Alsace is a cultural and historical region in eastern France, on the west bank of the upper Rhine next to Germany and Switzerland. From 1982 to 2016, Alsace was the smallest administrative région in metropolitan France, consisting of the Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin departments. Territorial reform passed by the French legislature in 2014 resulted in the merger of the Alsace administrative region with Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine to form Grand Est. Alsatian is an Alemannic dialect related to Swabian and Swiss German, although since World War II most Alsatians speak French. Internal and international migration since 1945 has changed the ethnolinguistic composition of Alsace. For more than 300 years, from the Thirty Years' War to World War II, the political status of Alsace was contested between France and various German states in wars and diplomatic conferences; the economic and cultural capital of Alsace, as well as its largest city, is Strasbourg. The city is the seat of bodies; the name "Alsace" can be traced to the Old High German Ali-saz or Elisaz, meaning "foreign domain".
An alternative explanation is from a Germanic Ell-sass, meaning "seated on the Ill", a river in Alsace. In prehistoric times, Alsace was inhabited by nomadic hunters. By 1500 BC, Celts began to settle in Alsace and cultivating the land, it should be noted that Alsace is a plain surrounded by the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest mountains. It creates Foehn winds which, along with natural irrigation, contributes to the fertility of the soil. In a world of agriculture, Alsace has always been a rich region which explains why it suffered so many invasions and annexations in its history. By 58 BC, the Romans had established Alsace as a center of viticulture. To protect this valued industry, the Romans built fortifications and military camps that evolved into various communities which have been inhabited continuously to the present day. While part of the Roman Empire, Alsace was part of Germania Superior. With the decline of the Roman Empire, Alsace became the territory of the Germanic Alemanni; the Alemanni were agricultural people, their Germanic language formed the basis of modern-day dialects spoken along the Upper Rhine.
Clovis and the Franks defeated the Alemanni during the 5th century AD, culminating with the Battle of Tolbiac, Alsace became part of the Kingdom of Austrasia. Under Clovis' Merovingian successors the inhabitants were Christianized. Alsace remained under Frankish control until the Frankish realm, following the Oaths of Strasbourg of 842, was formally dissolved in 843 at the Treaty of Verdun. Alsace formed part of the Middle Francia, ruled by the eldest grandson Lothar I. Lothar died early in 855 and his realm was divided into three parts; the part known as Lotharingia, or Lorraine, was given to Lothar's son. The rest was shared between Louis the German; the Kingdom of Lotharingia was short-lived, becoming the stem duchy of Lorraine in Eastern Francia after the Treaty of Ribemont in 880. Alsace was united with the other Alemanni east of the Rhine into the stem duchy of Swabia. At about this time, the surrounding areas experienced recurring fragmentation and reincorporations among a number of feudal secular and ecclesiastical lordships, a common process in the Holy Roman Empire.
Alsace experienced great prosperity during the 13th centuries under Hohenstaufen emperors. Frederick I set up Alsace as a province to be ruled by ministeriales, a non-noble class of civil servants; the idea was that such men would be more tractable and less to alienate the fief from the crown out of their own greed. The province had a central administration with its seat at Hagenau. Frederick II designated the Bishop of Strasbourg to administer Alsace, but the authority of the bishop was challenged by Count Rudolf of Habsburg, who received his rights from Frederick II's son Conrad IV. Strasbourg began to grow to become the commercially important town in the region. In 1262, after a long struggle with the ruling bishops, its citizens gained the status of free imperial city. A stop on the Paris-Vienna-Orient trade route, as well as a port on the Rhine route linking southern Germany and Switzerland to the Netherlands and Scandinavia, it became the political and economic center of the region. Cities such as Colmar and Hagenau began to grow in economic importance and gained a kind of autonomy within the "Décapole", a federation of ten free towns.
