One kind of weird note from the city’s colorful history was the dancing plague of 1518. It started on a July day when a woman known as Frau Troffer stepped into a street in Strasbourg and started dancing. By the end of the week, dozens and eventually hundreds of people suddenly began manic dancing that involved shaking, leaping, and hopping and they danced non-stop until they dropped dead from exhaustion or heart attacks. Non-dancers sometimes actually tried to stop them by playing music to ward off whatever it was that was causing the problem but, predictably, this often seemed to induce more dancers. Actually, this phenomena was not unique to Strasbourg. Several cities across Western Europe saw these dance crazes and even today nobody really knows what caused this disco frenzy but researches now believe that it was some sort of mass psychosis brought on by stress. Huh?
The most famous landmark in Strasbourg is the famous Strasbourg Cathedral — also known as the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Built on the site of a former Roman temple, construction started in 1015. After a fire in the 12th century, the cathedral was rebuilt using the red sandstone that you can see today. The stained glass dates to the 12th century and for a time, this cathedral was the tallest building in the world. During the reformation it became a protestant church but when the area passed from German to French control in the 17th century (one of the many, many times this area changed hands) it again became a catholic church.
Strasbourg is a great place to visit. Between the cathedral, the old towers and fortifications, the fascinating old city center, and the food there is much to see and do. Don’t miss it on your next trip to France.
Travel safe. Have fun. Don’t dance too much.