Avolsheim is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Grand Est region of north-eastern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Avolsheimoises; the commune has been awarded one flower by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom. Avolsheim is located some 22 km west by 18 km north of Obernai. Access to the commune is by the D422 from Odratzheim in the north which passes through the centre of the commune and the town and continues south to Molsheim; the D127 goes east from the town to Dachstein. Apart from the significant sized urban area the commune is mixed farmland; the Bruche river flows north through the east of the commune and abruptly turns right near the northern border of the commune before continuing east to join a branch of the Rhine at Strasbourg. The Mossig river flows from the north-west forming the northern border of the commune before joining the Bruche; the first written record of the name of a village in the current commune dates from the year 788 and is called Hunzolfesheim.
It was found in 1051 spelled Avelsheim Afelsheim in 1350 with a dialectal form Âfelse. In 1496 it was written Afeltzheim and in 1589 Avelssheim again but with two "s". Since the village has had its present name and its spelling has not changed; the prefix offe was the origin of the name Avolsheim and therefore means "Open Town". It is possible that this name was given to the village since it was devoid of walls, which in the Middle Ages was rare. There is an old local saying in dialect: Es steht offe wie Âfelse suggesting that at one time the steeple at Avolsheim, which remained so long in ruins so was "open to the sky", that this could have been the origin of its name; this argument, with the previous one, are confirmed by the popular phrase, Fescht wie Landau un Offe wie Âfelse meaning "A Fort like Landau or open like Avolsheim". Avolsheim is located on the Gallo-Roman road linking Molsheim to Saverne. Many objects dating from this period were excavated in 1930. In the 10th century the area had two distinct hamlets: Avelsheim one hand, corresponding to the current village, Tumpfieter, Dompieter, or Domphietenheim, a village consisting of a group of a few farms and a mill located at a church called the Dompeter.
The last mention of this hamlet was in the 16th century. It died as a village by the end of the same century. For some historians doubt remains: it may have disappeared in the 17th century, its destruction following the Siege of Dachstein by the armies of Turenne. According to the papal bull of Leo IX in 1051 Avolsheim, including the Mont Sainte-Odile Abbey, was part of the possessions of the bishopric of Strasbourg. Avolsheim was put in vassalage to the Counts of Ostoffen to von Murnhart in 1384, remained with von Beger until 1521. From 1534 until the Revolution, the area was a fief of the dignitaries of the diocese; the village has been linked to the sub-prefecture of Molsheim since the Revolution. Avolsheim was once on the Sélestat to Saverne railway line before the section from Molsheim to Saverne was removed in 1967 and replaced with a bicycle path. List of Successive Mayors In 2010 the commune had 728 inhabitants; the evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793.
From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year. Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 The commune has many buildings that are registered as historical monuments: A Vineyard Farmhouse at 3 Rue de la Boucherie A Vineyard Farmhouse at 4 Rue de Dompeter The Audéoud House or Maison des Soeurs at 1 place de l'Ecole A Stonemason's House at 2 place de l'Ecole A Vineyard Farmhouse at 4 Place de l'Eglise A Guardhouse at 16 Rue de la Paix A Vineyard Farmhouse at 2 Rue de la Paix A Boatman's House at 5 Rue de la Paix A former Presbytery now Town Hall at 8 Rue de la Paix A Fisherman's House at 9 Rue de la Paix A Stonemason's House at 2 bis Rue Saint-Ullrich A Farmhouse at 5 Route du Vin Houses and FarmsOther sites of interestThe Avolsheim Dam was built in 1682 on the Bruche Canal, built by Vauban; this canal was used to transport blocks of sandstone to Strasbourg from quarries at Soultz-les-Bains and Wolxheim which were necessary for the construction of the Citadel of Strasbourg.
