Church of Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune
While the cathedral gets most of the attention, and deserverdly so, this Protestant church in Strasbourg is a hidden gem worth visiting. Built from 1031 onwards on the site of a Merovingian chapel, the Gothic church of Saint-Pierre the Younger was consecrated in 1053 by Pope Leo IX, who himself hailed from Alsace. The base of the bell tower and a number of walls from the original Romanesque structure are still visible, as well as 14th-century frescoes, and remains from the 11th-century columns. Admission is free, but visitors are not allowed during service on Sunday mornings.
The dam statues
The Vauban Dam was built in the 17th century as a defensive structure. It has been classified as a historical monument, and within its 13 arches spanning over 120 metres of the Ill River, you can get an unprecedented close-up look at ancient plastercasts and magnificent models of statues and gargoyles from Strasbourg Cathedral and the Palais Rohan.
Place du quartier blanc – Rue Sainte-Marguerite, Strasbourg, France
An ice factory
The building occupied today by the upscale hotel Régent Petite France was once a cutting-edge refrigeration establishment. Several rooms and machines have been preserved as part of the hotel development project and were registered in 1991 on the list of historic monuments of Strasbourg.
6 Rue Kirschleger, Strasbourg, France
A tiny titan
Another of the many quirky details in Strasbourg Cathedral is the small man almost collapsing at the base of the north-west pillar of the cathedral. This is the strongest man in the cathedral, bent over by the superhuman effort of supporting the entire weight of the building on his back.
Place de la Cathédrale, Strasbourg, France
Seriously old wine
It’s not exactly a secret, but this Strasbourg hidden gem can be easily overlooked. Tucked away in the cellars of the old medieval hospital are dozens of ancient barrels of wine, including one containing a vintage from 1472, said to be the oldest wine in the world. At one time medical care could be paid for with plots of land, many of which contained vineyards, and some winegrowers would entrust their products to the cellars for ageing. The dedicated religious orders that used wine both for ceremonial and therapeutic purposed turned winemaking into an art form.
1 Place de L Hôpital, Strasbourg, France
Oldest wine in the cellar of the hospice in Strasbourg ©Philippe de Rexel/OT Strasbourg