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Strasbourg is a city of eastern France, located close to the River Rhine where that river formers the border between France and Germany. Strasbourg is the main city of the region of Alsace; the language and culture of this typical borderland area show a mix of French and German influence. The city, and the Alsace-Lorraine area, were annexed by Germany at the end of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, and were only regained by France in 1918; they were again annexed by Germany in the period 1940-45. Strasbourg was created the administrative centre of the Council of Europe to symbolise the determination that no more wars should take place in Europe.

The European Parliament also meets in Strasbourg, although its main centre is Brussels. Strasbourg has benefitted in many ways from the presence of a well-paid administrative class; its restaurants are said toi be among the best in Europe.