Strasbourg

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Strasbourg is a city in eastern France. The city has about 272,000 people. There are about 450,000 people in the metropolitan area. The city is also the capital of the Alsace region, and the Bas-Rhin département. It is at the border with Germany. The city on the other side of the Rhine is called Kehl.

Strasbourg is the seat Council of Europe, of the European Court of Human Rights and of the European Parliament. A lot of people also consider Strasbourg as the capital of the European Union.

It is the seventh largest city in France. (The first three are Paris, Lyon and Marseille.) It is special in that the whole old town has been classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The city was founded in 12 BC by Drusus, the brother of Tiberius. Its Celtic name was Argentorate (which the Romans called Argentoratum). People think this name is linked to the river Ill (that flows into the Rhine near Strasbourg).

At that time, it was on the Limes, a fortification the Romans built across Europe (to keep out the Germanic tribes). There was a fortification (named castella drusi, drusus fort) at that spot. Soldiers need to live from something, so a local civilian settlement developed there. Later, the Limes was pushed farther east.

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This article is about a World Heritage Site