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Strasbourg, France

General Information


Area of Jurisdiction: 78.26 sq

Population: 275,718 inhabitants

Height: Between 132 meters and 151 meters above sea level

Location: Situated on the eastern border of France with Germany

Twin city agreement signature date: October 16, 1991

Official site of Strasbourg: http://www.strasbourg.fr/accueil

On the October 16, 1991 a Sister City agreement was signed between the city of Ramat-Gan and the city of Strasbourg.

Strasbourg is the capital city of the Region of Alsace (France). It has a population of 253,000 inhabitants and is the center of an urban area with 425,000 inhabitants including 52,000 students. Strasbourg is headquarters to the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights.

Between Milan and London, Strasbourg is situated at the confluence the areas of influence of the political capitals and the economic centers of Europe More than 60% of the active population of the European Union and almost 75% of its buying power is to be found within a radius of 800 km.

Strasbourg and Alsace, together with their German and Swiss neighbors in the Rhine basin, form a powerful European region which some people have called "the golden triangle of research and innovation". Indeed, this sector brings together one of the the highest density of laboratories and researchers in Europe.

Strasbourg is renowned as a symbol of the unity and construction of Europe and hosts conferences, seminars, conferences. etc. The city has a business center, and offers a complete range of hotel facilities.

Public transport systems have been given a new lease on life. A new tramline was inaugurated in 1994 and a second opened in autumn 2000. A network of more than 200 km of cycle routes facilitates movement on two wheels. New pedestrian areas have been created in the city center.

With its rich and remarkably varied architectural heritage, classed as a world heritage center by UNESCO, the city offers strollers all the magnificence of the old quarters around the Cathedral and the Petit France, the banks of the river Ill, parks and gardens.

Strasbourg is also a high spot for the arts. The city houses several cultural institutions of international repute including the National Opera of the Rhine, the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Strasbourg Percussion Group, and offers throughout the year a broad spectrum of cultural events and festivals: the International Music Festival, Musica Festival for Contemporary Music, Jazz d'Or, the European Film Forum, etc.


Although it is the smallest of France's 22 regions, Alsace is the second richest (after the Ile-de-France) and the biggest exporter per capita. Strasbourg's geographical position, just across the river from Germany and close to Switzerland, allows some 69,830 Alsatians (les transfrontaliers) to cross the national boundaries daily. This keeps unemployment figures down to France's lowest rate, at 5.8%, compared to the national average of 8.9%.

In addition, economic success is assured by a tight network of small and medium-sized businesses, as well as the European Institutions, which help make Strasbourg France's second city in terms of international events. Further factors in Strasbourg's favour are its highly skilled labour force and balanced economy. The major sectors of employment are agriculture and wine production, leisure and business tourism, services, pharmaceutical and chemical companies (Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Chiral Technologies, Menicon, Synthיlabo Biomolיculaire and Transgne), industrial manufacturing and, increasingly, computer technology.

Among the most important French firms based in Strasbourg are Peugeot (automobiles), SNCF (railways) and Coopיrateurs d'Alsace (retail). The region's geographical position, in the heart of Europe, has also paved the way for increasing international links and many foreign companies have a base in Alsace, such as Aventis, Delphi, aton, General Motors, General Motors Saginaw, Johnson Controls, Lilly, Roche and UPM Stracel.

La Maison du Commerce International de Strasbourg (MCIS), set up in Strasbourg in 1979, was to be the World Trade Centre in France. Strasbourg is the third largest banking city in France, with 12 banking head offices and 14 foreign banks, equating to one bank office for every 1252 inhabitants.

The financial quarter is based in the Wacken quarter, while offices dominate the central Places des Halles ? including Ernest and Young and Anderson. Business parks are located outside the centre ? one at Schiltighen, five kilometres (three miles) north of Strasbourg, which includes the headquarters of Aventis. There is a science park, 10 kilometres (six miles) south of the city, in Illkirch, where electronics companies, such as Transgene, are based.

When deciding to set up business in Strasbourg, it is wise for foreign businesspersons to include an Alsatian, with useful contacts, in the team. Alsace Development International ? ADI (tel: (03) 8852 8282; fax: (03) 8875 6459; website: www.alsace.com ) is a non-profit-making organisation linked with other offices in the USA, Australia and India, which is geared towards minimising culture clashes. ADI offers a wide-ranging free service for companies wishing to locate in Strasbourg


Tourist Information

It is not difficult to find your way around a small island encircled by the River Ill and an old canal – moreover it's totally flat. The city is chiefly known for its sandstone Gothic Cathedral with its famous astronomical clock, and for its medieval cityscape of Rhineland black and white timber-framed buildings, particularly in the Petite-France district alongside the Ill and in the streets and squares surrounding the cathedral, where the renowned Maison Kammerzell stands out.