Strasbourg’s residents will tell you that all roads lead to Strasbourg Cathedral. Whether that’s a joke or the truth, no visit to the European capital is complete without a trip to see Notre Dame. Walking along a street, all of a sudden, you’ll raise your gaze. And just like that, the majestic cathedral is there.
Most of the time, visitors arrive via rue des Hallebardes, passing in front of Maison Kammerzell. That’s when they first catch a glimpse.
Strasbourg’s beautiful cathedral
At 142m tall, it was one of the tallest buildings in the world, until 1874. History made it a point of reference. The oath of Kufra is still taught in schools. “We’re on the move, we will stop only when the French flag flies from Strasbourg Cathedral,” General Leclerc exclaimed, from the depths of the Libyan desert.
The Cathedral’s history started long before that. With its design inspired by several religious buildings including a Roman temple dedicated to the god Mars, the current Notre Dame owes its development to a genius architect: Erwin von Steinbach. We’re in 1284.
Other craftsmen will continue building it.
Its walls are made of sandstone from the Vosges. You’ll enjoy visiting inside, to begin with. The nave, the choir and the rose window will inspire you. The Cathedral is home to plenty of secrets and unusual statues. Among them, preacher Jean Geiler’s dog… He’s waiting for his master and stroking him is said to bring good luck. You’ll also be able to see the astonishingly precise astronomical clock.
After spending time visiting or praying, you can come out again to look at the amazing stone-carved figures. 138 statues and sculpted groups decorate the façade. Details here and there reveal the stonemasons’ sense of humour, faith and esotericism.
You’re sure to be moved by Strasbourg’s majestic Cathedral and its unique spire. You’ll want to send your friends a souvenir or a photo.
Anyone interested – and fit! – can continue their visit by heading to the Place du Château. You can climb the 332 steps up to the viewing platform.
Up there, you can enjoy a unique view of Strasbourg, the Vosges and the Black Forest – a special experience! As special as the Sound and Light shows which light up the Cathedral on summer evenings.