Having arrived in Strasbourg in the afternoon, we decided to spend some time visiting a museum. There were many to choose from, but in the end, we opted for the Alsatian Museum, in the hope of completing our crash course in the history and traditions of the region. Of course, we still remain very naïve- but now at least we are conscious of the richness of the culture embedded in this place, even if so much of it still escapes us.
The museum is very comprehensive, covering many aspects of everyday life, such as clothing, furniture, housing, cooking and religious practices, as well as exploring the traditions associated with birth, childhood, marriage and death. Below are some examples of the detailed craftsmanship particular to this region.
I was also amazed at the number of tools for use in the kitchen. The musuem houses a great collection of elaborate molds, many used as cake tins or to make dishes for special occasions, especially the famous Christmas treats for which Alsace is well known.
The impact of the change in power between German and French governements, can be seen in the change in language. Many of the many documents of the museum were written in Alsatian or old German, with explanations in French and Alsatian to accompanythem.
Le Musée Alsacien is made up of a number of small houses that have been modified so that you can walk between them, each room filled with a different display. It gave the museum a great atmosphere- it was almost as if you could imagine yourself transported back in time.
In fact, one room even left us with dress ups for that very purpose. Despite the appropriate clothing, I think I’m a long way from passing for an Alsatian. I think I’ll stick to Australian instead- that’s what I am, after all.