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
Grand Est Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine, is an administrative region in eastern France. It superseded three former administrative regions—Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine—on 1 January 2016, as a result of territorial reform, passed by the French legislature in 2014. Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine was a provisional name, created by hyphenating the merged regions in alphabetical order. France's Conseil d'État approved Grand Est as the new name of the region on 28 September 2016, effective 30 September 2016; the administrative capital and largest city is Strasbourg. The provisional name of the region was Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine, formed by combining the names of the three present regions—Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine—in alphabetical order with hyphens; the formula for the provisional name of the region was established by the territorial reform law and applied to all but one of the provisional names for new regions. The ACAL regional council, elected in December 2015, was given the task of choosing a name for the region and submitting it to the Conseil d'État—France's highest authority for administrative law—by 1 July 2016 for approval.
The provisional name of the region was retired on 30 September 2016, when the new name of the region, Grand Est, took effect. In Alsace and in Lorraine, the new region has been called ALCA, for Alsace-Lorraine-Champagne-Ardennes, on the internet. Like the name Région Hauts-de-France, the name Région Grand Est contains no reference whatsoever to the area's history or identity, but describes its geographical location within metropolitan France. In a poll conducted in November 2014 by France 3 in Champagne-Ardenne, Grand Est and Austrasie were the top two names among 25 candidates and 4,701 votes. Grand Est topped a poll the following month conducted by L'Est Républicain, receiving 42% of 3,324 votes; the names which received a moderate amount of discussion were: Grand Est français, a term used to refer to the northeast quarter of Metropolitan France, although this term refers to a geographic region larger than just ACAL. The term has been used and topped the polls mentioned above. Grand Est Europe, a variant of Grand Est that alludes to the region being a gateway to Europe both through trade and since Strasbourg is home to several European institutions.
However, the name was mocked for. Austrasie, which refers to an historical region spanning parts of present-day northeast France, the Benelux, northwest Germany. Quatre frontières. Grand Est is the sixth-largest of the regions of France. Grand Est borders four countries—Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland—along its northern and eastern sides, it is the only French region to border more than two countries. To the west and south, it borders the French regions Hauts-de-France, Île-de-France, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. Grand Est contains ten departments: Ardennes, Bas-Rhin, Haute-Marne, Haut-Rhin, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Moselle, Vosges; the main ranges in the region include the Vosges to the Ardennes to the north. The region is bordered on the east by the Rhine. Other major rivers which flow through the region include the Meuse, Marne, Saône. Lakes in the region include lac de Gérardmer, lac de Longemer, lac de Retournemer, lac des Corbeaux, Lac de Bouzey, lac de Madine, étang du Stock and lac de Pierre-Percée.
Grand Est climate depends of the proximity of the sea. In Champagne and Western Lorraine, the climate is oceanic, with mild summers, but Moselle and Alsace climates are humid continental, characterized by cold winters with frequent days below the freezing point, hot summers, with many days with temperatures up to 32°C. Grand Est is the result of territorial reform legislation passed in 2014 by the French Parliament to reduce the number of regions in Metropolitan France—the part of France in continental Europe—from 22 to 13. ACAL is the merger of three regions: Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine; the merger has been, still is opposed by some groups in Alsace, a large majority of Alsatians. The territorial reform law allows new regions to choose the seat of the regional councils, but made Strasbourg the seat of the Grand Est regional council—a move to appease the region's politicians; the region has an official population of 5,555,186. The regional council has limited administrative authority concerning the promotion of the region's economy and financing educational and cultural activities.
