Strasbourg, France

stras1Strasbourg, France

Welcome to the border between France and Germany–and it’s straight out of a fairy tale.  At first glance, it looks like Germany–probably because it was built by the Germans–but then, in one of the many border-changes that has plagued Europe ever since kingdoms and countries have existed on the continent, it became French. Walk into a seemingly Germanic bakery, and you will be greeted by a Frenchman speaking French in a French cafe. If you began your journey in Germany, this can be a tad disorienting.  But all is forgotten when wandering around the Grande Île, Strasbourg’s beautiful city centre, and a UNESCO site. Strasbourg Cathedral, today the 6th tallest in the world, was once the world’s tallest building, surpassing even the Great Pyramid of Giza.  Outside of mere architectural beauty, Strasbourg has solidified its fame and importance for another reason, supplying the world with something that, in a way, we still use today. It was here that, around 1440,  Johannes Gutenberg created one of the most important inventions of all time: the first European movable printing press.