As in much of Europe, the prosperity of Alsace came to an end in the 14th century by a series of harsh winters, bad harvests, the Black Death. These hardships were blamed on Jews, leading to the pogroms of 1336 and 1339. In 1349, Jews of Alsace were accused of poisoning the wells with plague, leading to the massacre of thousands of Jews during the Strasbourg pogrom. Jews were subsequently forbidden to settle in the town. An additional natural disaster was the Rhine rift earthquake of 1356, one of Europe's worst which made ruins of Basel. Prosperity returned to Alsace under Habsburg administration during the Renaissance. Holy Roman Empire central power had begun to decline following years of imperial adventures in Italian lands ceding hegemony in Western Europe to France, which had long since centralized power. France began an aggressive policy of expanding eastward, first to the riv
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Strasbourg
The Archdiocese of Strasbourg is a non-metropolitan archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church in France, first mentioned in 343. It is one of nine archbishoprics in France which have no suffragans and the only one of those to be exempt, i.e. subject to the Holy See in Rome, thus not part of any Metropolitan's province. It is headed by Archbishop Luc Ravel, in office since February 2017; the Diocese of Strasbourg was first mentioned in 343, belonging to the ecclesiastical province of the Archbishopric of Mainz since Carolingian times. Archeological diggings below the current Saint Stephen’s Church, Strasbourg in 1948 and 1956 have unearthed the apse of a church dating back to the late 4th or early 5th century, considered the oldest church in Alsace, it is supposed. The diocese may thus have been founded around 300; the bishop was the ruler of an ecclesiastical principality in the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and Early Modern period. For this state, see Prince-Bishopric of Strasbourg.
Since the 15th century, the diocesan seat has been the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Strasbourg. By the Concordat of 1801, the Diocese of Strasbourg became a public-law corporation of cult and the diocesan ambit of Strasbourg was redrawn and all its areas east of the river Rhine were redeployed, forming a part of the Archdiocese of Freiburg since 1821. On 29 November 1801 it gained territory from the Diocese of Basel, Diocese of Metz and Diocese of Speyer. On 25 February 1803 it lost territory to the Diocese of Konstanz, on 26 April 1808 it gained territory from the same and in 1815 lost territory to that Diocese of Konstanz. In 1871 the bulk of the diocese became part of German Empire, while small fringes remained with France. On 10 July 1874 Strasbourg diocese, with its diocesan ambit reconfined to the borders of German Alsace, gaining territory from the Diocese of Saint-Dié, losing territory to the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Besançon, it became an exempt diocese subject to the Holy See instead of part of any ecclesiastical province.
When the 1905 French law on the Separation of the Churches and the State was enacted, doing away with public-law religious corporations, this did not apply to the Strasbourg diocese, being within Germany. After World War I, Alsace along with the diocese was returned to France, but the concordatary status has been preserved since as part of the Local law in Alsace-Moselle; the diocese was elevated to Archdiocese of Strasbourg on 1 June 1988 by Pope John Paul II but not as Metropolitan of an ecclesiastical province and remains exempt, so having nor being a suffragan. The bishop of this see is appointed by the French president according to the Concordat of 1801; the concordat further provides for the clergy being paid by the government and Catholic pupils in public schools can receive religious instruction according to archdiocesan guide lines. It enjoyed papal visits from Pope John Paul II in October 1988 and Pope Francis in November 2014; the archiepsicopal cathedral seat is the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Strasbourg, France, as mother church, a World Heritage Site.
It has four other Minor Basilicas, all in Bas-Rhin, Alsace: Basilique du Sacré-Cœur in Lutterbach Basilique Notre-Dame in Marienthal Basilique Notre-Dame de Thierenbach, in Jungholtz Basilique Notre-Dame du Mont Sainte-Odile in Ottrott. As per 2014, it pastorally served 1,380,000 Catholics on 8,280 km² in 767 parishes and 5 missions with 722 priests, 80 deacons, 1,332 lay religious and 17 seminarians; as of 31 December 2003, the area of the archdiocese comprised a total of 1,713,416 inhabitants of which 75.9% are Catholics, divided in 762 parishes covering an area of 8,280 km². 619 diocese priests, 50 deacons, 288 ordained priests and 1,728 nuns belonged to the archdiocese. Suffragan bishops of Strasbourg Amawich Werner de Bavière Guillaume Hermann Werner Thiepald Otton de Hohenstaufen Balduin Cunon Bruno Eberhard Bruno de Hohenberg Gebhard Burchard Rodolphe Father Conrad de Geroldseck Henri de Hasebourg Conrad de Hunebourg Henri de Veringen Berthold de Teck Henri de Stahleck Gautier de Geroldseck Henri de Geroldseck Father Conrad de Lichtenberg Frédéric de Lichtenberg Jean de Dirpheim.
