I have theory which my local francophile compatriots may not appreciate. It concerns the naming of ‘Petite France’, the popular touristy area of Strasbourg.
The guidebooks tell you that this beautiful quartier of sixteenth-century, wooden-framed, former tanning mills was named ‘Little France’ because it was remeniscient of France-in-a-nutshell. But to be frank there isn’t a street in France, that I can think of, that remotely resembles ‘Petite France’ – so there has to be another explanation.
Given that Alsace was inhabited predominantly by German speaking peoples, and that this area of tanning mills most likely smelled worse than a pungent abbattoir on a hot summers day, then I think the term of endearment, ‘Petite France’, was probably intended to refer to the parfum rather than the architecture.
If you’re French – I’m only joking! C’est un blague mon brave.