Strasbourg Castles and Towers

Strasbourg Cathedral Platform: 7 Moments of the Trip to The Top

332 steps, 66 meters and you are rewarded with a magnificent view over the capital of Europe! Strasbourg Gothic Cathedral in summer with children 5, 8, and 13 y.o.

Since it was built in 1439, the platform of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg has been a popular tourist attraction, and, until recently, a strategic fire lookout:

Monsieur Pigeon at the Strasbourg Cathedral observation platform
Monsieur Pigeon on duty at Strasbourg Cathedral platform

Strasbourg Cathedral: climbing to the top to get the best view over the city

1. Tickets, schedule, etc.

We tried to get to the Cathedral as early as possible to avoid the summer crowds and extreme heat. At the entrance to the stairs we were asked to use sanitizer and show bags. We paid by card 8 euro for me and Artem (adult rate) and 5 euro for Erika (5 years and under free).

Strasbourg Cathedral platform hours are here.

2. Staircase and climbing with kids

There are two staircases: one for climbing up and another, (on the other side of the building), to get down.

Coming in:

Artem and Erika starting to climb
Artem and Erika starting to climb

The spiral staircase has narrow windows to pick in and one small flat area to catch your breath (when you are 2/3 way to the top).

We “did” the platform first thing in the morning, when kids were full of energy and barely noticed the ascending.

3. What I and kids especially liked a lot: gargoyles!

There are dozens of gargoyles at the Strasbourg Cathedral, just keep your eyes open ;). We saw some shaped like dogs, lions, and .. pigs(?). They formed with sprouts to convey water from the roof and away from the building:

Look closely! How many gargoyles can you spot?
Look closely! How many gargoyles can you spot?

4. What we saw from the Strasbourg Cathedral platform on a clear sunny morning

  • Distant views of Vosges, low mountain range in France, Black Forest, – mountainous region in Germany
  • Bridge to Germany we were biking recently
  • Town squares, beautiful half timbered houses with red roofs
  • Glorious gothic St. Paul’s Church of Strasbourg
  • IKEA, – kids were delighted :D. (We used to go there on foot and on bikes)
  • Our new home!

5. Building the Strasbourg Cathedral: medieval treadwheel crane

To build an outstanding masterpiece (started in 1015, finished in 1439) using a wooden treadwheel crane was a must. The crane was human powered and still standing there, more than millennium later.

Such devices were primarily used during the Middle ages to build cathedrals and castles. (And they have to stay on site for maintenance.)

Mama, what is that? How does it work? - Andrew and Erika at the Strasbourg Cathedral  treadwheel crane
Mama, what is that? How does it work? – Andrew and Erika at the Strasbourg Cathedral treadwheel crane

6. Beautiful signs of the gothic cathedral walls

The inscription carved in the walls, are a real stone “album”! Scan the side of the wall on the left and right from the kids:

Kids with messages from medieval times
Kids with messages from medieval times

The oldest survived inscription dates back to the 1552! The guards were often former stonemasons, and had the task of welcoming visitors who came to admire the view. Some of them asked to carve theirs name in exchange for a tip :).

7. What else to do around/after climbing

  • Checking the Cathedral from inside
  • Listen and watch Cathedral’s astronomical clock (check the schedule)
  • Hop on Little Train with audio-guides for 40 minutes ride around Petite France
  • Water fountain is right near the Cathedral, we filled our bottle right after we climbed down:
One of the multiple water fountains across Petite France
One of the multiple water fountains across Petite France
  • Amorino ice cream – pricey but very worth trying! French gelato, shaped like a rose with multiple flavors and macarons on top:

Strasbourg Cathedral platform, good to have:

Water bottle, comfy shoes, baby carrier for little travelers, camera 🙂

Don’t forget to check the hours, conditions, and fees before you go

Thank you for reading!

Our recent adventure: day trip on rental bikes from France to Germany

Our beloved home, Washington, nature wonders: volcanoes, caves, etc

– your Grazy Goat 🙂

Read more about the Strasbourg things to do:

By Mrs. Grazy Goat

I am Ira, the author behind Grazy Goat. My husband and I run this blog and share our experiences about thrilling places and cultures. Our son Artem recently joined us and helps with editing.

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