La Petite France (Little France)

"La Petite France" is probably the most charming district of Strasbourg and there are always a lot of people from all over the world taking a walk in the small streets.

La Petite France, the most picturesque district of Strasbourg

Below, you can see a video showing "La Petite France" which Peter Kraft from Zeitblende TV provided to us. Thank you a lot!

In the past, the district of the tanners, La Petite France, was an unpopular and dark district because of the bad smell of the skins and furs hanging in the street. During the Middle Ages, bandits and crooks found a hideout here and some shady business was agreed here. Plus, there must have been a lively demi-monde.

Today, one does not recognize this past - the district is very popular for locals and tourists in the same way. La Petite France is a pedestrian zone where everybody can discover the narrow streets, half-timbered houses and small boutiques during a little walk. The name of the district goes back to the hospital "Blatterhüs" where, during the 16th century, French soldiers suffering from syphilis were treated.

The most prominent building is located directly at the Ill canal: the former house of tanners (Maison des Tanneurs), which is known for its sauerkraut specialities. In front of it, the former tavern of the tanners, Lohkäs, is located. It dates from 1651. Today, there is a restaurant in it as well, and the name comes from the production of briquettes from oak bark which was used for tanning the animal skins. The other tanner houses in the district, dating from the 16th and 17th century, have been renovated, too.

Rue du Bain-aux-Plant, the main street of the district, was called "Shiny Courtyard" during the 13th century. In the 15th century, they transformed it into "Plant Courtyard", later to "Plant bath". The reason for this last name is that in house number 22, there was a public bath where women could enjoy a treatment with well-smelling and well-doing herbs.

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