The European Parliament sits this week to discuss some of the most polarising issues including Brexit and the Amazon fires -  this is the place where the European Union's responses are debated and formed, and why its location is more controversial than ever.

If you’re familiar with the odd wine list, it may come as no surprise that Strasbourg is knee deep in the drink’s history. Around these parts, you can delve into one of the top wine tasting spots in the world.

Even Strasbourg Hospital has a wine cave - a 14th Century cellar home to some of the oldest barrel-stored wine in the world. About 150,000 bottles are produced here each year with profits going towards the sale of medical equipment.

Strasbourg is not just a place to raise a glass though but also raise the roof as it frequently hosts heated political debates that can shape the future.

The historical wine cellar at the Hospices de Strasbourg

Just 4km from the German border, Strasbourg is known as 'The Capital of Europe' as it is the official seat of the European Parliament.

MEPs come here a dozen times a year to help shape laws, discuss world affairs and hold other arms of the European Union to account.

It’s a chamber of consultation, consensus and even compromise.

For half a century, EU citizens have been elected to the union’s parliament to represent more than 500 million people across 28 countries.

That will become 27 when the time comes for the UK to leave the European Union.

The seven institutions are seated across four different cities; Brussels, Frankfurt, Luxembourg and Strasbourg.

The latest batch of 751 MEPs - who were voted in last May - travel from far and wide to the parliament to debate and decide upon issues put to them by the European Commission - the executive branch of the EU.

Additional sessions and committees take place in Brussels.

During their five-year term, the MEPs do not sit in groups of countries, but rather next to those who share similar ideas.

People often describe Brussels as the heart of the European Union. Naturally many then ask - why does the European Parliament sit in Strasbourg?

The seven institutions are seated across four different cities; Brussels, Frankfurt, Luxembourg and Strasbourg.

The work of the European Parliament though is divided across three of those; Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg.

In 1992, the European Union formalised a situation that already existed through a treaty. It nailed down where the body’s institutions should officially sit.

Part of the division could be down to tradition, or a natural evolution in each city.

The European Parliament building in Strasbourg

In the years following World War Two, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was set up to manage those reserves in six countries, including Germany and France.

At that time the Council of Europe, a body for human rights and culture, was already based in Strasbourg and offered its chambers for ECSC meetings. It later developed into the home of plenary sessions for the European Parliament.

Meanwhile, around the same time in the late 1950s and after the creation of the European Economic Community, much of the work later carried out by the European Commission and the Council of Ministers was in Brussels.

MEPs' work became focused in Brussels as a lot of their work involved interacting with these institutions.

A pattern eventually emerged in the 90s, where committees and political groups met in Brussels while the sessions took place in Strasbourg.

The struggle between two of the founders of EU - Germany and France - goes back hundreds of years.

Not only that, but administration of the parliament is based separately in a third country, Luxembourg.

For some, the reasons run deeper than tradition. There are MEPs on record stating that Strasbourg is a symbol of reconciliation between France and Germany who for so long fought over this area.

The struggle between two of the founders of EU goes back hundreds of years.

Strasbourg was the point of tension and violence across the French Revolution and the Franco German War while the city moved between French and German control throughout World War I and II.

One of the most recognisable national anthems in the world was composed in Strasbourg too.

In 1792, Claude-Jospeh Rouget de Lisle created the anthem of the Rhine Army, 'La Marseillaise’ - later becoming France’s national anthem.

However, entrenched in culture and identity, it has been debated in the chamber about moving the European Parliament from Strasbourg to Brussels over the decade.

It is expensive and involves a lot of travel for MEPs and their staff.

It is over a 4 hour journey from the European Commission in Brussels (above) to Strasbourg

A 2013 study by the European Parliament shows that €103m could be saved per year should all European Parliament operations be moved from Strasbourg to Brussels.

That was almost seven years ago and without doubt it is a lot more since then.

It is also more than a four-hour drive from city to city. It takes longer by train, with no direct route.

But could Strasbourg acting as a cultural bridge between France and Germany withstand a rising concern over climate change and an awareness of carbon footprints?

Any change in the current system would need to alter the treaty, which requires unanimity among all member states' governments and ratification by each of their national parliaments.