Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department. In 2016, the city proper had 279,284 inhabitants and both the Eurométropole de Strasbourg and the Arrondissement of Strasbourg had 491,409 inhabitants. Strasbourg's metropolitan area had a population of 785,839 in 2015, making it the ninth largest metro area in France and home to 13% of the Grand Est region's inhabitants; the transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014. Strasbourg is one of the de facto capitals of the European Union, as it is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe and the Eurocorps, as well as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of the European Union; the city is the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine and the International Institute of Human Rights.
Strasbourg's historic city centre, the Grande Île, was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, the first time such an honour was placed on an entire city centre. Strasbourg is immersed in Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a cultural bridge between France and Germany for centuries through the University of Strasbourg the second largest in France, the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture, it is home to the largest Islamic place of worship in France, the Strasbourg Grand Mosque. Economically, Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as a hub of road and river transportation; the port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Germany. Before the 5th century, the city was known as Argantorati, a Celtic Gaulish name Latinized first as Argentorate, as Argentoratum; that Gaulish name is a compound of -rati, the Gaulish word for fortified enclosures, cognate to the Old Irish ráth, arganto-, the Gaulish word for silver, but any precious metal gold, suggesting either a fortified enclosure located by a river gold mining site, or hoarding gold mined in the nearby rivers.
After the 5th century, the city became known by a different name Gallicized as Strasbourg. That name is of Germanic origin and means "Town of roads"; the modern Stras- is cognate to the German Straße and English street, all of which are derived from Latin strata, while -bourg is cognate to the German Burg and English borough, all of which are derived from Proto-Germanic *burgz. Gregory of Tours was the first to mention the name change: in the tenth book of his History of the Franks written shortly after 590 he said that Egidius, Bishop of Reims, accused of plotting against King Childebert II of Austrasia in favor of his uncle King Chilperic I of Neustria, was tried by a synod of Austrasian bishops in Metz in November 590, found guilty and removed from the priesthood taken "ad Argentoratensem urbem, quam nunc Strateburgum vocant", where he was exiled. Strasbourg is situated at the eastern border of France with Germany; this border is formed by the Rhine, which forms the eastern border of the modern city, facing across the river to the German town Kehl.
The historic core of Strasbourg however lies on the Grande Île in the river Ill, which here flows parallel to, 4 kilometres from, the Rhine. The natural courses of the two rivers join some distance downstream of Strasbourg, although several artificial waterways now connect them within the city; the city lies in the Upper Rhine Plain, at between 132 metres and 151 metres above sea level, with the upland areas of the Vosges Mountains some 20 km to the west and the Black Forest 25 km to the east. This section of the Rhine valley is a major axis of north–south travel, with river traffic on the Rhine itself, major roads and railways paralleling it on both banks; the city is some 397 kilometres east of Paris. The mouth of the Rhine lies 450 kilometres to the north, or 650 kilometres as the river flows, whilst the head of navigation in Basel is some 100 kilometres to the south, or 150 kilometres by river. In spite of its position far inland, Strasbourg's climate is classified as oceanic, but a "semicontinental" climate with some degree of maritime influence in relation to the mild patterns of Western and Southern France.
The city has warm sunny summers and cool, overcast winters. Precipitation is elevated from mid-spring to the end of summer, but remains constant throughout the year, totaling 631.4 mm annually. On average, snow falls 30 days per year; the highest temperature recorded was 38.5 °C in August 2003, during the 2003 European heat wave. The lowest temperature eve
Illkirch-Graffenstaden is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Grand Est in north-eastern France. It is the second-largest suburb of the city of Strasbourg, is adjacent to it on the south-southwest. Illkirch-Graffenstaden is one of the fastest growing cities in France and in Europe, its population having more than doubled in less than forty years. In the past Illkirch and Grafenstaden were two separate villages. Illkirch-Graffenstaden therefore differs from more conventional towns, being akin to two long villages, one to the north of the other, giving rise to an exceptionally long main street lined with traditional small half-timbered houses: where these have been supplemented by modern designs, the modern buildings tend to respect the traditional size and look of the older ones. Twinned with Dijon During periods when Alsace-Lorraine was part of Germany the commune was known as Illkirch-Grafenstaden: this spelling is still used in German. Among French speakers from outside Alsace the commune is sometimes known colloquially as'Illkirch' which avoids the needs to grapple with the four syllable German/Alsatian concatenation which some may find challenging.
