Strasbourg Cathedral

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The cathedral: a Gothic masterpiece from Strasbourg. The most important sight of the city in Alsace.

In the heart of the enchanting city of Strasbourg, France, lies a magnificent masterpiece of Gothic architecture, Strasbourg Cathedral, the city’s most important building. This majestic cathedral is not only a religious landmark, but also a symbol of Strasbourg’s rich history. Embark on a journey through the centuries and discover the amazing history of Strasbourg Cathedral.

A testimony to Gothic grandeur

Strasbourg Cathedral is a towering monument to medieval art and engineering. Construction of the cathedral began in the 12th century and took more than two centuries, with various architects and master builders contributing their expertise to create the masterpiece we see today. With its tall tower, which is 142 metres high, the cathedral was once the tallest building in the world.

The architectural style of Strasbourg Cathedral is typically Gothic. It is characterised by pointed arches, ribbed vaults and buttresses, all of which were innovative elements of Gothic architecture. The ornate brickwork of the façade, which is adorned with sculptures and decorative details, tells the story of biblical and medieval life.

The façade of Strasbourg Cathedral

One of the most fascinating aspects of Strasbourg Cathedral is its façade, which is decorated with numerous sculptures and ornate details. The main portal, known as the “Portal of the Last Judgement”, is a work of art in itself. The portal depicts scenes from the Last Judgement, with the fate of the blessed and damned souls vividly portrayed through artistic carvings.

The façade also contains statues of wise and foolish virgins, wise men and various other biblical figures. These sculptures were not only used for artistic decoration, but also to convey religious teachings to the illiterate masses of the time.

Astronomical clock in Strasbourg Cathedral

Another marvel awaits you in Strasbourg Cathedral: the astronomical clock. Installed in the 16th century, the astronomical clock is a masterpiece of medieval technology. It not only shows the time, but also provides astronomical information such as the position of the moon and the stars. Every day, visitors can watch the clock come to life as puppets recreate the passage of time and the phases of life.

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Legend of the Devil’s Column

One of the most interesting legends surrounding Strasbourg Cathedral is the story of the “Devil’s Column”. According to local legend, the master builders had great difficulty completing the construction of the cathedral. In a moment of despair, they are said to have made a pact with the devil. They promised the devil the first soul to enter the cathedral in return for his help. However, they cleverly outwitted the devil by sending a stray dog into the cathedral as the first visitor. A stone pillar, known as the Devil’s Pillar, is said to mark the spot where the devil stood. Although this legend is more popular belief than fact, it adds a touch of mysticism to the cathedral’s history.

Renovation and restoration

Strasbourg Cathedral has been renovated and restored several times over the course of its long history. After the cathedral was damaged during the French Revolution, extensive restoration work began in the 19th century to preserve and restore this architectural jewel. Today, restoration work continues to ensure the structural integrity and longevity of the cathedral.

View from the top of the tower – Climbing the cathedral

For intrepid travellers, the arduous climb to the top of Strasbourg Cathedral is an unmissable experience. The panoramic view from the cathedral’s viewing platform offers a breathtaking view of Strasbourg and the surrounding area. On a clear day, you can even see the Black Forest. You have to climb many steps, but the view is worth the effort.

The cathedral is a testament to human ingenuity, a museum carved in stone and a profound expression of faith and history. It is a reminder of the skill and dedication of the craftsmen and artisans who worked on its construction over the centuries.