- Place de la cathedrale, Strasbourg
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Right in the centre of the city, Strasbourg’s Notre Dame Cathedral’s 142 metres tower above the city skyline. For over 200 years the cathedral was the tallest building in the world, and is still the sixth, as well as one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in northern Europe, described by the writer Victor Hugo as “a prodigy of the giantesque and the delicate”. In fact it is so giantesque that it took 250 years to build, and owes part of its majesty to the reddish hue of the sandstone from which it is built, transported to the city from the nearby Vosges mountains. Having marvelled at the interior, more intrepid visitors then face a climb of 332 steps to the top, but the effort is worth it, with spectacular views over the whole city.