- Population: 1,734,145
- Pop.density (people per km2): 209
Three principal communes
Strasbourg is a small compact city on the river Rhine that has, in recent decades, shaken off a quaint image to take on its role as a modern European economic and administrative centre. It has rapidly developed in recent decades and is now home to the European Parliament, the European Court and the European Commission of Human Rights. There are many foreign companies located here including the French headquarters of a number of international banks. The city offers a very high quality of life with good housing and facilities and being an important euro-centre means there are high employment possibilities for well-educated, bilingual migrants.
This is a sprawling industrial city, described in tourist brochures (not so endearingly) as France's equivalent of Manchester. Its museums focus on the city's glory days when it manufactured railways, automobiles, wallpaper and textiles. There is not much of an old town here and very little of interest to see if strolling around. Mulhouse was Swiss until 1798 when it voted to become part of France. Today many people live here and work in Basel, Switzerland.
The industrial sprawl surrounding this town can give visitors a bad first impression but the heart of the town is very pretty, with multi-coloured, half-timbered crooked houses along charming atmospheric alleyways. All have been extremely well-preserved. One of the most picturesque areas is the leather maker's district which has recently been restored.