Lorraine is a cultural and historical region in north-eastern France, now located in the administrative region of Grand Est. Lorraine's name stems from the medieval kingdom of Lotharingia, which in turn was named for either Emperor Lothair I or King Lothair II, it was ruled as the Duchy of Lorraine before the Kingdom of France annexed it in 1766. From 1982 until January 2016, Lorraine was an administrative region of France. In 2016, under a reorganization, it became part of the new region Grand Est; as a region in modern France, Lorraine consisted of the four departments Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse and Vosges, containing 2,337 communes. Metz is the regional prefecture; the largest metropolitan area of Lorraine is Nancy, which had developed for centuries as the seat of the duchy. Lorraine borders Germany and Luxembourg, its inhabitants are called "Lorrains" in French and number about 2,356,000. Lorraine's borders have changed in its long history; the location of Lorraine led to it being a paramount strategic asset as the crossroads of four nations.
This, along with its political alliances, marriage alliances, the ability of rulers over the centuries to choose sides between East and West, gave it a tremendously powerful and important role in transforming all of European history. Its rulers intermarried with royal families over all of Europe, played kingmaker, seated rulers on the thrones of the Holy Roman Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire Austria-Hungary, others. In 840, Charlemagne's son Louis; the Carolingian Empire was divided among Louis' three sons by the Treaty of Verdun of 843. The middle realm, known as Middle Francia, went to Lothair I, reaching from Frisia in Northern Germany through the Low Countries, Eastern France, Provence, Northern Italy, down to Rome. On the death of Lothair I, Middle Francia was divided in three by the Treaty of Prüm in 855, with the northern third called Lotharingia and going to Lothair II. Due to Lotharingia being sandwiched between East and West Francia, the rulers identified as a duchy from 870 onward, enabling the duchy to ally and align itself nominally with either eastern or western Carolingian kingdoms in order to survive and maintain its independence.
Thus it operated as an independent kingdom. In 870, Lorraine allied with East Francia. In 962, when Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, restored the Empire, Lorraine was designated as the autonomous Duchy of Lorraine within the Holy Roman Empire, it maintained this status until 1766, after which it was annexed under succession law by the Kingdom of France, via derivative aristocratic house alliances. The succession within these houses, in tandem with other historical events, would have restored Lorraine's status as its own duchy, but a vacuum in leadership occurred, its duke François Stephen de Lorraine took the throne of the Holy Roman Empire, his brother Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine became governor of the Austrian Netherlands. For political reasons, he decided to hide those heirs who were not born by his first wife, Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria, deceased when he took office; the vacuum in leadership, the French Revolution, the political results and changes issuing from the many nationalistic wars that followed in the next 130 years resulted in Lorraine becoming a permanent part of the modern Republic of France.
Because of wars, it came under control of Germany several times as the border between the nations shifted. While Lorrainian separatists do exist in the 21st century, their political power and influence is negligible. Lorraine separatism today consists more of preserving its cultural identity rather than seeking genuine political independence. With enlightened leadership and at a crossroads between French and German cultures, Lotharingia experienced tremendous economic and cultural prosperity during the 12th and 13th centuries under the Hohenstaufen emperors. Along with the rest of Europe, this prosperity was terminated in Lorraine in the 14th century by a series of harsh winters, bad harvests, the Black Death. During the Renaissance, a flourishing prosperity returned to Lotharingia until the Thirty Years' War. France annexed Lorraine by force in 1766, it retains control in the early 21st century. Due to the region's location, the population has been mixed; the north is Germanic, speaking Lorraine Franconian and other Germanic dialects.
Strong centralized nationalism had only begun to replace the feudalist system which had formed the multilingual borders, insurrection against the French occupation influenced much of the area's early identity. In 1871, the German Empire regained a part of Lorraine Bezirk Lothringen, corresponding to the current department of Moselle); the department formed part of the new Imperial German State of Alsace-Lorraine. In France, the revanchist movement developed to recover this territory; the Imperial German administration discouraged the French language and culture in favor of High German, which became the administrative language It required the use of German in schools in areas which it considered or designated as German-speaking, an arbitrary categorisation. French was allowed to remain in use only in primary and secondary schools in municipalities considered Francophone, such as Château-Salins and the surrounding arrondissement, as well and in their local administration, but after 1877, higher education, including state-run colleges, universities an
Duchy of Alsace
The Duchy of Alsace was a large political subdivision of the Frankish Empire during the last century and a half of Merovingian rule. It corresponded to the territory of Alsace and was carved out of southern Austrasia in the last decade of the reign of Dagobert I to stabilise the southern reaches of Austrasia against Alemannia and Burgundy. By the late Middle Ages, the region was considered part of Swabia; the term "Alsace" derives from the Germanic ali-land-sat-ja, meaning "one who sits in another land." Alsace was Alemanni territory, but not so much as Alemannia proper, east of the Rhine: it was, the "other" land in which some Alemanni had settled. In the late Roman Empire, a district of Alsace had been established in the region. Under Chlothar II, Alsace and Alemannia were granted the Pactus Alamannorum. In 596, Childebert II bequeathed Alsace to his son Theuderic II, raised there; this attached it to Burgundy, but in 610 Theudebert II, Theuderic's brother of Austrasia, forced Alsace' cession to him only to lose it two years to Burgundy again.