The regional council has no legislative authority. The seat of the regional council will be Strasbourg; the regional council, elected in December 2015, is controlled by The Republicans. The elected inaugural president of the Grand Est Regional Council is Philippe Richert, the President of the Alsace Regional Council; the current president is Jean Rottner. The region has five tram networks: Strasbourg tramway Reims tramway Nancy Guided Light Transit Mulhouse tramway Saarbahn The region has four airports: EuroAirport Basel M
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
Roman Catholic Diocese of Metz
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Metz is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in France. In the Middle Ages it was a prince-bishopric of the Holy Roman Empire, a de facto independent state ruled by the prince-bishop who had the ex officio title of count, it was annexed to France by King Henry II in 1552. It formed part of the province of the Three Bishoprics. Since 1801 the Metz diocese has been a public-law corporation of cult. Metz was a bishopric by 535, but may date from earlier than that. Metz's Basilica of Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains is built on the site of a Roman basilica, a location for the one of the earliest Christian congregations of France; the diocese was under the metropolitan of Trier. After the French Revolution, the last prince bishop, Cardinal Louis de Montmorency-Laval fled and the old organization of the diocese was broken up. With the Concordat of 1801 the diocese was re-established covering the departments of Moselle and Forêts, was put under the Archdiocese of Besançon.
In 1817 the parts of the diocese which became Prussian territory were transferred to the Diocese of Trier. In 1871 the core areas of the diocese became part of Germany, in 1874 Metz diocese reconfined to the borders of the new German Lorraine department became subject to the Holy See; as of 1910 there were about 533,000 Catholics living in the diocese of Metz. 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 Metz diocese being within Germany. After World War I it was returned to France, but the concordatary status has been preserved since as part of the Local law in Alsace-Moselle. In 1940, after the French defeat, it came under German occupation till 1944 when it became French again. Together with the Archdiocese of Strasbourg the bishop of the see is nominated by the French government according to the concordat of 1801; the concordat further provides for the clergy being paid by the government and Roman Catholic pupils in public schools can receive religious instruction according to diocesan guide lines.
According to the traditional list of bishops, the current bishop Pierre René Ferdinand Raffin is the 105th bishop of Metz. According to this list, the first bishop was Saint Clement sent by Saint Peter himself to Metz; the first authenticated bishop however is Sperus or Hesperus, bishop in 535. Many of the bishops were declared holy or blessed, like Saint Arnulf, Saint Chrodegang or Saint Agilram. Adelbero was bishop of Metz in 933 AD; the bishop of Metz is appointed by the President of the Republic. Willibrord Benzler, O. S. B. 1901–1919 Jean-Baptiste Pelt, 1919–1937 Joseph-Jean Heintz, 1938–1958 Paul Joseph Schmitt, 1958–1987 Pierre René Ferdinand Raffin, O. P. 1987–2013 Jean-Christophe Lagleize, 2013–presentAuxiliary bishopsJean-Pierre Vuillemin, appointed 8 January 2019 Catholic Church in France Website of the diocese Catholic hierarchy Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "Metz". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company
Protestant Reformed Church of Alsace and Lorraine
The Protestant Reformed Church of Alsace and Lorraine is a Reformed denomination in Alsace and Northeastern Lorraine, France. As a church body it enjoys the status as an établissement public du culte; the EPRAL adheres to the Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, Heidelberg Catechism and the Second Helvetic Confession. The EPRAL has 33,000 members in 52 congregations served by 50 pastors. Congregations holding services in German language use the current German Protestant hymnal Evangelisches Gesangbuch issued by the Protestant church bodies in Austria, France and Luxembourg, in a regional edition including traditional hymns from Alsace and Moselle. In 2006 the EPRAL formed with the EPCAAL the Union of Protestant Churches of Lorraine; this is no united body. However, the two churches maintain their own organisation; the EPRAL is member of the Protestant Federation of France and of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the World Council of Churches. The EPRAL was a founding member of the Conference of Churches on the Rhine in 1961, which now functions as a regional group of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe.
The EPRAL has close fellowship with the Reformed Church of France. The first Reformed congregation in the area was founded by John Calvin in Strasbourg in Alsace, it has its origin in the early times of the Reformation. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the populations in a number of small imperial estates or free imperial cities including their governments had adopted the Reformed confession. Reformed confession spread in the northern and eastern part of the area with concentration in Mulhouse and Metz. In Strasbourg and some enclaves in northern Alsace and the Vosges, Reformed Christians form only small minority communities, but the Republic in Mulhouse was reformed at the time of the French Revolution, when all the area had become a part of France. After the conclusion of the Concordat of 1801 with the Vatican applying to French Roman Catholicism, in 1802 Napoleon I decreed the organic articles which constituted the other then-existing major religious groups in France, the Calvinists and Lutherans, as recognised public religious bodies.
