Monday, December 12, 2016

Strasbourg, France - Huge European Government Buildings

[From the bus window]

The bus turned left on Rue du Conseil des Quinze, through a roundabout and the road name changed to Rue Francois-Xavier Richter with Parc de l'Orangerie on our right.  We turned right on Boulevard de l'Orangerie.  The park is on our right and homes line the street on the left.  High in each tree in this area the guide pointed out the stork nests, empty now, but will be filled in the spring.  She said that it was important to note the stork presence because we would see storks a lot in the Old Town shops.  I was glad to see these nests in the winter time with the leaves off of the trees because they were so huge and visible in each and every tree. This must be quite the neighborhood when the birds return.

We are traveling through the European Quartier of Strasbourg.

 We turned right on the far northeastern edge of the park on Avenue de l'Europe.  This is the first large building that we saw.  It is the Council of Europe building.  The guide pointed out that this building is not to be confused with "European Council" or "Council of the European Union".  It houses an international organization focused on promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.  It currently has 47 member states.  More on this organization can be found at this link:

 The next large building is the European Court of Human Rights (not to be confused with the European Court of Justice).   More on the organization and jurisdiction can be found at this link:
 We rode next to the completed tram tracks. The guide pointed out that the grass is used to absorb sound and vibration.
 This is a continuation of the European Court of Human Rights.  The building was designed by Richard Rogers Partnership and completed in 1995.  The design is meant to reflect the two distinct components of the Commission and the Court.  Wide scale use of glass represents openness of the court to the European citizens.

 We turned left on the Pont Germain Muller (bridge) across the
 Next huge building is the European Parliament of Strasbourg.   Strasbourg is the official seat of the European Parliament and the institution is bound to meet here twelve times a year for four days.  Other work is done in Brussels and Luxembourg City, but all votes must take place in Strasbourg.  The principal building is named the Louise Weiss Building
 The 60m tower is intentionally left unfinished on one side and carries a lot of symbolism.  The details on the building and the organization can be found at
 I am including this picture from the wikipedia website to show the seating inside. This gives you an idea on the size and which groups are included.

As we continued on, a tram came along.  I think that these are very "high tech" looking and glide effortlessly along the tracks.

No comments: