Rhine River Cruise Day 6 (Strasbourg, France)



It was a cold, misty morning as we arrived in Kehl, Germany.  We were soon on a tour bus to Stasbourg, France – a short distance away on the other side of the Rhine River.


Our Viking tour guide took us on a two hour walking tour of this old city – founded by the Romans in 12 B.C.  We noticed immediately the architectural style was French, not German.  Stasbourg is a center for European politics – home to the European Council and European Parliament.


Dominating the city center was the huge Notre Dame Cathedral.  This gothic structure dates back to 1176 and took over 300 years to build.  On a trip where we have seen many churches, Notre Dame was one of the most impressive.  At 466 feet high it was the tallest building in the Christian world from the 15th through 19th century (only the Great Pyramid in Egypt was higher).


The inside of the cathedral was impressive.  Our guide said one of the stain glass windows here dated back to the 13th century.  Other stain glass windows, added in the 16th century, displayed scenes from the Gospels.  In that era many peasants could not read or write, so the display of Jesus’ life through stain glass pictures was a way of getting the Bible’s message to the poor.


The church’s intricate clock dates back to the 1800’s.  We watched characters move on the clock on the half hour.  We just missed the main attraction – a procession of 18 inch high figures of Christ and the Apostles which occurs once at midday while a life-size cock crows thrice.


We returned to Germany and our ship docked on the Rhine in the early afternoon.  The weather had cleared up by then.  Anne took a pleasant walk along the riverfront in the late afternoon while I took a midday nap.

Tomorrow we sail to the Black Forest region of Germany, our last full day of the cruise.

Categories : travel

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