These bodies all followed a similar model with semigovernmental leading bodies, such as the Reformed Central Council in Paris, the Lutheran General Consistory in Strasbourg and the Israelite Central Consistory in Paris. Subordinate to the chief bodies there were regional consistories each comprising several congregations altogether counting at least 6,000 souls; the organic articles shaped the constitution of the pre-1905 Reformed Church of France. The representatives of the Reformed church accepted the governmentally imposed structure, since it did not put the Reformed church in a worse position than the other creeds. However, Napoleon's model of hierarchical parastatal governance was a harsh breach with many crucial Reformed presbyterial and synodal traditions. Pastors were not employed and paid by the church people, constituted in the congregations, but were chosen and paid by the government and subordinate to the government-appointed members of the consistories. Napoleon's law did not provide for a general synod, the only body relevant in taking decisions in matters of doctrine and teaching for all the church, while the law de jure provided for regional synods combining representatives of at least five consistorial ambits the government de facto never allowed their convocation.
Lacking a general synod, last convened in 1659, with no provincial synods convoked, the Reformed congregations formed the only decision-taking body, though restricted to local church matters, legitimised by the Reformed doctrine. Until 1852 the law did not recognise Reformed congregations but considered them as indistinct local outposts of the parastatal consistories. On 26 March 1852 Napoleon III signed a decree, influenced by Charles Read, which still did not provide for a general synod, but at least made the Reformed congregations distinct legal entities, whose governing bodies - according to Reformed doctrine - were elected by the male adult members; the new Central Council established in 1852, the supreme executive body of the Reformed Church of France, was staffed with incumbents appointed by the government, a practice contradicting the presbyterial and synodal doctrine of Calvinism. In the course of the 19th century, Calvinists in France clung to different theological movements, such as traditionalist Calvinism, rationalist theology, Christian revival or Liberal Christianity.
So the pre-1905 Reformed Church of France entered into heavy controversies on doctrinal and teaching matters which could not be resolved due to the lacking general synod. Many Calvinists were adherents of the Christian revival movement colliding with proponents of religious liberalism; the congregations still could not employ the pastors, since the advowson was with the parastatal consistories. When the consistories appointed pastors of a particular theological leaning to a congregation whose members and elected bodies clung to another opinion, it created hefty quarrels. Two pastoral conferences were convened each by proponents of one of the two main currents in Fren
Colmar is the third-largest commune of the Alsace region in north-eastern France. It is the seat of the prefecture of the Haut-Rhin department and the arrondissement of Colmar-Ribeauvillé; the town is situated on the Alsatian Wine Route and considers itself to be the "capital of Alsatian wine". The city is renowned for its well-preserved old town, its numerous architectural landmarks, its museums, among, the Unterlinden Museum, with the Isenheim Altarpiece. Colmar was founded in the 9th century and is mentioned as Columbarium Fiscum by the monk Notker Balbulus in a text dated 823; this was the location where the Carolingian Emperor Charles the Fat held a diet in 884. Colmar was granted the status of a free imperial city by Emperor Frederick II in 1226. In 1354 it joined the Décapole city league. In 1548 Josel of Rosheim urged the Reichskammergericht court to repeal the Colmar market ban on Jewish merchants; the city adopted the Protestant Reformation in 1575, long after the northern neighbours of Strasbourg and Sélestat.