In 623, when Chlothar II granted Austrasia to Dagobert, he excluded Alsace, the Vosges, the Ardennes, but was shortly after forced to concede it to Dagobert by the Austrasian nobility. Sometime between 629 and 631 Dagobert granted it as a dukedom to Gundoin, a Frank from the Austrasian heartland of the Meuse valley, a move which tied Alsace more to the Austrasian court. Gundoin's duchy comprised both sides of the Vosges, the Burgundian Gate, the Transjura; the creation of a duchy of Alsace corresponded with the creation of counties in the region. Thitherto counties had not been found in most of Austrasia, but by the eighth century they were common in the south; the counts of Alsace were known in contemporary Latin texts by the title grafio, which may have indicated a different office from that of the traditional comes, used in the more Romanised parts of Gaul. Under Gundoin's successors, the famous Etichonids, the counties — and Alsace was divided into a Nordgau and Sundgau — were brought under direct ducal control.
From the beginning, Gundoin had used monasteries and monastic foundation as tools in spreading his authority and in developing his regional economy by employing the industry of monks for secular benefit. Alsace was first spoken of as a ducatus in the 730s, though the correspondence of Alsace with the territory of the early duces can be inferred quite easily; the term ducatus alsacensi, "Duchy of Alsace," only came into use under Louis the Pious, though there exists disputed evidence of its use as early as 735–737. Following the suppression of the Alemanni in 742–746 by Carloman, son of Charles Martel, the duchy of Alsace was dissolved in 742 when a successor for the deceased Duke Liutfrid was not named. While some historians have suggested an antipathy between the Etichonids and the Arnulfings to explain the dissolution of their power in Alsace, the Etichonids were allies with the Charles Martel as early as the 720s, when he campaigned against the Alemanni, who were a constant thorn in the side of their Alsatian cousins.
Some have interpreted the tripartite web of support between Alsatian monasteries, the Etichonid dukes and counts, Theuderic IV as evidence of an attempt to stay outside of Arnulfing control. In 722, Martel first defeated the Alemanni and in 744 some rebellious Alemans invaded Alsace, implying that it was considered loyal to Martel's successors and Pepin the Short. Liutfrid himself may have died fighting on behalf of the Carolingians against the Alemanni. In any case, the peaceful dissolution of the duchy in Alsace mirrored the similar efforts of the Carolings elsewhere, while it was part of a larger effort —, notably violent in Alemannia and Aquitaine — to replace dukes, who had the power to command armies, with counts, who were royal officers responsible to and representative of royal power. Alsace remained a distinct unit after 742. With the rise in influence of Hugh of Tours, a conscious ancestor of the Etichonid dukes, Louis the Pious first made reference to the ducatus alsicensi in 816, though it was still a ducatus without a dux.
In 829, Louis's youngest son, was made duke of Alsace and Rhaetia, but in 831 his share of the empire was expanded and was made into a kingdom. By the Treaty of Verdun it was made part of the kingdom of Middle Francia under Lothair I, to the displeasure of Louis the German, who would have liked to see it attached to Alemanni in his East Francia. Upon Lothair's death in 855, Alsace became a part of Lotharingia in the threefold division of Middle Francia. Lothair II, because of his kinship with the still-powerful Etichonids, had firm support in Alsace throughout his tumultuous reign. In 867, he created the first Duke of Alsace in over a century when he granted the ducatum Elisatium to his illegitimate son Hugh, who had an ancient Etichonid name. In 869, Lothair granted protection of his kingdom to Louis the German before his death on a trip to Rome; when Louis fell ill that year, now king of all West Francia, tried to annex Alsace and made Hugh swear allegiance to him, but Louis recovered and by the Treaty of Meerssen Alsace was attached to East Francia at long last.
