Strasbourg Cathedral strikes the visitor first by its height: its spire, completed in 1439, is the highest in Christianity. Like all Gothic churches, it is a real picture book that one flips through as one walks around: sculptures and stained glass windows do of course recount the story of Christ but the cathedral also abounds with allegories and symbols of the Middle Ages.
There was already a construction, a church of which we know little, on this site in the 8th century, but it was not until the 12th century that construction began on the cathedral as we know it today. Around 1225, the south transept portal was built, including the famous Synagogue and Church sculptures which are among the jewels of European Gothic art. The choir was established around 1240.
The spire, massive rose window and the astronomical clock: three Strasbourg masterpieces
Around the same time, a master builder from the Paris region built the Last Judgment pillar again in the southern part of the transept, a wonder of architectural virtuosity. In 1277 work began on the great west facade. The three portals were populated with a host of statues and the great rose window was completed around 1340.
While work continued within, two master builders succeeded each other to build the unique spire, which forms the Cathedral's inimitable silhouette. Inside, besides the 12th and 14th century stained glass windows and the magnificent late Gothic pulpit, one remarkable feature is the famous astronomical clock and its daily procession of apostles (at exactly 12:30 pm each day) which is a show in itself.