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Strasbourg was one of the first German cities to embrace the protestant, Lutheran faith in the early 16th century. Because of this, it became a centre of humanistic learning and book printing; the first newspaper in Europe was printed in Strasbourg. In 1681, the city was annexed by the French king Louis XIV, who profited from the chaos following the 30 Years' War in Germany. However, unlike in the rest of France, the protestant faith was not outlawed. Strasbourg's status as a free city ended with the French Revolution.
 
Strasbourg was one of the first German cities to embrace the protestant, Lutheran faith in the early 16th century. Because of this, it became a centre of humanistic learning and book printing; the first newspaper in Europe was printed in Strasbourg. In 1681, the city was annexed by the French king Louis XIV, who profited from the chaos following the 30 Years' War in Germany. However, unlike in the rest of France, the protestant faith was not outlawed. Strasbourg's status as a free city ended with the French Revolution.
  
After the French-German war of 1870, the Germans annexed the city and applied a policy of Germanisation, leading to the exile of those preferring to stay French. After the German defeat in World War I, the city returned to France, and now it was the turn of the French to try to eradicate the traces of German occupation. During the Second World War, the Nazis considered the Alsatians as fellow-Germans, and many were forced to fight in the German army - a situation that led them to be falsely accused of collaboration after the war.
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After the French-German war of 1870, the Germans annexed the city and applied a policy of Germanisation, leading to the exile of those preferring to stay French. After the German defeat in World War I, the city returned to France, and now it was the turn of the French to try to eradicate the traces of German occupation. During the Second World War, the nazis considered the Alsatians as fellow-Germans, and many were forced to fight in the German army - a situation that led them to be falsely accused of collaboration after the war.
  
 
Today, Strasbourg is the ninth largest city of France with nearly half a million inhabitants in a metropolitan area spanning across the river into the German city of [[Kehl]], on the eastern bank of the Rhine. The city itself is the seat of the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights, the European Ombudsman, the Eurocorps, the European Audiovisual Observatory and, most famously, the European Parliament[http://www.europarl.eu.int/home/default_en.html], which also holds sessions in [[Brussels]].
 
Today, Strasbourg is the ninth largest city of France with nearly half a million inhabitants in a metropolitan area spanning across the river into the German city of [[Kehl]], on the eastern bank of the Rhine. The city itself is the seat of the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights, the European Ombudsman, the Eurocorps, the European Audiovisual Observatory and, most famously, the European Parliament[http://www.europarl.eu.int/home/default_en.html], which also holds sessions in [[Brussels]].

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