There is little evidence for an Alsatian dukedom after that, though some have interpreted references to an
Protestant Church of Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine
The Protestant Church of the Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine is a Lutheran church of public-law corporation status in France. The ambit of the EPCAAL comprises congregations in the Lorrain Moselle department; the EPCAAL adheres to the Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, Luther's Small and Large Catechisms, the Formula of Concord, the Tetrapolitan Confession. The EPCAAL has 210,000 members in 208 congregations. Congregations holding services in German language use the current German Protestant hymnal Evangelisches Gesangbuch in a regional edition that includes traditional hymns from Alsace and Moselle. In 1961 the EPCAAL was a founding member of the Conference of Churches on the Rhine, which now functions as a regional group of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe; the first conference took place in EPCAAL's conference centre, the former convent of Liebfrauenberg near Gœrsdorf. Since 2006, the EPCAAL has been a member of the Union of Protestant Churches of Alsace and Lorraine, an administrative umbrella with the Protestant Reformed Church of Alsace and Lorraine.
This is not a united body, but it provides a common decision-making structure and a common body of pastors. However, the two churches maintain their own organisation; the EPCAAL is a member of the Fédération protestante de France and of the Lutheran World Federation, the World Council of Churches. The EPCAAL had close fellowship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of France. In the early 16th century Alsace and northeastern Lorraine were part of the Holy Roman Empire with the region being partitioned into many different imperial states. Most were monarchies, but several republics and portions of certain ecclesiastical principalities. While the prince-bishops tried to suppress any change towards the Reformation, the monarchies either adopted it or fought it, depending on the positions of their lords; the free imperial cities went through a process of discussion and conflict, winning over a majority of the burghers for the Reformation or not. The Free Imperial City of Mulhouse adopted Calvinism and joined the Swiss Confederation until the French blockade forced the city to accept French supremacy in 1795.
In 1523 and 1524, the Free Imperial City of Strasbourg became the next state in Alsace to adopt Lutheranism. Most publishers in Strasbourg agreed to diffuse new ideas by issuing Reformers' tracts and numerous pamphlets; this allowed well-known preachers such as Matthäus Zell, priest at the Strasbourg Cathedral, to propagate Reformatory theses to a large, enthusiastic community. In the same year theologians and exegetes including Wolfgang Capito, Caspar Hedio, Martin Bucer and built up the Reformatory movement amongst craftsmen and the moderately well to do of Strasbourg. In 1524, St. Aurelia, the market gardeners' parish, asked Bucer to become its preacher. Bucer adopted his ideas, he helped implement the Reformation in the Free Imperial City of Wissembourg in Alsace, which resulted in his excommunication by George of the Palatinate, the bishop of Speyer, his conviction as outlaw. In 1523 he found asylum in Strasbourg, where he set up Bible reading classes and in 1529, presented the Reformation.
He received John Calvin, expelled from Geneva in 1538. Bucer tried to safeguard the unity of the Church, but failed in reconciling Luther and Zwingli, or bringing Catholics and Protestants to agree at least on some points. At his urging, the city of Strasbourg granted asylum to the persecuted anabaptists. By 1525 the Reformation was spreading not only into the countryside possessions of Strasbourg, but into territories of other overlords. Although most capitular canons in the Great Chapter, the chapters of Strasbourg's Old St. Peter's and Young St. Peter's, like much of the traditional clergy, rejected the Reformation, the prince-bishop of Strasbourg, William III of Hohnstein, failed to satisfy the demand for change. Before the start of the Reformation, adherents of the Bundschuh movement in Alsace had demanded the right to elect their pastors on their own; the Lutheran church was the state church in the Free Imperial City of Strasbourg, administered by the city government. The city government passed laws on preaching and appropriated the Strasbourg Cathedral for the Lutheran state church in 1524.
