Storks are very popular in the Alsace region of France. The city of Strasbourg is no exception. The marshland of the Rhine makes a good feeding ground for the birds. Unfortunately, at the end of WWII, the stork population was in danger, but a breeding in captivity effort was started that helped the endangered bird population recover. Today, you can see storks nesting on chimneys and rooftops.
Strasbourg is in love with storks for the most joyful of reasons. The residents of Strasbourg believe that leaving a sugar cube on your window sill will tempt a stork to visit your house. The stork will take the sugar and leave a baby in its place. In Strasbourg, just like everyplace else in the world, the main function of a stork is to deliver a baby. Parents in Strasbourg happily tell their children this stork story. The story is reinforced by local merchants who carry stork dolls, stork stationery, stork kitchen towels and oven mitts, and pretty much everything that can be sold with a stork on it. Images of these birds can be found all over town.
Some homeowners even build rooftop platforms to help storks build nests. The nests are large and need the support.
The legend of the storks is enough to bring a visitor to Strasbourg, but there are many more reasons. The history of Strasbourg is amazing. It was founded by the Romans in 12BC, and has been ruled by both France and Germany. Currently, Strasbourg is French. What language to speak is problematic in Strasbourg. A sort of hybrid language exists, but today, most prefer to speak French. The countryside and the town are beautiful. The oldest part of town is known as La Petit France. The half timber homes, which once housed millers and tanners, date back to the 16th and 17th century.
Of course, this town has its own wonderful church.
Strasbourg is no stranger to the attachment of famous people. Popular legend has it that Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable-type printing press in Strasbourg, thus changing the world forever.
Towns like Strasbourg have so much appeal. Even on the chilliest of days, a visitor can feel the small town warmth. For example, at La Passion des Delices, a bread and gingerbread shop, all the products are created in the tiny bakery located behind the store front.
The specialty is a large cookie baked in the shape of a heart or a pig. The heart shaped cookie is meant to be given as a baby’s christening gift. A Bible verse can be frosted onto the cookie. The pig is given to newlyweds as a wish of good luck. Small towns can have great vibes.
Later, the Unseasoned Traveler