The European quarter is home to the main European institutions of Strasbourg (including the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights) as well as the parc de l’Orangerie, the oldest park in the city.
The European quarter
• the European Parliament: the legislative body of the European Union is the only body whose representatives are directly elected by European citizens. Its 751 MEPs represent over 500 million citizens of the European Union. The parliament’s peculiar architecture symbolizes the building of Europe in progress.
Take a tour inside the European Parliament. You can actually visit the Hemicycle of the European Parliament (no need to book in advance). The tour lasts about an hour.
• the Council of Europe: the principal organization for the defense of human rights on the European continent consists of 47 member states represents more than 800 million Europeans.
• the European Court of Human Rights: the court of the Council of Europe. Its mission is to ensure that the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms is upheld.
The European institutions are located just a stone’s throw from the Parc de l’Orangerie.
The parc de l’Orangerie
The parc de l’Orangerie is Strasbourg’s oldest park and stretches over an area of 26 hectares.
The Pavillon Joséphine (built in honor of Empress Joséphine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, who never lived there), the statue of Gänseliesel (Goose Lizzy – the protector of geese), the pond and the gardens
• For a work-out: a walk, a run or a game of bowling
• For kids: the mini petting zoo, the merry-go-round with old cars and the playgrounds
• For couples: the Temple of Love by the lake, and the arbor
• For foodies: Le Buerehiesel (Bu-Bu for short) is a restaurant with 1 Michelin star located in a beautiful half-timbered house in the middle of the park
• For those with a sweet tooth: have an ice cream cone from one of the park’s ice cream vendors, or warm chestnuts from one of the chestnut locomotives in the winter
Want to see more?
For a full European outing, take the tram from the European institutions to the Jardin des Deux-Rives and Kehl, in Germany.
Stop along the way to visit the Jardin des Deux-Rives on the French side, and take the footbridge over to the German side :
• To go to the Jardin des Deux-Rives: take the E tram from ‘Droits de l’Homme’ to ‘Étoile-Polygone’, then the D tram to “Port du Rhin” (travel time ≈ 35 mins)
• Go directly to Kehl: take the E tram from ‘Droits de l’Homme’ to ‘Étoile-Polygone’ then the D tram to ‘Kehl Rathaus’ (travel time ≈ 47 mins)