It granted the Lutheran church the right to induct pastors in the seven parishes in the town and took the responsibility attributed to deacons, of supporting the poor. In 1529 the city government, supported by a large part of the population, decided that the Holy Mass should be abolished. Violent iconoclasm spread – notably among craftsmen – destroying many religious images; the Church of Strasbourg built up its liturgical and ecclesiastical structures. The church authorities instituted a bimonthly meeting of the pastors and three representatives of the Magistrate, in order to deal with all matters concerning teaching and doctrine. Upon more reflection, some liturgical aspects of iconographic nature as well as other abolished traditions of church life were reintroduced. On the occasion of the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, where Lu
Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department. In 2016, the city proper had 279,284 inhabitants and both the Eurométropole de Strasbourg and the Arrondissement of Strasbourg had 491,409 inhabitants. Strasbourg's metropolitan area had a population of 785,839 in 2015, making it the ninth largest metro area in France and home to 13% of the Grand Est region's inhabitants; the transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014. Strasbourg is one of the de facto capitals of the European Union, as it is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe and the Eurocorps, as well as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of the European Union; the city is the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine and the International Institute of Human Rights.
Strasbourg's historic city centre, the Grande Île, was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, the first time such an honour was placed on an entire city centre. Strasbourg is immersed in Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a cultural bridge between France and Germany for centuries through the University of Strasbourg the second largest in France, the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture, it is home to the largest Islamic place of worship in France, the Strasbourg Grand Mosque. Economically, Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as a hub of road and river transportation; the port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Germany. Before the 5th century, the city was known as Argantorati, a Celtic Gaulish name Latinized first as Argentorate, as Argentoratum; that Gaulish name is a compound of -rati, the Gaulish word for fortified enclosures, cognate to the Old Irish ráth, arganto-, the Gaulish word for silver, but any precious metal gold, suggesting either a fortified enclosure located by a river gold mining site, or hoarding gold mined in the nearby rivers.
After the 5th century, the city became known by a different name Gallicized as Strasbourg. That name is of Germanic origin and means "Town of roads"; the modern Stras- is cognate to the German Straße and English street, all of which are derived from Latin strata, while -bourg is cognate to the German Burg and English borough, all of which are derived from Proto-Germanic *burgz. Gregory of Tours was the first to mention the name change: in the tenth book of his History of the Franks written shortly after 590 he said that Egidius, Bishop of Reims, accused of plotting against King Childebert II of Austrasia in favor of his uncle King Chilperic I of Neustria, was tried by a synod of Austrasian bishops in Metz in November 590, found guilty and removed from the priesthood taken "ad Argentoratensem urbem, quam nunc Strateburgum vocant", where he was exiled. Strasbourg is situated at the eastern border of France with Germany; this border is formed by the Rhine, which forms the eastern border of the modern city, facing across the river to the German town Kehl.
The historic core of Strasbourg however lies on the Grande Île in the river Ill, which here flows parallel to, 4 kilometres from, the Rhine. The natural courses of the two rivers join some distance downstream of Strasbourg, although several artificial waterways now connect them within the city; the city lies in the Upper Rhine Plain, at between 132 metres and 151 metres above sea level, with the upland areas of the Vosges Mountains some 20 km to the west and the Black Forest 25 km to the east. This section of the Rhine valley is a major axis of north–south travel, with river traffic on the Rhine itself, major roads and railways paralleling it on both banks; the city is some 397 kilometres east of Paris. The mouth of the Rhine lies 450 kilometres to the north, or 650 kilometres as the river flows, whilst the head of navigation in Basel is some 100 kilometres to the south, or 150 kilometres by river. In spite of its position far inland, Strasbourg's climate is classified as oceanic, but a "semicontinental" climate with some degree of maritime influence in relation to the mild patterns of Western and Southern France.
The city has warm sunny summers and cool, overcast winters. Precipitation is elevated from mid-spring to the end of summer, but remains constant throughout the year, totaling 631.4 mm annually. On average, snow falls 30 days per year; the highest temperature recorded was 38.5 °C in August 2003, during the 2003 European heat wave. The lowest temperature eve
Further Austria, Outer Austria or Anterior Austria was the collective name for the early possessions of the House of Habsburg in the former Swabian stem duchy of south-western Germany, including territories in the Alsace region west of the Rhine and in Vorarlberg. While the territories of Further Austria west of the Rhine and south of Lake Constance were lost to France and the Swiss Confederacy, those in Swabia and Vorarlberg remained under Habsburg control until the Napoleonic Era. Further Austria comprised the Alsatian County of Ferrette in the Sundgau, including the town of Belfort, the adjacent Breisgau region east of the Rhine, including Freiburg im Breisgau after 1368. Ruled from the Habsburg residence in Ensisheim near Mühlhausen were numerous scattered territories stretching from Upper Swabia to the Allgäu region in the east, the largest being the margravate of Burgau between the cities of Augsburg and Ulm. During the Habsburg Monarchy they were humorously called "tail feathers of the Imperial Eagle".
