Time to wrap up the travelogue.
I had a number of completely incorrect preconceptions about Strasbourg. One that it was on the Rhine, it’s on the river L’Ill. (That looks totally weird in this font, it’s capital “I”, two small “l”s) Another, that it was a typical, rather boring middle sized city. Actually it is quite fabulous, surrounded by the river and canal, with probably the most impressive cathedral I’ve seen and many sixteenth century, half timbered buildings.
The stained glass is very impressive too. Here are a couple of Carolingian kings,
one of them claiming to be Roman Emperor.
Collette has some things to do in town, so we are just walking around and admiring all the fine buildings and sights in the centre and around the river and we will meet her later.
After a traditional Tarte flambee, like a thin crust pizza, we continue on to the area known as Petite France, a series of canals and locks, with a medieval covered bridge.
There are many chateaux along the line of the Vosges, most of them in ruins, but there is one which has been restored, Haut Koenigsberg, about 50 minutes from Strasbourg, was first built in the 12th century, fell into disrepair, was restored in the 14th century and againn ruined, but was substantially rebuilt in the 1880’s after the Franco-Prussian war. It was really a great propaganda statement, by Kaiser Wilhelm after Alsace and Lorraine were annexed by the German empire.
It is difficult to get an overall idea of the chateau, so I’ve included this photograph of a model outside the entrance.
The chateau is quite a rabbit warren with many halls, courtyards, barracks and private rooms.
There are also defensive positions opposite the steep and narrow approach ridge.
The weather was misty, but on a clear day you can see well into Germany, across the Rhine. This next shot is a bit blurry but gives some idea of the height.
That rounds off our trip to Eastern Europe, generously defined, and the next day we were back to Frankfurt (am Main) without further incident and on our way home.
Thanks to all who have read my ramblings, I will keep on posting, though perhaps not so frequently, about art and this and that. I’m also going to start a new page on “What I’m Reading”, so I hope some of you will look in from time to time.