Strasbourg Cathedral's Antique Graffiti – Strasbourg, France - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg Cathedral's Antique Graffiti

Visitors dating back to the 1600s carved their marks in the stones of the iconic tower. 

The Strasbourg Cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and was the tallest building in the world from about 1647 to 1874. As such, it attracted its share of visitors over the centuries. These people have done more than look at the beautiful building—some decided to leave their mark.

At the top of the lookout platform (332 stairs up) you’ll see evidence of these visitors from centuries past. Inside the tower and around its base, individuals have carved their names, initials, and the year of their visit. The old stones are covered with their scrawling signatures.

The “graffiti” is beautifully carved in most cases, and almost seems to add an artistic touch. The more elaborate letters make it look as if the vandals hired a professional stone cutter to do the etching for them. Some of the scrawled names and initials date from the 1600s.

The view from the platform is also impressive. It offers panoramic scenes of the splendid architecture that fills the streets of Strasbourg.

Know Before You Go

The platform is accessible from an office on the side of the church. Cost is €5 to ascend.