The beating heart of Europe Strasbourg is European, thanks to its history and location. At the intersection of roads and influences, but also of conflicts, Strasbourg has always played a European role. And so it was quite natural that, after the Second World War, the city was chosen as a symbol of reconciliation to host the emerging European institutions. In 1949, it became the seat of the Council of Europe, and then, in 1958, of the European Parliamentary Assembly (renamed “European Parliament” in 1962).
Over the years, the institution has undergone profound changes: from an assembly comprising nominated members, it was transformed into an elected parliament, recognised as a major political player of the European Union. The European Parliament currently represents about 450 million European citizens. It has 705 Members, elected for 5-year terms. It holds legislative, budgetary and political supervisory powers. The European Parliament is the largest parliamentary assembly elected by direct universal suffrage in the world.
An architectural gem Designed by Architecture Studio, the huge glass-and-metal building, which has housed the European Parliament since 1999, is very impressive. It is one of Strasbourg’s architectural gems. Beautifully reflected in the water, its huge glass façade, measuring 13,000 sq. metres, symbolises the democratic transparency of the European Union. Its hollow oval tower, 60 metres high, opens out towards the Cathedral. The top of the tower appears unfinished, to symbolise the European project, a perpetual work in progress. The imposing inner courtyard is a masterpiece of curves. The building is structured around three interior ‘avenues’, with the main one designed as a winter garden featuring a forest of philodendrons. With a total surface area of 220,000 sq. metres, it includes the Chamber with more than 750 seats (the largest in Europe), 1,133 offices and 18 commission rooms used by the Members of the European Parliament elected by the Member States of the European Union. Tours A visit to the Chamber of the European Parliament, or Hemicycle, is an unrivalled opportunity to soak up the unique atmosphere of this large transnational parliament. The Hemicycle, the largest in Europe, hosts the most important debates and has provided the backdrop for many historic votes. All visits of the Parliament also include the Parlamentarium Simone Veil. The dynamic and interactive exhibition gives citizens of all ages insight into the role of the European Parliament, and helps them understand the functioning of the European project.
The European Parliament in Strasbourg is open to visitors six days a week throughout the year. Visits are always free of charge. During your visit, you can see the European parliamentary chamber – the Hemicycle, the Parlamentarium Simone Veil and several exhibitions. In Strasbourg, Members of the European Parliament meet twelve times a year during plenary sessions to debate and vote on European legislation. As a visitor, you can attend the session to see and listen to your representatives speak from the visitor gallery.
La visite peut se faire à l’aide d’un guide multimédia disponible dans les 24 langues officielles de l’Union européenne.
EN DEHORS DES SESSIONS PLENIÈRES : visiteurs individuels sans réservation, du lundi au vendredi entre 9h et 18h (dernière entrée 17). Samedi 9h30-12h et 13h-18h (dernière entrée 17h).
LORS DES SESSIONS PLENIÈRES
Un nombre limité de places est mis à la disposition des visiteurs
individuels pour suivre la session pendant une heure maximum. Les places sont attribuées par ordre d’arrivée. Aucune réservation
préalable n’est prise en compte.
Lundi 9h30-12h et 17h-18h
Mardi, mercredi 9h-12h et 15h-18h
Vendredi 9h-18h (dernière entrée 17h)
Samedi 9h-12h et 13h-18h (dernière entrée 17h)
Bus line H (direct line).
Bus lines 6, 30 and 72: ‘Droits de l’Homme’ stop (a 10-minute walk from the Parliament).
Tram line E: ‘Parlement Européen’ stop.