AFJET'S GRAND PRIX AWARD CEREMONY
Established in 1953, AFJET's Grand Prix is awarded yearly to a book or other contribution in French language, covering a domestic or foreign tourist destination. On November 24, 2012 it was awarded to « LE PALAIS ROHAN » published by « Les Musées de la Ville de Strasbourg » and written by its chief curator Etienne Martin with photographs by Marc Walter.
The impressive 224-page color book gives a detailed description of the Rohan Palace, a key landmark of the glorious city of Strasbourg (Alsace area/France). Sold to the public, the book will henceforward also be distributed as a gift to visiting VIPs. The ceremony was attended by numerous personalities, including Mrs Maria-Fernanda Gabriel-Hanning, member of the City Council and journalist, and Mrs Joëlle Pijaudier-Cabot, Director of Strabourg Museums. The Rohan Palace was built between 1732 and 1741 by architect Robert de Cotte for Prince-Bishop Armand Gaston de Rohan-Soubise, putative illegitimate son of Sun King Louis the 14th. It was used successively as the residence of four cardinals of the Rohan family, City Hall and Imperial Palace at the time of Napoleon the First. Nowadays, it houses three museums dedicated to Decorative Arts, Fine Arts and Archeology. Seat of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, Strasbourg with its 275000 inhabitants is one of the most attractive cities on the Old Continent. Its city centre has been on UNESCO's World Heritage list since 1988. It is one of those few cities that leave an enduring memory on visitors. Main other points of interest : Our Lady's Cathedral, built of pink sandstone over four centuries (1015-1439) with its 132m bell tower, houses an impressive organ, a gothic pulpit of lace stonework and a remarkable astronomic clock next to the « Pillar of Angels », a masterpiece of verticality with its twelve stacked sculptures crowned by the statue of Christ. The building is surrounded by a maze of small streets lined with typical houses in the local style. The most famous example of local architecture is to be found in the « Petite France » district where most houses were originally built in the 14th century. Straddling three branches of the Ill river, it was in earlier times an active centre for numerous craftsmen (millers, tanners, etc... ). In December, Strasbourg organises a world-famous Christmas market that welcomes close to four million visitors on their season's shopping spree. If you have seen Paris, the Castles of the Loire Valley and the Côte d'Azur, do not miss the opportunity to visit the city at the heart of the Alsace area of beautiful France.(Text and photos by Jacques Campé)