Confused? I was. Here's the story.
First Roman...Strasbourg started out as an outpost of the Roman Empire in 12 BC. The Romans called it Argentoratum. As a base on the frontier of the Roman Empire, it suffered a variety of battles and was finally overrun by the "barbarians" in the fourth century.
|The Cathedral in Strasbourg|
The 16th century saw Strasbourg as influential center of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Bucer agreed with the teachings of Martin Luther and the city's printing industry helped the intellectual movement of the reformation flourish. Worship in the Cathedral became Protestant. For several years the great Swiss theologian John Calvin took refuge in the city.
|The Cathedral as a|
"Temple of Reason"
during the French
The French Revolution brought many changes to Strasbourg. Many churches were destroyed and the Cathedral lost many of its statues. In 1794 there was serious talk of tearing the Cathedral's spire down because zealots thought it represented ideals contrary to Revolution. Creative citizens quickly built a giant Phrygian cap (a symbol of the Revolution) and put it on the tower, thus saving this incredible building.
|Saint Maurice Church|
near our apartment
...Then German...The middle of the 19th century brought the Franco-Prussian war to the area and the siege of Strasbourg in 1870 destroyed many of the city's finest collections in a bombardment. Ironically, destruction came as a result of a poorly done French map that had been captured by Germans. The map erroneously labeled the city library as the city hall. At the end of the war, Strasbourg became German once again. A ring of fortifications was built around the city and are now popular destinations. Two beautiful churches were built to serve the German troops. The Catholic church, Saint Maurice, is across the street from our apartment and its bells are a constant reminder of the presence of God.
...Then French...At the end of World War I the Treaty of Versailles returned the region to the French. One of President Wilson's Fourteen Points read, "All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all."
...Then German...That security was short-lived. At the start of WWII, Hitler "liberated" Strasbourg and the Alsace region from the French. Many of young men who lived in Alsace were forced to serve in the German army at the Russian front. Robert Heinrich Wagner was installed to rule Alsace. His nickname "The Butcher of Alsace" sheds light on the conditions under the Nazis. Thousands died at his direction.
...Now French and a Symbol of UnityAllied bombing damaged much of the city before French troops entered it once again in 1944 and it has remained French to this day.
The Alsatian city of Strasbourg, with its long history of French and German influence has become a symbol of unity in Europe. In 1949 it became the home of the Council of Europe with its Court of Human Rights. In 1951 the European Parliament began meeting in Strasbourg and named the city its official seat in 1991.
It is also the home of Trinity International Church, a church that welcomes people from all nations to join together in worshiping and serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
So there you have a brief introduction to the history of the this wonderful town, where every person has a story and every corner has a cafe in which to tell it.