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FRANCE FRANCE
région: Alsace  
département: 67, Bas-Rhin  

map

Wissembourg

lv: Visembūra lt: Visemburgas de: Weißenburg
bg, ru: Висамбур uk: Віссембур

2433 Wissembourg Wissembourg is situated at an elevation of 160 m on the little River Lauter close to the border between France and Germany, in the extreme north of the Alsace région, approximately 60 km north of Strasbourg. Wissembourg is a sous-préfecture of the Bas-Rhin département. The name Wissembourg is the Francosized version of the German name Weißenburg, meaning "white castle". The municipality has a population of about 8,200 (1999).

The Benedictine abbey around which the town has grown was founded in the 7th century, perhaps under the patronage of Dagobert I, king of Austrasia, king of all the Franks, and king of Neustria and Burgundy. The abbey was supported by vast territories. The town was fortified in the 13th century. In 1354 king Charles IV made it one of the grouping of ten towns called the Decapolis (Colmar, Haguenau/Hagenau, Kaysersberg, Landau in der Pfalz (since 1521), Mulhouse/Mülhausen (until 1515), Munster/Münster im Elsass, Obernai/Oberehnheim, Rosheim, Sélestat/Schlettstadt, Turckheim/Türkheim, Wissembourg/Weißenburg). that survived annexation by France under Louis XIV in 1678 and that was extinguished with the French Revolution. In 1677 a great fire destroyed many houses and the Hôtel de Ville; its replacement dates from 1741–1752. Many early structures were spared: the Maison du Sel (1448), under its Alsatian pitched roof was the first hospital of the town. There are many 15th and 16th-century half-timbered houses, and parts of the walls and gateways of the town. The Maison de Stanislas was the retreat of Stanisłas Leszczyński, ex-king of Poland, from 1719 to 1725, when the formal request arrived, April 3, 1725 asking for the hand of his daughter in marriage to Louis XV.

The abbey church of Saint-Pierre et Paul, was founded in the 7th century by Saint Pirmin on an island in the river Lauter. The Romanesque church, of which the belltower still exists today, was built in the 11th century. Most parts of the church date from the 13th century. A treasure of the church was the Christ de Wissembourg, the world's oldest known figurative glass painting, which today is exhibited in the Musée de l'&Oelig;uvre Notre-Dame in Strasbourg. The abbey was secularized in the French Revolution and despoiled of its treasures; in 1803 it became the parish church, resulting in the largest parish church of Alsace, only exceeded in size by the cathedral of Strasbourg. At the Abbey in the late 9th century, the monk Otfried composed a gospel harmony, the first substantial work of verse in German.

The Battle of Wissembourg (1793) took place on 26 and 27 December, 1793 between the French revolutionary troops commanded by général Lazare Hoche and the Austrian and Prussian troops. The French vitory resulted in the acquisition of the Alsace region. The name of the battle (in the form Weissembourg) is inscribed among many others on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

The Battle of Wissembourg (1870) took place on August 4, 1870. It was the first battle of the Franco-Prussian War. 38,000 French soldiers faced 120,000 Germans. 10,000 soldiers died in battle. The French defeat allowed the Prussian army to move into France. The Geisberg monument commemorates the event. The pictures on glass no.2433 show several of the monuments erected in memory of the various battalions:
The monument of the Royal Infantry Regiment Nr.1 (7?) (Königliches Grenadierregment Nr.1 (7?)),
The monument for the Bavarian Corps (Bayern-Denkmal),
The monument for the Posen Infantry Regiment Nr.53 (56?) (Posisches Infanterieregiment Nr.53 (56)?),
The Army monument (Armee-Denkmal)
The monuments have survived even the two World Wars.

[Texts adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wissembourg]


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