This dam enabled the keeping of the water level high enough to supply the canal located a little further down. The commune has two religious buildings that are registered as historical monuments: The Chapel of Saint-Ullrich; the original building dates back to the end of the 10th century. In 1774 the chapel was transformed to become the new church adopting the facade, seen today; the chapel consists of an original Tetraconch, the oldest still existing in Alsace located along the ancient Roman road in the foothills of the Vosges. Taking the form of a clover leaf covered by a dome, the chapel is surmounted by an unusual octagonal tower. In 1774 a church was built next to the chapel to replace the Dompeter, too far away; the church was demolished in 1911 because the building was too small. The central dome and mural paintings were revealed in 1968; the chapel contains two items that are registered as historical objects: A Monumental Painting An Altar (18
Sélestat is a commune in the north-east region of France. An administrative division of the Bas-Rhin department, the town lies on the Ill river, 17 kilometres from the Rhine and the German border. Sélestat is located between the largest communes of Alsace and Mulhouse. In 2013, Sélestat had a total population of 19,332, which makes it the eighth most populous town in Alsace. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance it was the third largest city in the region, after Strasbourg and Colmar, it is ranked the third commune in Alsace for cultural heritage. Sélestat was founded in the 8th century as a port on the Ill and it experienced a long period of prosperity thanks to the trade in wine and a thriving religious and cultural life, it declined after the Reformation and the French conquest in the 17th century. The town experienced a new demographic growth in the second half of the 20th century when it became a small industrial and cultural centre. Thanks to its rich heritage, which includes the renowned Humanist Library and an imposing pair of medieval churches, Sélestat is an important tourist destination in Alsace.
It benefits from its location on the Alsace wine road and its proximity to Haut-Kœnigsbourg castle. Aside from the medieval old town, the commune of Sélestat encompasses a nature reserve including one of the largest riparian forests of France; the present name of the town is a Frenchification of the original Germanic name. It appeared soon after the French conquest in the 17th century; the town is called Schlettstàdt in Schlettstadt in German. Sélestat was first mentioned in 727 as Sclastat, it was mentioned as Scalistati in 775, as Slectistat in 881, as Sclezistat in 884 and as Slezestat in 1095. The current German name, appeared in 1310, although various spellings can be noticed on posterior documents, such as Schlestat and Schlestat; the French administration used various forms from the 17th to the 19th century, such as Frenchified and Germanic. The town was known as Schlettstadt between 1871 and 1919, when Alsace was part of the German Empire. Since 1920, the town's French name is fixed as Sélestat.
The origin of the name "Schlettstadt" is unclear. It derives from Germanic words slade or sclade meaning "marshes", stat for "city". Sélestat would be a "city in the marshes", a reference to its position in the Grand Ried, a vast area subject to flooding that stretches over the centre of Alsace. Stat could mean "area" rather than "city". A popular myth explains that the town takes its name from a dragon called Schletto that founded the settlement after opening up the nearby Lièpvre valley in the Vosges mountains. Sélestat was first mentioned in 727 AD but the town has an earlier Celtic or Roman origin. Archaeological findings provide evidence of human settlement during the Mesolithic, the Neolithic and the Bronze Age. A large number of wood piles dating from the 1st and 2nd centuries AD were discovered around St. Quirin chapel, suggesting a Roman settlement. At that time Sélestat might have been a port on the river Ill; when Sélestat started to appear in written documents in the 8th century, it may have been a market town or a village populated by fishermen and farmers.
The area was part of the estate of Eberhard, a member of the Alsatian ducal family, who donated it to Murbach Abbey at the end of his life. In 775, Charlemagne spent Christmas in Sélestat, which indicates that the town must have had enough appropriate buildings and population to accommodate his court and troops. In the 1080s, Sélestat was the property of Hildegard von Eguisheim, mother of Frederick I, Duke of Swabia, the first member of the House of Hohenstaufen. Hildegard transformed the place into a religious centre when she founded St. Faith's Church, which she gave to the Benedictines of Conques Abbey. Monks from Conques opened a priory next to the church in 1092; the House of Hohenstaufen became the leading dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire, which came to the imperial throne in 1152. Being under their protection, the priory of Sélestat influenced local life. Though Sélestat constituted a distinct parish, its priest had only limited power and the Benedictine prior was the true head of the municipality.
