FRANCE : STRASBOURG HISTORY
At the site of Strasbourg, the Romans established a military outpost and
named it Argentoratum. It belonged to the Germania Superior Roman
province. From the 4th century, Strasbourg was the seat of the
Archbishopric Strasbourg.The name Strasbourg comes from Strateburgum, ‘the
city of the roads’, because of its strategic geographical position on
the west bank of the Rhine.
The city was already a thriving commercial centre in the Middle
Ages, when building began on the impressive Cathédrale Notre-Dame. Its
intellectual and artistic heights were reached during the Renaissance.
In 1566, the university was founded and leading figures of the
Reformation settled in Strasbourg. Religious strife caused considerable
upheaval during the 16th and 17th centuries, although the 1681
annexation of the city by France brought stability and enabled
Strasbourg to reassert its economic strength. Its symbolic significance
as a major European city was confirmed when it was chosen as the seat of
the Council of Europe in 1949, the European Court of Human Rights in
1994 and the European Parliament, the position of which was finally
guaranteed in 1992. After Paris, Strasbourg is now France’s most
important diplomatic town.