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If you want tumultuous history you’ve come to the right place! Strasbourg’s official history goes back 2,000 years. It has been part of the Holy Roman Empire, part of Germany and France numerous times, and today, is the official seat of the European Parliament. Through the ages, the Jews of Strasbourg have lived, thrived and been persecuted here. Their fate, as perceived by the Christian majority during the Middle Ages, is attested to on the façade of the Strasbourg Cathedral, in the stylized image of the “Synagoga” depicted as a blindfolded maiden who has not “seen the light”.
At the confluence of the River Ill and the Rhine, Strasbourg offered at once a beautiful and strategic location. Its “Grand Ile” historic city center was the first entire city core to be named a World UNESCO Heritage Site. Walk the streets of “Petit France” and Jews St. – one of Strasbourg’s oldest – and get a sense of the history Benjamin of Tudela, a Sephardic traveler, chronicled in 1170. One house in the Jewish quarter dates back to 1290, while a 13th century Mikveh was unearthed during recent excavations which can be accessed by request.
Visit the Judaica collection of the Alsatian Musuem with its model stiebl. Attend a service in heart of today’s vibrant community, at the imposing Ashkenazi Synagouge de la Paix (of peace).
The region of Alsace has also been confered the accolades as one of the top ten destinations on Earth by Lonely Planet!
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