Urban Nature Park of Strasbourg – A lot of nature and culture!


What is the Urban Nature Park of Strasbourg (PNU)? The concept is similar to that of the Regional Nature Parks: the idea is to define areas in the city whose natural, historical and cultural wealth will be particularly preserved and enhanced through collaboration between the various local actors. In concrete terms, a visitor should not expect a park in the sense of a garden, nor an enclosed area, but rather areas of the city that are part of the PNU, which link nature and the city. It's not necessarily the most famous place for tourists (or even locals!), yet the urban nature park is really worth a visit!

Laurène is the blog's creator. Originally from Brittany but now living in Alsace, she has fallen in love with her adopted region and loves exploring its every nook and cranny to unearth great ideas to share with you!

Where is the PNU in Strasbourg?

There are two large areas in Strasbourg that are part of the Urban Nature Park:

  • the PNU Ill – Bruche, the oldest, is located in theElsau, Montagne Verte and Koenigshoffen districts.
  • the more recent Ill – Rhine NPU is located in the Wacken, Conseil des XV and Robertsau districts.

The PNUs are not only natural areas: they are partially urbanized, but they are both part of the so-called Green Belt of Strasbourg, an area surrounding the city center and consisting of promenades, parks and garden cities.

We are indeed lucky in Strasbourg to have a very green city, with many places where you can enjoy the greenery. I invite you for example to read my article on bike rides in Strasbourg to have some examples.

Walking in the PNU

I have been living near Strasbourg for several years and knew about the existence of the PNU, which I had of course visited a few times, but I had never taken the time to really understand the concept and to follow the proposed walking tours.

It was a mistake, the PNU of Strasbourg is really a good place to walk. The routes set up allow you to discover Strasbourg in a different way. Once you’ve visited the must-sees of Strasbourg, you can enjoy discovering another face of the city!

A walk in the PNU is an opportunity to go green, but also to make historical and cultural discoveries, sometimes unusual. For my part, I had very nice surprises by discovering places that I did not know at all… The ultimate for the Strasbourg blogger that I am!

As an added bonus, audio tours are offered, providing explanations for each point of interest encountered. This is a perfect combination of walking and learning. The explanations last about 1 minute per place, enough to know more, but not too long to not get bored. You can then, at your convenience, go deeper if you want to know more about a specific place.

PNU Ill-Bruche – Montagne Verte, Koenigshoffen and Elsau

The Ill-Bruche urban nature park is the best known: it was the first to be established and covers 460 hectares. Just that! There are 7 routes marked out by the Club Vosgien, but I must admit that I didn’t always find them very easy to follow. I preferred the circuit “the best of of the PNU Ill Bruche” that you can follow with the audio explanations Izi Travel for each point of interest.

You can easily walk or bike around PNU: you have the choice! Among my favorites, I would mention the Schloessel Tower (former watchtower dating from the 14th century and which houses the House of the PNU) and its gardens, the wood and the mill of Kupferhammer, the Villa Schweitzer, the Jewish cemetery, the Green Mountain Gardens or, of course, the Bruche Canal. But there are really a lot of nuggets and remarkable buildings to discover… Even for the people of Strasbourg in my opinion! For my part, I had some nice surprises.

PNU Ill-Rhin – Wacken, Conseil des XV and Robertsau

The Ill-Rhin urban nature park is more urbanized and less green than the Ill-Bruche PNU. It remains however very pleasant, particularly for the discoveries of a little secret corners that it allows to make. A circuit with 12 stages is proposed from the Parc de l’Orangerie and can be done very well on foot. We cross quiet districts, the water is omnipresent and we see in the passage of very beautiful residences. Among the sights to be admired along the way are the Cité Ungemach, the needle dam on the Ill river or the Lieu d’Europe. Here again, I went from surprise to surprise during this tour, there are several places that I did not know!

To benefit fromaudio explanations during your walk (and geolocation, which helps to follow the route), you will find here the Izi Travel tour.

So, tempted by a visit to the PNU in Strasbourg?