The spacious layout and ponderous architecture of this monumental cirque (circle) have nothing in common with the Vieille Ville except for the local red sandstone. A different hand was at work here—that of occupying Germans, who erected the former Ministry (1902), the Academy of Music (1882–92), and the Palais du Rhin (1883–88). The handsome neo-Gothic church of St-Paul and the pseudo-Renaissance Palais de l'Université (University Palace), constructed
between 1875 and 1885, also bear the German stamp. Heavy turn-of-the-20th-century houses, some reflecting the whimsical curves of the Art Nouveau style, frame Allée de la Robertsau, a tree-lined boulevard that would not look out of place in Berlin.