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Strasbourg is the capital of France's Alsace region and just a two-hour train ride from Paris.Part of Strasbourg, a city of 250,000, looks classically French, with bakeries and flower shops lining narrow, winding streets.The other side of town, the German Quarter, is dominated by wide boulevards and muscular construction that went up during a building boom in the late 19th century.The city's double cultural identity testifies to the Alsace region's dubious distinction as the regular spoils of war, beginning with the French king Louis XIV, winner of the Thirty Years' War over the German-speaking Holy Roman Empire.Just across the river in the Petite France neighborhood is one of Strasbourg's most unusual attractions: a centuries-old wine cellar, Cave des Hospices Strasbourg, located in the historical wing of a modern medical complex.The hospital also prescribed to ailing patients in the 14th century up to 2 liters of wine per day.The hospital stopped fermenting wine in the cellar in 1990, and winemakers in the region banded together to renovate the barrels.
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