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This particular monument with the names of the victims of WW I and of WW II shows the dramatic fate of the Alsace-Lorraine region.
In 1870, when Napoleon III lost the war against the Prussians, the Alsace became part of the German Empire.
When WW I started in 1914 the Alsatians were incorporated in the German army. As they were suspected of sympathies for France most of them were sent on the Russian front.
From this small village of Eguisheim 49 soldiers lost life in WW I.
In November 1918 the Alsace returned to France.
In 1940 the Alsace is again annexed to Germany. The Eguisheim victims of WW II are soldiers, a number of them where obliged after the French surrender to join the German army and to fight on the East front. They were called the "Malgré-Nous" (in spite of ourselves). There were 31 soldiers killed or missing and 19 civilian victims of WW II.
Written Dec 28, 2009
There are only 1600 inhabitants in Eguisheim but more than 50 are vignerons-winegrowers and they have nice houses which serve as cellars and shops where visitors can taste and buy wines. I put here photos from two of them which are very colourful.
Written Dec 27, 2009
The photo shows the most spectacular street view with that narrow house called "Le Pigeonnier" (pigeon house) at the junction of two streets (rue du rempart Sud).
Eguisheim is a unique example of 15th century civil and military architecture. Narrow streets around the former ramparts are lined with half-timbered houses, balconies, bow-windows and pointed gables. In the summer there are flowers everywhere. The village has a "4-flower" rating.
Updated Dec 27, 2009
Address: Rue du Rempart Sud near Grand'Rue
This is the most spectacular street of Eguisheim following the former circular ramparts.
It is a long and narrow street with half-timbered houses, balconies, bow-windows and pointed gables.
There is a Rue du Rempart Sud starting at the Grand' Rue with that narrow house called "Le pigeonnier" (pigeon house) and on the other side of the town a Rue du Rempart Nord. They join at what is left of a gate "Porte Haute".
The houses are rather simple - you will not see here much decorated and large houses like in Strasbourg or Colmar - but the colourful palette from red to blue is amazing.
Written Dec 27, 2009
Address: Rue du Rempart Sud & Nord, Eguisheim centre.
Pope St Leo IX was born here in 1002 as Bruno son of Count Hugon IV of Eguisheim
Since 1894, a chapel is dedicated to him. It was built in a neo-roman style on the site of a medieval tower.
Inside, on the vault, Martin painted medallions in the style of the 11th century. They represent seven scenes of the life of St-Leo. The stained glasses from 1895, symbolize the Saints of Alsace; many of them belonged to the family of the Counts of Eguisheim.
Written Dec 26, 2009
The Weckmund castle was built in the 13th century on the same hill but to the south of the two other Eguisheim castles.
At the death of the last direct descendant of the Counts of Eguisheim in 1225, the Counts of Ferrette became the closest heirs, but their claim was disputed by the Bishop of Strasbourg who declared war and occupied the castles of Eguisheim. In 1226-1227, King Henry of Germany, ally of the Counts of Ferrette, built this siege tower in the lower yard to control access to the castles. When peace returned, the Bishop retained the Dagsbourg (on the north) and the Weckmund reverted to the Count of Ferrette.
Updated Dec 14, 2009
From the three castles the oldest is called Wahlenbourg and was constructed in 1006 by Hugues IV, Count of Eguisheim on the site of a Roman watch tower. The edifice was divided into three distinct parts: at the top was the Count’s residence (on the left of the photo), below was accommodation for family retainers and officers, then at the bottom were barracks for soldiers and the stables.
In 1026, the castle was destroyed by Duke Ernest of Swabia.
On the right side of my photo you can see the tower of the Dagsbourg: This was built in 1144 by the Count of Ferrette. After a revolt against the Emperor Henri IV, it was destroyed in 1197 by Philip of Swabia, the Emperor’s brother.
Written Dec 12, 2009
The ruins of medieval castles called les "Trois Châteaux d' Eguisheim" stand on a hill (591 m) called Schlossberg at about 3 Km westwards from Eguisheim. They dominate a village called Husseren-les-Châteaux which is the highest winegrowing village of Alsace.
So that the 3 castles or "Donjons d' Eguisheim" are not to be found in Eguisheim but in Husseren!
From this village, with large views on the Rhine plain, a small road leads the visitor to a parking in the woods from where a path climbs in about 10 minutes to the 3 towers which are surprisingly located close to each other although at a certain period they belonged to different noblemen.
The photo shows the ruins of the three castles above Husseren. They were built between the 11th and 13th c. and all three castles were destroyed in 1466 by the troops of the city of Mulhouse during the strange "Guerre des Six Deniers" (War of the 6 oboles).
Written Dec 12, 2009
This is another street of Eguisheim with half-timbered houses, balconies, bow-windows and pointed gables.
Although we were in December one of the houses kept all its flowers.
Did they enter them at night to hide them from frost?
Updated Dec 8, 2009
The village was rather quiet when we visited in December. More alive are the important festivities of the Fête des Vignerons (winegrowers feast) during the last weekend of August.
We were surprised to find in a street a lorry with a bottling machine in full activity. This mobile bottling machine serves the wine villages and bottles wines of the smaller winegrowers who have not the money to buy their own bottling machine.
Updated Nov 29, 2009