Discover artistic Europe

 
The European quarter of Strasbourg hosts many works of art and architecture that are little known to the public. Few people know where to find a segment of the Berlin Wall, and even fewer know of the statue representing the Princess Europa on the back of Zeus in the form of a bull. From the European Parliament's Palace of Europe, to the Court of Human Rights, discover the works of art that are part of the European district of Strasbourg.
 
 
 

Near the Palace of Europe

 
First place to see: the Palace of Europe, which houses the Council of Europe. This building, an imposing edifice of 64000 m², inaugurated in 1977, was designed by the French architect Henry Bernard.
 
 
Dalle aux victimes de la faim
At the foot of the main stairway leading to the Palace of Europe, you can see at your feet the "Stone to the victims of hunger." This slab of white marble, offered in 1987 by the non-governmental organization ATD Quart Monde, is dedicated to the suffering and the courage of the victims of misery.

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Stone to the vicitms of hunger
 
 
At the top of the stairs, you can find two works to the right of the court of honor. The first is the "Memorial of Auschwitz." Inaugurated in 2005, this block of stone is the symbol of the Council of Europe's memorial day for the Holocaust.

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Memorial of Auschwitz
Mémorial 40937_01
 
 
 
interpénétration
Continue to the end of the court and you can admire a bronze statue created by the Luxembourgish artist Lucien Wercollier and offered to the Council of Europe in 1977. The sculpture "Interpenetration" expresses the tension of balance between expansion and contraction.

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Interpenetration
 
 
 
 
 
To the left of the lawn, you can appreciate a work of the sculptor Mariano González Beltrán entitled "Rights of Man." It consists of many bronze statues making a circle of men and women. The work, a gift from Spain, symbolizes a society living in harmony with the rights of man, like the work of the Council of Europe.

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Rights of Men
Droits de l'homme
 
 
 
Europe
Nearby this work, you can contemplate another sculpture of electrolyzed copper measuring 2.44 meters, which represents, according to its Austrian creator Rudolf Kedl, "a female figure rising out of the flames." This work, entitled "Europe," was a gift from Austria to the Council of Europe in 1985.

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Europe
 
 
 
To the right, opposite the other two works, one finds the "Four-Leaf Clover." This gift from Italy in 1977 is a chrome steel sculpture 2 meters high and created by the Italian Attilio Pierelli.

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Four-Leaf Clover
trèfle à quatre feuilles
 
 
 
poséidon
At the end of the lawn you can admire a reproduction of a bronze statue, entitled "Poséidon d'Artémision," which was offered by Greece in 1998 and represents Poseidon, the god of the sea. The original was recovered in 1928 at the cape of Artemision, north of the island of Euboea in the Aegean Sea. The work is attributed to the Athenian sculptor Calamis and dated in the year 450 B.C. The original can be found at the National Archaelogical Museum of Athens.

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Poséidon d'Artémision
 
 
 
There are also many great works of art behind the building of the Palace of Europe.
 
You will stumble first on a statue of heaped stones 32 meters high called "Inukshuk" ("who looks like a man" in the Inuit language), created by Percy Tutannuaq. This gift from Canada to the Council of Europe in 1978 is an ancestral testimony to the struggle of the Inuit man against the hostility of his environment. (Note: Canada has had observor status with the Council of Europe since 1996 and is thus not a member country of the organization.)

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Inukshuk
Inukshuk
 
 
 
To continue your walk, travel along the building to the right until you arrive at a lawn around the restaurant of the Council of Europe, where two works can be found.
 
Gymnaste
First, you can admire a majestic statue of bronze 2.79 meters high on a wooden base, created by the Croatian artist Vasko Lipovac. It was a gift from Croatia in October 2006, offered on the occaission of the tenth anniversary of the accession of Croatia to the Council of Europe. This work, entitled "Gymnast," highlights the virtuosity of a gymnast who symbolizes this perogative of the human race to break his chains and be free.

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Gymnast
 
 
Nearby, marvel before the bronze sculpture of the Italian Sauro Cavallini, entitled "Hymn to life." This work represents a human choreography both united and diverse. If you approach the pedastle, you can read there the wish inscribed by the artist: "that love be the wealth of the world."

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Hymn to Life
Hymne à la vie
 
 
 

Near the Palace of the Rights of Man

 
Next stop: Quai Ernest Bevin, before the building housing the European Court of Human Rights. This building, inaugurated in 1995, was designed by the British architect Richard Rogers.
 
 
Mur de Berlin
On the lawn adjacent to the main entry of the Palace of the Rights of Man you can contemplate on your left a four-part panel (3.60X4m) of the Berlin Wall, offered by Germany in 1989. The pannels presented were chosen for their symbolic value. You can see the word "Freiheit" (freedom) under the sentence in French.

