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
Altenach is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France. Communes of the Haut-Rhin department INSEE commune file
Ammerschwihr is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Grand Est in north-eastern France. Its inhabitants are called Ammerschwihriens. Ammerschwihr is a small town located on the Wine Road of Alsace, its main economical resources come from wine-growing, in particular its famous vineyard Kaefferkopf, situated on a hill, one of the Alsace Grand Cru vineyards. 1836: 2000 1962: 1341 1968: 1405 1975: 1448 1982: 1566 1990: 1869 1999: 1892 2006: 1938 Communes of the Haut-Rhin department INSEE commune file Alsace Wine Road Panoramic photo of Ammerschwihr
Balschwiller is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France. Communes of the Haut-Rhin department INSEE commune file
Algolsheim is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Grand Est in north-eastern France. This Alsatian commune is located in the Haut-Rhin several kilometers from Neuf-Brisach. Situated 2 km from the border with Germany, Algolsheim includes a good number of German residents, which has increased its number of inhabitants in recent years. Algolsheim is part of the Canton of Ensisheim and the Arrondissement of Colmar-Ribeauvillé. In 1196, the village was mentioned under the name d'Altolvisherde. From 1324 until the Revolution, the commune was part of the holdings of the counts of Wurtemberg. Between 1870 and 1875, several tombs of bronze were found in the territory of the commune; the village held the name Alt-Olsheim. It owes its current name to the ease; the town includes a catholic church, a protestant temple since 1864, as well as a Mennonite chapel founded in 1977. Modernised agriculture, the principal industry of Algolsheim, maintains a healthy level, despite the increasing scarcity of farmers.
More than half of the inhabitants of the commune work in the nearby industrial centers on the banks of the Rhine. The construction of new housing projects has led to an increase in the demographic diversity of the village. Algolsheim possesses a rich natural heritage, owing to the proximity of the Rhine forest and the île du Rhin. Communes of the Haut-Rhin department INSEE commune file
Aspach-le-Bas is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Grand Est in north-eastern France. Communes of the Haut-Rhin department INSEE commune file
Altkirch is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France. The town is traditionally regarded as the capital of Sundgau, its inhabitants are known as Altkirchois. The resident population number of 5500 is rather deceptive as some 15,500 people will be in town on a typical working day. Azerbaijan Füzuli Media related to Altkirch at Wikimedia Commons Château d'Altkirch - destroyed castle in the town. Communes of the Haut-Rhin department INSEE commune file Altkirch and Sundgau Community Altkirch on the Quid site Closest communes to Altkirch Location of Altkirch on a map of France Weather in Haut-Rhin Photographic visit to Altkirch Rhenish centre for Contemporary Art