Some estates in Vorarlberg possessed by the Habsburgs were considered part of Further Austria, though they were temporarily directly administered from Tyrol. The original home territories of the Habsburgs, the Aargau with Habsburg Castle and much of the other original possessions south of the High Rhine and Lake Constance were lost in the 14th century to the expanding Swiss Confederacy after the battles of Morgarten and Sempach; these territories were never considered part of Further Austria – except for the Fricktal region around Rheinfelden and Laufenburg, which remained a Habsburg possession until 1797. From 1406 until 1490 Further Austria together with the Habsburg County of Tyrol was included in the definition of "Upper Austria". From 1469 to 1474 Archduke Sigismund gave large parts in pawn to the Burgundian duke Charles the Bold. At the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, the Sundgau became part of France. After the Ottoman wars many inhabitants of Further Austria were encouraged to emigrate and settle in the newly acquired Transylvania region, people that were referred as Danube Swabians.
In the 18th century, the Habsburgs acquired a few minor new Swabian territories, such as Tettnang in 1780. In the reorganization of the Holy Roman Empire in the course of the French Revolutionary Wars, much of Further Austria, including the Breisgau, was by the 1801 Treaty of Lunéville granted as compensation to Ercole III d'Este, former duke of Modena and Reggio, who however died two years later, his heir as his son-in-law was Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este, the uncle of Emperor Francis II. After the Austrian defeat at the Battle of Austerlitz and the Peace of Pressburg in 1805, Further Austria was dissolved and the former Habsburg territories were assigned to the Grand Duchy of Baden, the Kingdom of Württemberg and the Kingdom of Bavaria, as rewards for their alliance with Napoleonic France. Minor estates passed to the Grand Duchy of Hesse. Fricktal had become a French protectorate in 1799 and part of the Helvetic Republic in 1802, incorporated into the Swiss canton of Aargau the next year.
After the defeat of Napoleon, there was some discussion at the Congress of Vienna of returning part of all of the Vorlande to Austria, but in the end only Vorarlberg returned to Austrian control, as Foreign Minister Klemens von Metternich did not want to offend the rulers of the South German states and hoped that removing Austria from its advanced position on the Rhine would reduce tensions with France. As of 1790 Further Austria was subdivided into ten districts: Breisgau at Freiburg Offenburg: several localities in the present Ortenaukreis, the Imperial city of Offenburg not included Hohenberg, present Ostalbkreis, former county, at Rottenburg am Neckar Nellenburg, former landgraviate, at Stockach Altdorf, today Weingarten Tettnang, former County of Montfort Günzburg, former Margraviate of Burgau Winnweiler in the Palatinate, former County of Falkenstein the former Imperial city of Konstanz Bregenz, present-day Vorarlberg administrated from Tyrol. Politically, the Further Austrian territories were held by the Habsburg Dukes of Austria from 1278 onwards.
Upon the 1379 Treaty of Neuberg, they together with Carinthia, Styria and Tyrol fell to the Leopoldian line: Leopold III, until 1386 William, son, 1386–1406Further divided into Inner Austria proper and Upper Austria, ruled by: Frederick IV, younger brother of William, 1406-1439 Frederick V, nephew of William, ruler of Inner Austria, 1439-1446 Sigismund, son of Frederick IV, 1446–1490In 1490 all Habsburg possessions were re-unified under the rule of Frederick V, Holy Roman Emperor since 1452. Upon the death of Emperor Ferdinand I of Habsburg in 1564, Further Austria and Tyrol was inherited by his second son: Ferdinand II, 1564–1595 Matthias, 1595–1619, Holy Roman Emperor from 1612, with his younger brother Maximilian III as regent, 1612–1618In 1619 the Habsburg hereditary lands were re-unified under the rule of Emperor Ferdinand II, he gave Further Austria to his younger brother: Leopold V, 1623–1632 Ferdinand Charles, son, 1632–1662 under the tutelage of his mother Claudia de' Medici, 1632–1646 Sigismund Francis, brother 1662-1665In 1665 the Habsburg lands were re-unified under the rule of Emperor Leopold I.
Becker, Irmgard Christa, ed. Vorderösterreich, Nur die Schwanzfeder des Kaiseradlers? Die Habsburger im deutsc