One of the oldest towns in Europe, Strasbourg began as a small settlement around 150 BC. Later occupied and transformed into a military camp by the expanding Roman Empire, it served as a control point on the Rhine facing the barbarian invaders. The fall of the Roman Empire saw it transformed into an administrative and commercial turntable for the Rhine valley.
Recent history has seen Strasbourg as a member of two major European powers, France and Germany. Now Strasbourg hosts several European institutions which marks it ,along with Geneva and New York, as a political hot-spot. The choice of Strasbourg as the European capital after the Second World War was not random, rather it is the symbol of the reconciliation between nations and of the future of Europe. Now a profoundly bicultural town, Strasbourg has progressively embraced the institutional and cultural aspects of its existence.
Also one of the biggest student towns in France, Strasbourg has approximately 53,000 students. Landmarks include the "Bibliothèque Nationale Universitaire" and the Rhine Opera House. The cathedral, a flamboyant example of gothic stonework, is classified as a UNESCO heritage site.
Strasbourg is without doubt one of the most beautiful cities in Europe today and great place to visit year-round.