During the Thirty Years' War, it was taken by the Swedish army in 1632. In 1634 the Schoeman family started the first town library. In 1635 the city's harvest was spoiled by Imperialist forces while the residents shot at them from the walls; the city was conquered by France under King Louis XIV in 1673 and ceded by the 1679 Treaties of Nijmegen. With the rest of Alsace, Colmar was annexed by the newly formed German Empire in 1871 as a result of the Franco-Prussian War and incorporated into the Alsace-Lorraine province, it returned to France after World War I according to the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1940, reverted to French control after the battle of the "Colmar Pocket" in 1945. Colmar has been continuously governed by conservative parties since 1947, the Popular Republican Movement, the Union for French Democracy and the Union for a Popular Movement, has had only three mayors during that time; the Colmar Treasure, a hoard of precious objects hidden by Jews during the Black Death, was discovered here in 1863.
Colmar is 64 kilometres south-southwest of Strasbourg, at 48.08°N, 7.36°E, on the Lauch River, a tributary of the Ill. It is connected to the Rhine in the east by a canal. In 2013, the city had a population of 67,956, the metropolitan area of Colmar had a population of 126,957 in 2009. Colmar is the center of the arrondissement of Colmar-Ribeauvillé, which had 199,182 inhabitants in 2013. Colmar has a sunny microclimate and is one of the driest cities in France, with an annual precipitation of just 607 mm, making it ideal for Alsace wine, it is considered the capital of the Alsatian wine region. The dryness results from the town's location next to mountains, which force clouds arriving from the west to rise, much of their moisture to condense and fall as precipitation over the higher ground, leaving the air warmed and dried by the time it reaches Colmar. Spared from the destructions of the French Revolution and the wars of 1870–1871, 1914–1918 and 1939–1945, the cityscape of old-town Colmar is homogenous and renowned among tourists.
An area, crossed by canals of the river Lauch is now called "little Venice". Colmar's secular and religious architectural landmarks reflect eight centuries of Germanic and French architecture and the adaptation of their respective stylistic language to the local customs and building materials. Maison Adolph – 14th century Koïfhus known as Ancienne Douane – 1480 Maison Pfister – 1537. Ancien Corps de garde – 1575 Maison des Chevaliers de Saint-Jean – 1608 Maison des Têtes – 1609 Poêle des laboureurs – 1626 Ancien Hôpital – 1736–1744 Tribunal de grande instance – 1771 Hôtel de ville – 1790 Colmar prison –- 1791 a convent built in 1316. Cour d'Assises – 1840 Théâtre municipal – 1849 Marché couvert – 1865; the city's covered market, built in stone and cast iron, still serves today. Préfecture – 1866 Water tower – 1886. Oldest still preserved water tower in Alsace. Out of use since 1984. Gare SNCF – 1905 Cour d'appel – 1906 Église Saint-Martin – 1234–1365; the largest church of Colmar and one of the largest in Haut-Rhin.
Displays some early stained glass windows, several Gothic and Renaissance sculptures and altars, a grand Baroque organ case. The choir is surrounded by an ambulatory opening on a series of Gothic chapels, a unique feature in Alsatian churches. Église des Dominicains – 1289–1364. Now disaffected as a church, displays Martin Schongauer's masterwork La Vierge au buisson de roses as well as 14th century stained glass windows and baroque choir stalls; the adjacent convent buildings house a section of the municipal library. Église Saint-Matthieu – 13th century. Gothic and Renaissance stained glass windows and mural paintings, as well as a wooden and painted ceiling. Couvent des Antonins – 13th century. Disaffected church and convent buildings notable for a richly ornate cloister. Now housing the Unterlinden Museum. Église Sainte-Catherine – 1371. Disaffected church and convent buildings now used as an assembly festival venue. Chapelle
The Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine was a territory created by the German Empire in 1871, after it annexed most of Alsace and the Moselle department of Lorraine following its victory in the Franco-Prussian War. The Alsatian part lay in the Rhine Valley on the west bank of the Rhine River and east of the Vosges Mountains; the Lorraine section was in the upper Moselle valley to the north of the Vosges. The territory encompassed 93% of Alsace and 26% of Lorraine, while the rest of these regions remained part of France. For historical reasons, specific legal dispositions are still applied in the territory in the form of a "local law". In relation to its special legal status, since its reversion to France following World War I, the territory has been referred to administratively as Alsace-Moselle. Since 2016, the historical territory is now part of the French administrative region of Grand Est. Alsace-Lorraine had a land area of 14,496 km2, its capital was Straßburg. It was divided in three districts: Oberlelsaß, whose capital was Kolmar, had a land area of 3,525 km2 and corresponds to the current department of Haut-Rhin Unterelsaß, whose capital was Straßburg, had a land area of 4,755 km2 and corresponds to the current department of Bas-Rhin Lothringen, whose capital was Metz, had a land area of 6,216 km2 and corresponds to the current department of Moselle The largest urban areas in Alsace-Lorraine at the 1910 census were: Straßburg: 220,883 inhabitants Mülhausen: 128,190 inhabitants Metz: 102,787 inhabitants Diedenhofen: 69,693 inhabitants Colmar: 44,942 inhabitants The modern history of Alsace-Lorraine was influenced by the rivalry between French and German nationalism.
France long sought to attain and preserve its "natural boundaries", which were the Pyrenees to the southwest, the Alps to the southeast, the Rhine River to the northeast. These strategic claims led to the annexation of territories located west of the Rhine river in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. What is now known as Alsace was progressively conquered by Louis XIV in the 17th century, while Lorraine was incorporated in the 18th century under Louis XV. German nationalism, which resurfaced following the French occupation of Germany under Napoleon, sought to unify all the German-speaking populations of the former Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation into a single nation-state; as various German dialects were spoken by most of the population of Alsace and Moselle, these regions were viewed by German nationalists to be rightfully part of hoped-for united Germany in the future. We Germans who know Germany and France know better what is good for the Alsatians than the unfortunates themselves.
In the perversion of their French life they have no exact idea of. In 1871, the newly created German Empire's demand for Alsace from France after its victory in the Franco-Prussian War was not a punitive measure; the transfer was controversial among the Germans: The German Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, was opposed to it, as he thought it would engender permanent French enmity toward Germany. Some German industrialists did not want the competition from Alsatian industries, such as the cloth makers who would be exposed to competition from the sizeable industry in Mulhouse. Karl Marx warned his fellow Germans: "If Alsace and Lorraine are taken France will make war on Germany in conjunction with Russia, it is unnecessary to go into the unholy consequences." However, the German Emperor, Wilhelm I sided with army commander Helmuth von Moltke, other Prussian generals and other officials who argued that a westward shift in the French border was necessary for strategic military and ethnographic reasons.
From an ethnic perspective, the transfer involved people who for the most part spoke Alemannic German dialects. From a military perspective, by early 1870s standards, shifting the frontier away from the Rhine would give the Germans a strategic buffer against feared future French attacks. Due to the annexation, the Germans gained control of the fortifications of French-speaking Metz, as well as Strasbourg on the left bank of the Rhine and most of the iron resources of Lorraine. However, domestic politics in the new Reich may have been decisive. Although it was led by Prussia, the new German Empire was a decentralized federal state; the new arrangement left many senior Prussian generals with serious misgivings about leading diverse military forces to guard a prewar frontier that, except for the northernmost section, was part of two other states of the new Empire – Baden and Bavaria. As as the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, these states had been Prussia's enemies. In the new Empire's constitution, both states, but Bavaria, had been given concessions with regard to local autonomy, including partial control of their military forces.
For this reason, the Prussian General Staff argued that it was necessary for the Reich's frontier with France to be under direct Prussian control. Creating a new Imperial Territory out of French territory would achieve this goal: although a Reichsland would not be part of the Kingdom of Prussia, being governed directly from Berlin it would be under Prusso-German control. Thus, by annexing Alsace-Lorraine, Berlin was able to avoid complications with Baden and Bavaria on such matters as new fortifications. Memories of the Napoleonic Wars were still quite fresh in the 1870s. Right up until the Franco-Prussian War, the French had maintained a long-standing desire to establish their entire eastern frontier on the Rhine, th