Place de la Republique with blossom out and in the sun

Yesterday morning and a trip to the dentist for the first step in getting a crown and on the way back via the Place de la République completed when Strasbourg was part of German around 1900 to give the political authorities a capital for “Alsace-Lorraine Reichsland”.  It was part of a master plan an extra 386 hectares of buildings in Strasbourg in addition to the then existing 230 hectares.  The square is bounded by the Palais du Rhin (1983-88wiki), former Imperial Palace which is now used for the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine, the oldest international institution in the World, and the Direction régionale des Affaires culturelles (DRAC Alsace). On the left behind this picture is the Direction des Serivces Fiscaux  which was built as the Ministry of the “Alsace-Lorraine Reichsland”(1892-1902) and on the right the Offices of the Prefecture which were also part of the Ministry(1906-11).  The picture shows the Monument to the Fallen (1936) by the sculptor Léon Drivier in limestone. The monument, influenced by Rodin, symbolises the painful experience of Alsace  with a mother bearing her two sons on her knees.  Both have fought during the war on different sides.  On the point of death and no longer wearing their uniforms they join hands as an final expression of rediscovered fraternity. One lies facing France and the other facing towards Germany. The other side of the square houses the Bibliothèque Nationale et Universitaire (1889-94) which is now being renovated but before had a throng of students outside smoking, and the Théâtre National de Strasbourg (1888-92 wiki) which was built as the Landtag (Assembly) and the Alsace-Lorraine Reichsland.

All that history is all well and good but it is just a beautiful place to be when the sun is shining, the trees are in blossom and the council’s green spaces department has planted the park up with some beautiful flowers as can be seen in the first and third photos.  Have a nice Saturday.  I’m off to watch the England vs Wales game later.

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