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GRAND EST (France)

The Grand Est came into being in 2006 when the historic areas of Alsace, Champagne, Ardenne and Lorraine were combined into one. This extremely diverse region, bordering Germany and the Benelux, makes for a great base from which to explore central Europe. In its capital, Strasbourg, the influence of the neighbours is undeniable – exposed timber frames adorn the buildings, and Sauerkraut and Flammkuchen the dinner plates.

The European Parliament has a headquarters here and meets around 12 times a year. Further away from the border, the University towns of Nancy and Metz can be found. Reims is the capital of the Champagne region and is the perfect place to pick up a glass of bubbly. Hills and forests punctuate the flat spaces throughout the region – with the Grand Est being the proud owner of no less than 6 national parks.

Did you know

DID YOU KNOW?

France's national hymn, la Marseillaise, comes from Alsace, not Marseille. It was created in 1792 by Rouget de Lisle for the Rhinish army in Strasbourg. Maybe we should rename it l'Alsacienne?