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Belin Wall
 
To the right of the main entrance, approach the "Seven Petrified." This gift from Switzerland is a collection of statues created by Carl Bucher in 1995. This work expresses the traumatizing experiences of physical and psychological violence. It also symbolizes the values of the Council of Europe: pluralist democracy, rule of law and the rights of man.

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Seven Petrified
7pétrifiés
 
 
 

Near the European Parliament

 
The next place to see: the Louise Weiss building, housing the European Parliament. This building, conceived by the group of French architects Architecture Studio Europe and inaugurated in 1999, carries the name of Louise Weiss in honor of the female politician and writer who dedicated herself to the defense of the european idea as well as the struggle for women's rights.
 
 
Parvis Parlement européen
Upon arriving at the Louise Weiss building of the European Parliament, you can admire a sculpture by the French artist Ludmila Tcherina (real name Monika Tchemerzine) entitled "Europe at Heart." You can see two figures mingling to form a heart with their legs to symbolize the city which has become a symbol of the reconciliation and the heart of the european continent. It is a sculpture officially chosen by the European Community to symbolize the united Europe. It was first installed in front of the old buildings of the European Parliament in 1994. On December 13, 2000, Nicole Fontaine, then President of the European Parliament, finally inaugurated the statue on the court of the new chambers of the Parliament.

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Europe at Heart
 
 
Terre unieNext, enter the interior court of the Louise Weiss building. In the center, you can contemplate a globe of glass representing the "United Earth." It is a work of the Polish artists Beata and Tomansz Urbanowicz. The city of Wroclaw, Poland, presented it to the European Parliament on May 11, 2005.

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United Earth
 
 
On the other bank of the Ill, along the Avenue of President Robert Schuman, beside the old buildings of the European Parliament, you can also contemplate a selection of artwork. Among these works:
 
 
The sculpture, entitled "The Removal of Europa," was a gift from Crete to the European Parliament in 2005. According to Greek mythology, the Phoenician princess Europa, daughter of the king Agenor of Tyr (now Lebanon), was taken to Crete by Zeus, who was in the guise of a white bull. This work was created by the Greek brothers Nikos and Pantelis Sotiriadis. It weighs almost 6 tons and combines three materials: steel (the bull), bronze (the girl), and glass (the back of the bull).

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The removal of Europe
 
 
Enlèvement d'EuropeYou can also discover the sculpture "Wind from Europe," by Gianni Visentin, which was a gift from Italy in 1995. It is a hymn to life. The new wind shows the way to overcome materialism and the divisions of the old continent. You can observe a naked family, a symbol of liberty from natural, moral and social pollution, holding up a child out of the poisonous atmosphere, the triumph of the values of solidarity and unity.

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Wind of Europe
 
 
On this same avenue, before the entrance of the Winston Churchill building, is found a basalt sculpture by the Italian artist Renzo Fioco (Fioco Marco), dated 2000 and named "Europa Unita." On the pedestal one can distinguish a globe on which is engraved the map of Europe and a handshake, all surrounded by a chain. Also on the pedestal, you can read the inscription "Europa unita," as well as "Opera di Renzo Fioco da Bagnoregio (VT) A.D. 2000."
 
 
Another gift from Italy, dated 2003, on the occassion of the Italian presidency of the Council of the European Union, can be found below the old buildings of the European Parliament. It is a sculpture 4 meters high by the artist Pietro Consagra, entitled "Doppia Bifrontale." Situated next to the Allée Spach press center, this work is in reference to the opera of the same name and by the same artist, inaugurated on July 2, 2003 at the European Parliament.
 
Photos: Council of Europe, European Parliament

Learn more about the art collection of the Counsel of Europe
 
 
 
 

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European diary


    • 1 may 2017

      International Workers' Day

    • The date was chosen to commemorate the strike in the McCormick factories in Chicago on May 4, 1886 for the legal establishment of the 8 working hours day.
    • 3 may 2017

      Polish National Day

    • The Polish National Day takes place on May 3 in honor of the first Constitution of this country which was adopted on 3 May 1791. The Polish constitution was written by the bourgeois and nobles of the four years diet under the rule of the last king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Stanislas II.

      This constitution was the first constitution voted in Europe. It covered many essential points to reform the institutions and organize the life of the Polish people:

      - it recognized rights to farmers

      - it keeps the hereditary monarchy and its executive power

      - it declared the political rights of representatives

      - it limited the size of the standing army

      - it imposed land management.

      Since then, the 3rd May has become a yearly holiday celebrating the adoption of the Polish constitution.

    • 18 may 2017

      European Maritime Day

    • This day was celebrated for the first time on May 20th, 2008. Every year, this day gives place to activities of raising awareness(sensitization).