Strasbourg is both the intellectual and an economic capital of Alsace and Europe. Since 1949, the Council of Europe, which currently comprises 43 member states, has been based in Strasbourg, and every two years it meets in the wonderful new parliament building, the European Parliament. The atmosphere here is cosmopolitan, the medieval city center complemented by the attractive modern architecture in the outskirts. For the tourist, of course, the Cathedral is the first stop; a walk around the city island to the country houses in the Petite-France district with its many bridges is also highly recommended. In this case, Strasbourg - it's Alsace, how could it be otherwise? - has so much to offer the palate that many make the journey for that reason alone. From Strasbourg, head south to the "Wine Road" to the market towns with their gabled, half-timbered houses, hotels, and Winstuben and the area's many historic villages and castles.
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