Europe lives in Strasbourg! To get a better understanding of how the European Union works, visit the European Parliament while you’re in Strasbourg.
Strasbourg, Europe’s beating heart
Visiting the European Parliament will give you a clear sense of Strasbourg’s European identity. Because, right from the end of the Second World War, Strasbourg was chosen as a European capital, to symbolise reconciliation between countries. This has made Strasbourg one of the few cities in the world (along with New York and Geneva) to be the seat of an international institution without being the nation’s capital. It’s a fascinating journey into contemporary history and the construction of Europe.
A window into Europe
Visiting the European Parliament, the only transnational parliament in the world elected in direct democratic elections, is a unique opportunity to discover the Chamber, where the MEPs from the 27 member countries of the European Union meet every month.
As you make your way through the building, including the Simone Veil Parlamentarium with its immersive, interactive exhibits, you’ll come to understand the role of the Members of the European Parliament, the political missions of this institution and what it all means for the daily life of European citizens.
An extraordinary building
In addition to all of the symbolic and educational aspects, the very architecture of the European Parliament is worth the trip. To start with, the building’s exterior is compelling, with its elliptical shape and its glass, metal and wood components. You can admire its full splendour from the banks of the River Ill, where it is reflected in the waters. Its designers, Architecture Studio, imagined it like a ship whose prow is slicing through water. Inside, its huge inner courtyard and impressive hemicycle chamber are truly awe inspiring.