At the end of the 12th century, the Hohenstaufen dynasty lost power and as a result the priory started to decline. The citizens used this opportunity to reduce the prior's dominance and secure the power of their parish, they started to build a new parish church in the 1220s. St. George's Church was designed in Gothic style and was larger than St. Faith's Church, another way to signify the end of Benedictine hegemony. Frederick II, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire in the 13th century, realised that his dynasty was losing its power and granted freedoms to many cities in order to keep their allegiance; these cities became Free imperial cities and Sélestat became one of them in 1217. Under the new status Sélestat was able to collect taxes on its own, its serfs and settlers were freed. The German monarch Adolf of Nassau granted Sélestat a constitution in 1292, it was amended many times but it regulated local politics until 1789. Although the new status favoured trade and prosperity, free cities in Alsace were afraid that they would not be defended by imperial forces if a conflict was to occur.
So they decided to form an alliance called the Decapolis in 1354, which comprised ten cities:. The seat of the alliance was in Hague
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Bas-Rhin is a department in Alsace, a part of the Grand Est super-region of France. The name means "Lower Rhine", geographically speaking it belongs to the Upper Rhine region, it is the more populous and densely populated of the two departments of the traditional Alsace region, with 1,121,407 inhabitants in 2016. The prefecture and the General Council are based in Strasbourg; the INSEE and Post Code is 67. The inhabitants of the department are known as Bas-Rhinoises; the Rhine has always been of great historical and economic importance to the area, it forms the eastern border of Bas-Rhin. The area is home to some of the foothills of the Vosges Mountains. To the north of Bas-Rhin lies the Palatinate forest in the German State of Rhineland-Palatinate, the German State of Baden-Württemberg lies to the east. To the south lies the department of Haut-Rhin, the town of Colmar and southern Alsace, to the west the department of Moselle. On its south-western corner, Bas-Rhin joins the department of Vosges.
The Bas-Rhin has a continental-type climate, characterised by cold, dry winters and hot, stormy summers, due to the western protection provided by the Vosges. The average annual temperature is 7 °C on high ground; the annual maximum temperature is high. The average rainfall is 700 mm per year. Established according to data from the Infoclimat station at Strasbourg-Entzheim, over the period from 1961 to 1990; this is the last French department to have kept the term Bas meaning "Lower" in its name. Other departments using this prefix preferred to change their names - e.g.: Basses-Pyrenees in 1969 became Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Basses-Alpes in 1970 became the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. The same phenomenon was observed for the inférieur departments such as Charente-Inférieure, Seine-Inférieure, Loire-Inférieure. Bas-Rhin is one of the original 83 departments created on 4 March 1790, during the French Revolution. On 14 January 1790 the National Constituent Assembly decreed: "- That Alsace be divided into two departments with Strasbourg and Colmar as their capitals.
In 1871 Bas-Rhin was annexed by Germany and became Bezirk Unterelsass in Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen. Strasbourg, the chef lieu of Bas-Rhin is the official seat of the European Parliament as well as of the Council of Europe; the demography of Bas-Rhin is characterized by high density and high population growth since the 1950s. In January 2014 Bas-Rhin had 1,112,815 inhabitants and was 18th by population at the national level. In fifteen years, from 1999 to 2014, its population grew by more than 86,000 people, or about 5,800 people per year, but this variation is differentiated among the 517 communes. The population density of Bas-Rhin is 234 inhabitants per square kilometre in 2014, more than twice the average in France, 112 in 2009; the first census was conducted in 1801 and this count, renewed every five years from 1821, provides precise information on the evolution of population in the department. With 540,213 inhabitants in 1831, the department represented 1.66% of the total French population, 32,569,000 inhabitants.
From 1831 to 1866, the department gained 48,757 people, an increase of 0.26% on average per year compared to the national average of 0.48% over the same period. Demographic change between the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the First World War was higher than the national average. Over this period, the population increased by 100,532 inhabitants, an increase of 16.74%, compared to 10% nationally. The population increased by 9.23% between the two world wars from 1921 to 1936 compared to a national growth of 6.9%. Like other French departments, Bas-Rhin experienced a population boom after the Second World War, higher than the national level; the rate of population growth between 1946 and 2007 was 83.83%
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
The Rhine is one of the major European rivers, which has its sources in Switzerland and flows in an northerly direction through Germany and The Netherlands to the North Sea. The river begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Liechtenstein, Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and the Franco-German border flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and empties into the North Sea; the largest city on the Rhine is Cologne, with a population of more than 1,050,000 people. It is the second-longest river in Central and Western Europe, at about 1,230 km, with an average discharge of about 2,900 m3/s; the Rhine and the Danube formed most of the northern inland frontier of the Roman Empire and, since those days, the Rhine has been a vital and navigable waterway carrying trade and goods deep inland. Its importance as a waterway in the Holy Roman Empire is supported by the many castles and fortifications built along it. In the modern era, it has become a symbol of German nationalism.