By population level, Illkirch-Graffenstaden is the third largest commune in the urban community of Strasbourg, the fourth largest in the département and the sixth largest taking together the two departments comprising Alsace. The larger adjacent communes, like Illkirch-Graffenstaden, are outer suburbs of the Strasbourg conurbation; these include Strasbourg-Meinau and Geispolsheim. Illkirch-Graffenstaden is crossed by the river Ill which here runs from south to north, parallel with and ten kilometres to the west of the river Rhine: the two converge a short distance to the north of Strasbourg; the town lies by the Rhône-Rhine Canal which here runs between the two rivers. Extensive quarrying has been undertaken in the area for many years, giving rise to a number of small lakes in the region, a couple of which have been adapted for recreational swimming The International Space University is located on the part of the University of Strasbourg campus lying in the territory of Illkirch-Graffenstaden.
Illkirch is believed to be a Frankish foundation. The town, like Alsace takes the first syllable of its name from the river that crosses it: the second syllable is the local word for a church; the spelling of the name has changed as the language has developed: Ellofanum, Illenkirche, Illekiriche and Illenkirchen which mutated into the contemporary name, Illkirch. When Rudolf von Habsburg was elected King of the Romans in 1273, he urgently needed military help from his leading supporters against his rival, King Ottokar II of Bohemia, reluctant to accept Rudolf as emperor; as a reward for their services, Rudolf in 1284 elevated several leading Strasbourgers to the knighthood. To his favoured supporter, Bernhard von Müllenheim, he granted the ford at Grafenstaden, with the right to levy tolls on travellers: the value of the concession was enhanced by the absence of any bridge. Hitherto the citizens of Strasbourg had been able to use the Grafenstaden ford without payment, in 1391 ownership of the ford reverted to the city: from that year, there was a requirement weekly to transfer money collected from tolls to Strasbourg.
Historians know of Illkirch from the Illkirch Capitulation Document. In 1681, facing the prospect of imminent French invasion, Hans Georg von Zedlitz, mayor of Strasbourg, tried to obtain imperial support to turn back the advancing soldiers from Strasbourg, which enjoyed privileged status as a free imperial city. Imperial support did not materialize, in order to avoid greater suffering von Zedlitz was obliged to sign the Surrender Document of Illkirch on 30 September 1681. Graffenstaden was a village bordering Illkirch: the two communes were merged for economic reasons between 1790 and 1794. After the First World War the largest employer was the Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques, a heavy engineering business that specialised in the manufacture of railway locomotives and machine tools; the factory had been built before the annexation of Alsace by Germany, but had been operated separately as a German business between 1871 and 1918. Although heavy engineering still plays a part in the local economy, the second half of the twentieth century saw a massive decline in the sector and much of the old industrial site is today covered by a large shopping centre and residential developments.
Today it is the tertiary sector. Another important employer is Leclerc barracks, home to the French 2nd Armoured Brigade and the German 291st Light Infantry Battalion, a unit of the Franco-German Brigade. Jean-Baptiste Schwilgué, horologist Frédéric Rollé, horologist Mehdi Baala and field athlete Communes of the Bas-Rhin department Official website
The Rhine is one of the major European rivers, which has its sources in Switzerland and flows in an northerly direction through Germany and The Netherlands to the North Sea. The river begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Liechtenstein, Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and the Franco-German border flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and empties into the North Sea; the largest city on the Rhine is Cologne, with a population of more than 1,050,000 people. It is the second-longest river in Central and Western Europe, at about 1,230 km, with an average discharge of about 2,900 m3/s; the Rhine and the Danube formed most of the northern inland frontier of the Roman Empire and, since those days, the Rhine has been a vital and navigable waterway carrying trade and goods deep inland. Its importance as a waterway in the Holy Roman Empire is supported by the many castles and fortifications built along it. In the modern era, it has become a symbol of German nationalism.
