La Petite France

La Petite France is the picturesque quarter of Strasbourg, on the banks of the river Ill. Thanks to its advantageous waterside location, it used to be a district for milling grain and tanning leather, going back as far as the Middle Ages. The roofs of certain half-timbered houses – such as Maison des Tanneurs, which is now a restaurant – still have ventilated attics for making leather and drying animal hides. The different trades practiced in la Petite France have also given their names to the streets in the neighborhood.

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Don’t miss

• the 16th and 17th-century half-timbered houses (such as the Maison des Tanneurs)

• the narrow streets

• the view from pont Saint-Martin

• the lock that gives Petite France its postcard look when a boat passes through

• the swing bridge: the pont du Faisan footbridge swings around every time a sightseeing boat comes through the lock to let it pass through the canal

• the quai de la Petite France: a walk directly on the waterfront that leads to the Ponts couverts

• the Ponts couverts with its four 14th-century towers, which remain from the former battlements

• the little house in the middle of the Ponts couverts, with an arbor that is covered in wisteria in spring

• the platform of the Vauban Dam: for a panoramic view of the Cathedral, the city skyline and the course of the canals

• the Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, also known as MAMCS: one of the only museums in France to curate their collection exhibit in a manner that is representative of western European art from 1870 to present day.

The other must-see sights of Strasbourg

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