Among the biggest and most important cities on the Rhine are Cologne, Düsseldorf, Rotterdam and Basel. The variants of the name of the Rhine in modern languages are all derived from the Gaulish name Rēnos, adapted in Roman-era geography as Greek Ῥῆνος, Latin Rhenus; the spelling with Rh- in English Rhine as well as in German Rhein and French Rhin is due to the influence of Greek orthography, while the vocalisation -i- is due to the Proto-Germanic adoption of the Gaulish name as *Rīnaz, via Old Frankish giving Old English Rín,Old High German Rīn, early Middle Dutch Rijn. The diphthong in modern German Rhein is a Central German development of the early modern period, the Alemannic name Rī retaining the older vocalism, as does Ripuarian Rhing, while Palatine has diphthongized Rhei, Rhoi. Spanish is with French in adopting the Germanic vocalism Rin-, while Italian and Portuguese retain the Latin Ren-; the Gaulish name Rēnos belongs to a class of river names built from the PIE root *rei- "to move, run" found in other names such as the Reno in Italy.
The grammatical gender of the Celtic name is masculine, the name remains masculine in German and French. The Old English river name was variously inflected as feminine; the length of the Rhine is conventionally measured in "Rhine-kilometers", a scale introduced in 1939 which runs from the Old Rhine Bridge at Constance to Hoek van Holland. The river is shortened from its natural course due to a number of canalisation projects completed in the 19th and 20th century; the "total length of the Rhine", to the inclusion of Lake Constance and the Alpine Rhine is more difficult to measure objectively. Its course is conventionally divided as follows: The Rhine carries its name without distinctive accessories only from the confluence of the Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein and Rein Posteriur/Hinterrhein next to Reichenau in Tamins. Above this point is the extensive catchment of the headwaters of the Rhine, it belongs exclusively to the Swiss canton of Graubünden, ranging from Saint-Gotthard Massif in the west via one valley lying in Ticino and Italy in the south to the Flüela Pass in the east.
Traditionally, Lake Toma near the Oberalp Pass in the Gotthard region is seen as the source of the Anterior Rhine and the Rhine as a whole. The Posterior Rhine rises in the Rheinwald below the Rheinwaldhorn; the source of the river is considered north of Lai da Tuma/Tomasee on Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein, although its southern tributary Rein da Medel is longer before its confluence with the Anterior Rhine near Disentis. The Anterior Rhine springs from Lai da Tuma/Tomasee, near the Oberalp Pass and passes the impressive Ruinaulta formed by the largest visible rock slide in the alps, the Flims Rockslide; the Posterior Rhine starts near the Rheinwaldhorn. One of its tributaries, the Reno di Lei, drains the Valle di Lei on politically Italian territory. After three main valleys separated by the two gorges and Viamala, it reaches Reichenau in Tamins; the Anterior Rhine arises from numerous source streams in the upper Surselva and flows in an easterly direction. One source is Lai da Tuma with the Rein da Tuma, indicated as source of the Rhine, flowing through it.
Into it flow tributaries from the south, some longer, some equal in length, such as the Rein da Medel, the Rein da Maighels, the Rein da Curnera. The Cadlimo Valley in the canton of Ticino is drained by the Reno di Medel, which crosses the geomorphologic Alpine main ridge from the south. All streams in the source area are sometimes captured and sent to storage reservoirs for the local hydro-electric power plants; the culminating point of the Anterior Rhine's drainage basin is the Piz Russein of the Tödi massif of the Glarus Alps at 3,613 metres above sea level. It starts with the creek Aua da Russein. In its lower course the Anterior Rhine flows through a gorge named Ruinaulta; the whole stretch of the Anterior Rhine to the Alpine Rhine confluence next to Reichen