the world-famous astronomical clock, ingeniously put together by a team of experts, artists and mathematicians, and a green ray of light that, due to a built-in meridian, marks the autumn and spring equinoxes when the sun shines through the green stained-glass windows.
Whether you’re captivated by the history that surrounds the Strasbourg Cathedral or the beauty that lies within, one thing is certain – this enthralling French landmark is not one to be missed.