During their first weeks in Strasbourg, our Spring 2016 student group discovered Strasbourg to be the “Capitale de Noël” and the capital of Europe.
Once a year, Strasbourg turns into a sea of lights. Since 1570, one of the biggest christmas markets of Europe takes place here, with over 300 stands nestled around the famous cathedral. In 2015, the Strasbourg Christmas Market was elected the second time in a row as the “Best Christmas Market” in Europe.
Even though the christmas market ended on Dec. 27, 2015, thousand of lights still decorated the city center in January 2016 and emitted a special atmosphere. Next to kilometers of chains of lights the gigantic christmas tree at the Place Kléber is one of the highlights.
On the other hand, Strasbourg is also known as the capital of Europe. During their excursion to Brussels, Belgium, the students visited 3 important european institutions.
First of all, we visited the “Council of Europe”. It is an international organization with 47 member countries. It came into being to promote democracy and to protect human rights and the rule of law in Europe.
The visit of the “European Parliament” was really interesting as well. We felt honoured to have a seat in the large plenary hall, where normally 751 European members of Parliament of the 28 European Union debate about budget, laws, and political controls.
The “European Court of Human Rights” is an international court set up in 1959. During almost 50 years the court delivered more than 10.000 judgements. It rules individual or state applications concerning violations of the political and civil rights. Since 8 years individuals are able to apply directly to the court, which is composed of one Judge for each State.
So step by step, the students got to see the many different faces of Strasbourg!