It is located on the Grande Île (Main Island), where the river Ill splits up into a number of canals and cascades through a small area of medieval half-timbered houses and baroque sandstone buildings.
The name "Petite-France" (Gerberviertel in German) was conferred by the former German inhabitants not for architectonical reasons, but because of the numerous prostitutes working there in the Middle Ages — prostitution used to be known in Germany as "the French business". Also, syphilis often contracted in that specific area was then known as Franzosenkrankheit ("French disease").
Martel, Marcel, Yves Frenette, et John Willis, editeurs. Envoyer et recevoir. Lettres et correspondances dans les diasporas francophones.(Book review)
Sep 22, 2009; MARTEL, MARCEL, YVES FRENETTE, et JOHN WILLIS, editeurs. Envoyer et recevoir. Lettres et correspondances dans les diasporas...