There was a city that I had been wanting to visit during Christmas for years. Strasbourg! My parents went a few years ago and showed me some photos they took there… The lights, the facades… it was magical in the photos! I loved so much what I only saw in pictures that I knew someday I had to visit this beautiful city… And this year my dream came true!!
Last weekend I went to the Alsace, the French region bordering with Switzerland and Germany. This part of France, known for its great wines, has been disputed and controlled alternatively by France and Germany over the centuries, and this reflects on the culture and architecture of the region. Christmas in the region is magical as well. The timbered-facades get beautifully decorated, the traditional Christmas markets sprout around the cities, there’re are incredible smells of Glühwein / Vin chaud (mulled wine), pain d’epices, gingerbread, chocolate and cookies everywhere, magical lights adorning the streets… OK, it may sound a bit like Christmas in any other European city… But trust me, this region is special… And Strasbourg is the real gem in the region!
The Christmas market of Strasbourg is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest one in France, dating back from 1570. Actually, it’s not one single Christmas market, but a few of them, spreading around all the old town of the city. Some of them have their own thematic, as the one in Place Kléber, where charities have their own stalls. Or the market in Place Gutenberg, where the city honors a neighbor European country (this year it was Finland). Or the most traditional Christkindelsmärik, where Christmas decorations are sold. But there are common things on all of these different markets: the food, the glühwein, the rich decoration of every one of them… all of it in the beautiful setting of the old town of Strasbourg and the small neighborhood of Petit France, with their timbered houses and richly decorated shop windows and the pretty Christmas lights in the shape of angels and gingerbread cookies…
I only spent one day exploring this beautiful city… enough time to realize that I want to come back, in Christmas or any other time of the year! It was a very cold day and I didn’t feel very well, so I didn’t try to make long exposure photos that night… Instead, I tested the ISO of my new camera, and I can say that I’m really happy with the photos I took! The new camera and the f/2.8 lens allowed me to take photos without tripod in very low light conditions without adding so much noise to the images… That’s such an improvement compared to my smaller camera!!
Well, here are some photos from beautiful Strasbourg! I hope you like them!