Among the biggest and most important cities on the Rhine are Cologne, Düsseldorf, Rotterdam and Basel. The variants of the name of the Rhine in modern languages are all derived from the Gaulish name Rēnos, adapted in Roman-era geography as Greek Ῥῆνος, Latin Rhenus; the spelling with Rh- in English Rhine as well as in German Rhein and French Rhin is due to the influence of Greek orthography, while the vocalisation -i- is due to the Proto-Germanic adoption of the Gaulish name as *Rīnaz, via Old Frankish giving Old English Rín,Old High German Rīn, early Middle Dutch Rijn. The diphthong in modern German Rhein is a Central German development of the early modern period, the Alemannic name Rī retaining the older vocalism, as does Ripuarian Rhing, while Palatine has diphthongized Rhei, Rhoi. Spanish is with French in adopting the Germanic vocalism Rin-, while Italian and Portuguese retain the Latin Ren-; the Gaulish name Rēnos belongs to a class of river names built from the PIE root *rei- "to move, run" found in other names such as the Reno in Italy.
The grammatical gender of the Celtic name is masculine, the name remains masculine in German and French. The Old English river name was variously inflected as feminine; the length of the Rhine is conventionally measured in "Rhine-kilometers", a scale introduced in 1939 which runs from the Old Rhine Bridge at Constance to Hoek van Holland. The river is shortened from its natural course due to a number of canalisation projects completed in the 19th and 20th century; the "total length of the Rhine", to the inclusion of Lake Constance and the Alpine Rhine is more difficult to measure objectively. Its course is conventionally divided as follows: The Rhine carries its name without distinctive accessories only from the confluence of the Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein and Rein Posteriur/Hinterrhein next to Reichenau in Tamins. Above this point is the extensive catchment of the headwaters of the Rhine, it belongs exclusively to the Swiss canton of Graubünden, ranging from Saint-Gotthard Massif in the west via one valley lying in Ticino and Italy in the south to the Flüela Pass in the east.
Traditionally, Lake Toma near the Oberalp Pass in the Gotthard region is seen as the source of the Anterior Rhine and the Rhine as a whole. The Posterior Rhine rises in the Rheinwald below the Rheinwaldhorn; the source of the river is considered north of Lai da Tuma/Tomasee on Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein, although its southern tributary Rein da Medel is longer before its confluence with the Anterior Rhine near Disentis. The Anterior Rhine springs from Lai da Tuma/Tomasee, near the Oberalp Pass and passes the impressive Ruinaulta formed by the largest visible rock slide in the alps, the Flims Rockslide; the Posterior Rhine starts near the Rheinwaldhorn. One of its tributaries, the Reno di Lei, drains the Valle di Lei on politically Italian territory. After three main valleys separated by the two gorges and Viamala, it reaches Reichenau in Tamins; the Anterior Rhine arises from numerous source streams in the upper Surselva and flows in an easterly direction. One source is Lai da Tuma with the Rein da Tuma, indicated as source of the Rhine, flowing through it.
Into it flow tributaries from the south, some longer, some equal in length, such as the Rein da Medel, the Rein da Maighels, the Rein da Curnera. The Cadlimo Valley in the canton of Ticino is drained by the Reno di Medel, which crosses the geomorphologic Alpine main ridge from the south. All streams in the source area are sometimes captured and sent to storage reservoirs for the local hydro-electric power plants; the culminating point of the Anterior Rhine's drainage basin is the Piz Russein of the Tödi massif of the Glarus Alps at 3,613 metres above sea level. It starts with the creek Aua da Russein. In its lower course the Anterior Rhine flows through a gorge named Ruinaulta; the whole stretch of the Anterior Rhine to the Alpine Rhine confluence next to Reichen