Unlock the secrets of the cathedral of strasbourg
ExpErience 59

For more than a thousand years, Strasbourg's Notre-Dame Cathedral has presided over the city like a mother watching over her children. A majestic pink sandstone lady with impressive details that include intricate stonework and tracery. Enter the cathedral and discover its history, mysterious legends, well-kept secrets, and unexpected treasures.


Admire the astronomical clock and its ballet of automata

A Renaissance masterpiece, the astronomical clock fascinates onlookers with its beauty, majestic size, and technical prowess. Every day, at exactly 12:30 p.m., the clock puts on a captivating show of automata. After the angel rings her bell, the different figures begin their dance: the old man, death, the apostles, Christ, and the majestic rooster. In the silence of the cathedral, the clock takes centre stage for a unique 3-minute spectacle that's both stunning and impressive.

Horloge astronomique©Philippe de Rexel

Feel the horse of the devil riding by

The constant wind in the forecourt of the Cathedral sends a chill over your skin. While it's a known phenomenon that wind tends to curve around tall buildings, legend has it that it’s actually the horse of the devil. The story goes that the devil went into the cathedral to see the depictions of him and found himself locked inside the holy place. Since then, his horse has been running around the cathedral, desperately waiting for its master.

Place de la Cathédrale - Strasbourg©Max Coquard - Best Jobers

Find the mascot of the cathedral

The magnificent and intricate stone pulpit was built in the 15th century for Jean Geiler, a great preacher and religious writer. See if you can spot the little dog at the base, taking a rest with his head and front legs poking out. As the story goes, Jean Geiler's dog would obediently wait for its master when he went up to the podium for his sermon. It was said that a pat on its head would bring happiness, but the sculpture has been damaged over time.

Look for the man on the balcony

Find your way to the Pillar of Angels representing the last judgement and marvel at the meticulous details and height of the twelve sculptures. Did you notice the man leaning on the railing in the cantor's gallery who appears to be staring at the pillar? There are several legends about this sculpture. The most well-known dates to the construction of the pillar when this man raised doubts about its solidity under the weight of the vault. The sculptor and master builder, Erwin de Steinbach, had enough of his comments and sculpted the man on the railing to leave him forever waiting for the pillar to fall.

© B. Salmanski - ADT

Marvel at the stained glass window of a hundred faces

Awaken your curiosity with the hidden treasures of the cathedral's side chapels, including the stained glass window of a hundred faces. The two vertical windows in the chapel of Sainte Catherine measure almost 9 m high. Take the time to admire all the intricate details of the stained glass of Christ in bright and vibrant colours. Look closely at the face: it's actually a stunning composition of 150 photographs of anonymous people. Other photographic elements represent landscapes, plants, and flowers throughout this contemporary work by visual artist Véronique Ellena and master glassmaker Pierre-Alain Parot. 

Vitrail des cent visages - Cathédrale de Strasbourg©Veronique Ellena - Ministère de la Culture

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