Vauban Dam (Barrage Vauban)
A National Historic Landmark since 1971, the Vauban Dam is also one of Strasbourg’s most recognizable features. Built from pink Vosges sandstone and consisting of 13 arches over the river, the covered bridge doubles as a dam, and was designed to flood the lower portion of the city in the event of a military invasion. Venture inside the bridge’s lapidarium to discover sculptures and plaster-casts of works from the Strasbourg Cathedral and Palais Rohan, and head to the free, grass-topped roof terrace for views overlooking the Petite France quarter, cathedral, Covered Bridges (Ponts Couverts), and beyond.
The Vauban Dam is featured on numerous sightseeing trips through Strasbourg, including walking and bike tours. It’s also easy to visit independently.
Things to know before you go
- The Vauban Dam is free for all to visit.
- Be sure to bring your camera: the views of the city from the dam’s grassy roof are some of the best in town.
- Owing to its on-site lapidarium, the Vauban Dam is a popular destination for art lovers as well as history buffs.
How to get there
The Vauban Dam is located in the heart of Strasbourg. From the city’s main train station (the Gare de Strasbourg Ville), it is just a 10-minute stroll or taxi trip to the landmark. The bridge can also be reached by bus (including the 10 line), and is best discovered on foot.
When to get there
The Vauban Dam is open daily from morning until evening. Note that the rooftop terrace’s hours correspond with daylight hours; it is open until evening in the summer, and closes by late afternoon in the winter. During the summer, the dam also holds an after-dark water and light show; be sure to swing by take in the spectacle.
Other Strasbourg Historical Highlights
Scenic Strasbourg is packed with historical landmarks and cultural highlights, and the Vauban Dam is conveniently situated near many of its top attractions. At its western edge stands the Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, and the centuries-old Covered Bridges (Ponts Couverts) are just adjacent. From the dam, it’s also just a quick stroll to the historical Petite France quarter and its half-timbered buildings, as well as the Strasbourg Cathedral.
- Strasbourg Covered Bridges (Ponts Couverts)
- Tanners House (Maison des Tanneurs)
- La Petite France
- St. Thomas Church (Eglise St. Thomas)
- Grande Île
- Place Gutenberg
- Kamerzell House (Maison Kammerzell)
- Alsatian Museum (Musée Alsacien)
- Strasbourg Cathedral of Notre Dame (Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg)
- Rohan Palace (Palais Rohan)
- Christmas Market (Christkindelsmärik)
- Orangerie Park (Parc de l'Orangerie)
- Fort of Mutzig (Feste Kaiser Wilhelm II)
- Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg