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%
Saint Margaret's Chapel, Epfig
Saint Margaret's Chapel, Epfig is an 11th-century Romanesque church in the hamlet of Saint Margaret, near Epfig in the Lower Rhine Department of Alsace, France. It is part of the Route Romane d'Alsace; the chapel, dedicated to Saint Margaret of Antioch, is of special historic and architectural interest. The church tower dates from the 11th century; the unique porch gallery was added in the 12th century. A square chapel was added in 1516; the interior contains some fine wall paintings. In the porch is a 19th-century ossuary, containing the bones and 277 skulls of local people who died in the 1525 peasant's war; the medieval-style gardens in front of the chapel, which include a cross-shaped herbal garden and fountain, were added in 2002. The Church was classed a historic monument in 1876, following substantial restoration work in 1875; the statue of Saint Margaret which used to stand in the Chapel was stolen in 1973. Official Website Plan of the Chapel in the CRIP database Entry for St Margaret's Chapel in the official Heritage France website
Wissembourg is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Grand Est in northeastern France. It is situated on the little River Lauter close to the border between France and Germany 60 km north of Strasbourg and 35 km west of Karlsruhe. Wissembourg is a sub-prefecture of the department; the name Wissembourg is a Gallicized version of Weißenburg in German meaning "white castle". The Latin place-name, sometimes used in ecclesiastical sources, is Sebusium; the town was annexed by France after 1648 but incorporated into Germany in 1871. It was returned to France in 1919, but reincorporated back into Germany on 1940. After 1944 it again became French. Weissenburg Abbey, the Benedictine abbey around which the town has grown, was founded in the 7th century under the patronage of Dagobert I; the abbey was supported by vast territories. Of the 11th-century buildings constructed under the direction of Abbot Samuel, only the Schartenturm and some moats remain; the town was fortified in the 13th century. The abbey church of Saint-Pierre et Paul erected in the same century under the direction of Abbot Edelin was secularized in the French Revolution and despoiled of its treasures.
At the abbey in the late 9th century the monk Otfried composed a gospel harmony, the first substantial work of verse in German. In 1354 Charles IV made it one of the grouping of ten towns called the Décapole that survived annexation by France under Louis XIV in 1678 and was extinguished with the French Revolution. On 25 January 1677 a great fire destroyed the Hôtel de Ville. Many early structures were spared: the Maison du Sel, under its Alsatian pitched roof was the first hospital of the town. There are many 15th and 16th-century timber-frame houses, parts of the walls and gateways of the town; the Maison de Stanislas was the retreat of Stanisław Leszczyński, ex-king of Poland, from 1719 to 1725, when the formal request arrived, 3 April 1725 asking for the hand of his daughter in marriage to Louis XV. The First Battle of Wissembourg took place near the town in 1793; the “Lines of Wissembourg,” made by Villars in 1706, were famous. They were a line of works extending to Lauterbourg nine miles to the southeast.
Like the fortifications of the town, only vestiges remain, although the city wall is still intact for stretches. Austrian General von Wurmser succeeded in capturing the lines in October 1793, but was defeated two months by General Pichegru of the French Army and forced to retreat, along with the Prussians, across the Rhine River. Wissembourg formed the setting for the Romantic novel L’ami Fritz co-written by the team of Erckmann and Chatrian, which provided the material for Mascagni's opera L'Amico Fritz. Another Battle of Wissembourg took place on 4 August 1870, it was the first battle of the Franco-Prussian War. The Prussians were nominally commanded by the Crown Prince Frederick, but ably directed by his Chief of Staff, General Leonhard Graf von Blumenthal; the French defeat allowed the Prussian army to move into France. The Geisberg monument commemorates the battle. Otfrid of Weissenburg Jean-Gotthard Grimmer, pastor at Wissembourg deputy to the National Convention on 10 ventôse year III to replace Philibert Simond.
Louis Moll, born in Wissembourg in 1809 and died in 1880. Joseph GuerberJoseph Guerber Stanisław Leszczyński, king of Poland from 1704 to 1709, exiled in Wissembourg and lived from 1719 to 1725; the school in the city now bears his name. Charles de Foucauld Auguste Dreyfus Jean Frédéric Wentzel, famous photos of Wissembourg Jean-François Kornetzky, football goalkeeper Martin Bucer was a Protestant reformer based in Wissembourg/Strasbourg who influenced Lutheran and Anglican doctrines and practices. Drew Heissler aka Pokey LaFarge, is songwriter, his family emigrated from Wissembourg/Alsace. Jean-Pierre Hubert, a science-fiction writer. Julie Velten Favre and educator The town, set in a landscape of wheat fields, retains a former Augustinian convent with its large-scale Gothic church, now the parish of Saints-Pierre-et-Paul, its Grenier aux Dîmes belonging to the Abbey is 18th-century but an ancient foundation. Noteworthy houses are the medieval "Salt house", the Renaissance "House of l'Ami Fritz" and the classicist City Hall, a work by Joseph Massol.
Communes of the Bas-Rhin department Château Saint-Rémy d'Altenstadt INSEE commune file Tourist information Accessed 11 May 2014. Saints Peter and Paul Church at Structurae Virtual tour picture gallery Interactive map of the property of abbey Wissembourg, based on Liber donationum and Liber possessionum, in Traditiones possessionesque Wizenburgenses, edited by Zeuss, Johann Caspar, Speyer 1842
Rouffach is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Grand Est in north-eastern France. Rouffach lies along the Alsatian wine route, its vineyards produce one of the finest Alsatian wines: the Grand Cru Vorbourg. Rouffach is situated on the Lauch River, 15 km south of Colmar and 28 km north of Mulhouse, on the vineyards of the eastern foothills of the Vosges Mountains; the most important transportation routes between the towns are the N83 and the railway line Strasbourg-Mulhouse-Basel. in pago qui vocatur Rubiaco, Rubiacum 12th century, Rufiacum 13th century. In records of the diocese of Strasbourg it is called Upper Mundat; the name derives from the Gallo-Roman male's name Rubbius or Rubius ending with Celtic suffix -āko > -acum. Similar place-names in France: Royat, Robiac. In the 5th century, the walled village beneath the stronghold of Isenburg was a residence of the Merovingian kings. According to pious legend recorded in the chronicle of Ebersmunster, the son of King Dagobert II gave the city to Arbogast, bishop of Strasbourg, in the 7th century, after the bishop had re-awakened his son Sigebert from death in a hunting incident.
More the fief was one of the most ancient belonging to Strasbourg. It became the main town of an episocopal fief, which included Eguisheim; the city developed and a wall was built around it. The golden age ended abruptly with the Thirty Years' War, when the town was devastated by the Swedes. Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria held court in the city. At the end of the war, when Alsace was conquered by France, the fief was abolished; the city again achieved prosperity, chiefly due to wine growing and the production of kirsch from the cherry orchards connected with the chateau, because it was spared during the following wars. During the time of Nazi annexation, a Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalt was housed in a former sanatorium of the city. Rouffach is a station on the Romanesque Route of Alsace; the Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Church of yellow sandstone was built in the Romanesque and Gothic styles. The transept is from the second half of the 11th century, the Gothic nave is from the 12th and 13th centuries, with Romanesque side portals.
Construction on the building continued until 1508. The northern steeple is 56 m high, the southern steeple is only 42 m high; the tip of the crossing steeple reaches a height of 68 m. The building suffered severe damage during the French Revolution and appears plain today; the voluminous structure of the church and the existence of several medieval styles of construction are all the more apparent to the observer, though. The rose; the church of the Franciscans was built at the end of the 15th century. Numerous buildings from the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance still give the city a medieval character; the Witch Tower, built in the 13th to the 15th centuries, served as a prison. The castle of Isenbourg, residence of King Dagobert II and his son Sigbert, the Strasbourg bishop no longer remains. Today, a luxury hotel is housed in a reconstruction from the 19th century; the Établissement public local d’enseignement agricole de Rouffach is a secondary school for technology and wine growing. Since 1964, Rouffach has been a partner of the German city of Bönnigheim in Baden-Württemberg.
Born in Rouffach: Konrad Pelikan, 1478–1556, reformer and theologian Valentin Boltz, 1515–1560, theologian and author Conrad Lycosthenes and encyclopedist François Joseph Lefebvre, French Revolutionary general and Marshal of FranceResident in Rouffach: Sebastian Münster, was a student of Konrad Pelikan in Rouffach from 1509 to 1511 Communes of the Haut-Rhin department INSEE The city in pictures
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
Murbach Abbey was a famous Benedictine monastery in Murbach, southern Alsace, in a valley at the foot of the Grand Ballon in the Vosges. The monastery was founded in 727 by Eberhard, Count of Alsace, established as a Benedictine house by Saint Pirmin, its territory once comprised thirty villages. The buildings, including the abbey church, one of the earliest vaulted Romanesque structures, were laid waste in 1789 during the Revolution by the peasantry and the abbey was dissolved shortly afterwards. Of the Romanesque abbey church, dedicated to Saint Leodegar, only the transept remains with its two towers, the east end with the quire; the site of the nave now serves as a burial ground. The building is located on the Route Romane d'Alsace; the founder of the abbey, Count Eberhard, brother of Luitfrid of the Etichonids, brought Bishop Pirmin from Reichenau Abbey on Lake Constance to build up the religious community, which had used the Rule of St. Columbanus, but which had lost its original value. Pirmin solved the difficulties by introducing the mixed rule of St. Columbanus and St. Benedict, until the general reform of Benedict of Aniane.
Count Eberhard gave the abbey a rich endowment and extensive privileges, including the right of free election of the abbot. The monastery was obliged to have its privileges confirmed and was thus dependent on the Pope and the Emperor. Murbach was placed under the patronage of Saint Leodegar, who had introduced the Benedictine Rule into Burgundy in the 7th century; the abbey was important politically, Charlemagne himself took the title "Abbot of Murbach" in 792–93. By about 850 Murbach had become one of the intellectual centres of the Upper Rhine. In its decline, the library at Murbach still provided a possible source for Poggio Bracciolini's recovery in 1417 of Lucretius' lost didactic poem De rerum natura. At the same time the worldly possessions of the abbey were increasing, thanks to large numbers of gifts. Murbach owned rights in about 350 localities. Most of them were in the Bishoprics of Basle and Strasbourg. In addition there were properties on the right bank of the Rhine and in the Black Forest.
For example, in 805 the Alemannic nobles Egilmar, Focholt and Nothicho gave to the abbey their land and a church in the present Grissheim. Lucerne abbey was a possession of Murbach by the mid 9th century; this first period of prosperity ended in 936 with the invasion of Alsace by Hungarians. Murbach shows signs of decline during the 12th century, although in 1178, the city of Lucerne was founded as a Murbach possession. Murbach Abbey was granted the status of imperial immediacy in 1228, under abbot Hugues of Rothenburg. Murbach expanded its territorial possessions during the 13th century in the Alsace, leading to conflicts with the Bishop of Basel and the counts of Habsburg. Murbach Abbey sold its rights over the city of Lucerne and estates in Unterwalden to Rudolph I of Germany on 16 April 1291; this was a significant event for the foundation of the Old Swiss Confederacy, as the Waldstätte or Forest Communities saw their trade route over Lake Lucerne cut off and feared losing their independence.
From the 14th century the abbey began to decline in influence although in the 15th and 16th centuries it retained its status as a principality. The Peace of Westphalia of 1648 granted parts of the Alsace to France, but reserved the abbeys of Murbach Lüders as remaining with the Holy Roman Empire; the kingdom of France managed to acquire de facto control over both abbeys in 1680, under the so-called Chambers of Reunion established by Louis XIV, the two abbeys were part of the territorial disputes between France and the Empire during the period of 1680 to 1789. In c. 1759, under Kasimir Friedrich von Rathsamhausen, the abbey abandoned the Benedictine Rule and was transfomed into a college for members of the nobility. In 1789 the abbey was dissolved after having been looted by rioting peasants. Source: Gallia Christiana. List of Carolingian monasteries Philippe Legin: Die Abteikirche von Murbach im Oberelsass. Colmar, Editions S. A. E. P. Ingersheim, 1980 Otto Feld. "Zur Baugeschichte der Klosterkirche Murbach".
Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte. Deutscher Kunstverlag GmbH Munchen Berlin. 24: 242–49. Doi:10.2307/1481537. JSTOR 1481537. Romanik im Elsaß: ehemalige Klosterkirche Murbach History and photos of Murbach Abbey
Gothic architecture is a style that flourished in Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages. It was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. Originating in 12th-century France, it was used for cathedrals and churches, until the 16th century, its most prominent features included the use of the rib vault and the flying buttress, which allowed the weight of the roof to be counterbalanced by buttresses outside the building, giving greater height and more space for windows. Another important feature was the extensive use of stained glass, the rose window, to bring light and color to the interior. Another feature was the use of realistic statuary on the exterior over the portals, to illustrate biblical stories for the illiterate parishioners; these technologies had all existed in Romanesque architecture, but they were used in more innovative ways and more extensively in Gothic architecture to make buildings taller and stronger. The first notable example is considered to be the Abbey of Saint-Denis, near Paris, whose choir and facade were reconstructed with Gothic features.
The choir was completed in 1144. The style appeared in some civic architecture in northern Europe, notably in town halls and university buildings. A Gothic revival began in mid-18th-century England, spread through 19th century Europe and continued for ecclesiastical and university structures, into the 20th century. Gothic architecture was known during the period as opus francigenum, The term "Gothic architecture" originated in the 16th century, was very negative, suggesting barbaric. Giorgio Vasari used the term "barbarous German style" in his 1550 Lives of the Artists to describe what is now considered the Gothic style, in the introduction to the Lives he attributed various architectural features to "the Goths" whom he held responsible for destroying the ancient buildings after they conquered Rome, erecting new ones in this style; the Gothic style originated in the Ile-de-France region of northern France in the first half of the 12th century. A new dynasty of French Kings, the Capetians, had subdued the feudal lords, had become the most powerful rulers in France, with their capital in Paris.
They allied themselves with the bishops of the major cities of northern France, reduced the power of the feudal abbots and monasteries. Their rise coincided with an enormous growth of the population and prosperity of the cities of northern France; the Capetian Kings and their bishops wished to build new cathedrals as monuments of their power and religious faith. The church which served as the primary model for the style was the Abbey of St-Denis, which underwent reconstruction by the Abbot Suger, first in the choir and the facade, Suger was a close ally and biographer of the French King, Louis VII, a fervent Catholic and builder, the founder of the University of Paris. Suger remodeled the ambulatory of the Abbey, removed the enclosures that separated the chapels, replaced the existing structure with imposing pillars and rib vaults; this created higher and wider bays, into which he installed larger windows, which filled the end of the church with light. Soon afterwards he rebuilt the facade, adding three deep portals, each with a tympanum, an arch filled with sculpture illustrating biblical stories.
The new facade was flanked by two towers. He installed a small circular rose window over the central portal; this design became the prototype for a series of new French cathedrals. Sens Cathedral was the first Cathedral to be built in the new style. Other versions of the new style soon appeared in Noyon Cathedral; the Gothic style was adapted by some French monastic orders, notably the Cistercian order under Saint Bernard of Clairvaux It was used in an austere form without ornament at the new Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay and the church of Clairvaux Abbey, whose site is now occupied by a French prison. The new style was copied outside the Kingdom of France in the Duchy of Normandy. Early examples of Norman Gothic included Coutances Cathedral. Through the rule of the Angevin dynasty, the new style was introduced to England and spread from there to Low Countries, Spain, northern Italy and Sicily; the Gothic style did not replace the Romanesque everywhere in Europe. The Late Romanesque continued to flourish in the Holy Roman Empire under the Hohenstaufens and Rhineland.
From the end of the 12th century until the middle of the 13th century, the gothic style spread from the Île-de-France to appear in other cities of northern France. New structures in the style included Chartres Cathedral; the early type of rib vault used of Saint Denis and Notre Dame, with six parts, was modified to four parts, making it simpler and stronger. Amiens and Chartres were among the first to use the flying buttress. At Reims, the buttresses were given greater weight and strength by the addition of heavy stone pinnacles on top; these were decorated with statues of ange