French commune|nomcommune=Haguenau
canton=Haguenau (chief town)
maire=Claude Sturni
de communes de
la région de Haguenau

alt moy=150 m
alt mini=115 m
alt maxi=203 m

Haguenau ( _fr. Haguenau, pronounced|agəno; Alsatian: "Hàwenau", pronounced IPA| [ˈhaːvənaʊ] ; _de. Hagenau) is a commune located in northeastern France, in the Bas-Rhin "département", of which it is a "sous-préfecture". It is the fourth most populous town in Alsace: within the Bas-Rhin département, its population of 35,100 makes Haguenau second in size only to Strasbourg, some 30 km to the south. To the north of the town, the "Forêt de Haguenau" is the largest undivided forest in the country.


Haguenau dates from the beginning of the 12th century, and owes its origin to the erection, by the dukes of Swabia, of a hunting lodge on an island in the Moder River. Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa fortified it and gave it town rights in 1154. On the site of the hunting lodge he founded an imperial palace, in which were preserved the "Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire", i.e. the jewelled imperial crown, scepter, imperial globe, and sword of Charlemagne.

Subsequently Haguenau became the seat of the "Landvogt" of Hagenau, the imperial advocatus in Lower Alsace. Richard of Cornwall, King of the Romans, made it an imperial city in 1257. In the 14th century, it housed the executive council of the Decapole, a defensive and offensive association of ten Alsatian towns against the surrounding political instability. In the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 was ceded to France, and in 1673 King Louis XIV had the fortifications razed. Haguenau was captured by imperial troops in 1675, but it was taken by the French two years later, nearly being destroyed by fire in the process.

In 1871 Haguenau was annexed by the German Empire, per its victory in the Franco-Prussian War, and made part of Alsace-Lorraine as "Hagenau". It was part of the independent Republic of Alsace Lorraine after World War I, but it was annexed by France shortly after that.

Haguenau recently gained notoriety in historian Stephen Ambrose's book "Band of Brothers" and the HBO miniseries based on it, when Easy Company was stationed there in early 1945 during World War II.


The town has a well balanced economy. Centuries of troubled history in the buffer lands between France and Germany have bequeathed to Haguenau a rich historical and cultural heritage which supports a lively tourist trade. There is also a thriving light manufacturing sector centred on the industrial zone to the west of the town. Here the presence nearby of significant retail developments testifies to Haguenau's importance as a regional commercial centre. The recent extension of the ring road has improved access to the commercial and industrial zones and reduced the traffic congestion which used to be a frequent challenge for vehicle drivers using the road which follows the line of the old city walls on the western side of town.



In spite of the many destruction Haguenau suffered during the many wars experienced by Alsace, especially the Thirty Years War, the French conquest in 1677 and World War II, she still keeps monuments from 9 centuries, even if nothing is left of arguably the most prestigious of them Frederick I Barbarossa's imperial palace ("Kaiserpfalz").

Medieval Haguenau retains three gates from it's former fortification, the "Tour des Chevaliers" (Tower of the knights), the "Tour des Pêcheurs" (Tower of the fishermen) and the "Porte de Wissembourg" (Wissembourg gate), two fairly large gothic churches, Saint-Georges and Saint-Nicolas as well as and ancient water-mill and the old custom-house ("Ancienne Douane"). Both Saint-Georges and Saint-Nicolas Church have lost many of their artistic treasures over the centuries, especially their medieval stained glass windows and outside sculptures. Still, both display to this day some fine liturgical furniture (altars, choir stalls, organ cases, church tabernacles, calvaries...). Saint-Nicolas has become the receptacle for the baroque wooden decoration of the church of the destroyed Neubourg Abbey nearby.

French baroque and classicism has bequeathed the city several buildings, among which the former hospital and the current town hall. The Synagogue (1820) is a fine example of French Neo-classicism, as is the theatre ("Théâtre municipal") (1846). The large Hop hall ("Halle au houblon") is a good example of historicism in architecture. It was built by the French in 1867 and extended twice by the Germans, in 1881 and 1908.

Haguenau's streets are adorned by attractive fountains, the medieval Saint-Georges fountain, the 18th-century Bee fountain ("Fontaine aux abeilles") and the 1825 Dolphin fountain ("Fontaine aux dauphins").


*Musée historique (Haguenau) (Historical Museum). The largest museum in Bas-Rhin outside of Strasbourg, it is located in a grand neo-medieval building (1905).
*Musée Alsacien (Haguenau) (Alsatian Museum). Located in the former palace of the chancellor ("Chancellerie"), Haguenau's main Renaissance building.

Higher education

The "Institut universitaire de technologie de Haguenau" (IUT) was founded in 2006. It is a branch of the University of Strasbourg.

Notable residents

*Werner Barkholt (1902–1942) - Catholic spiritualist
*Philipp Friedrich Böddecker (1607–1683) - Componist and organist
*Karl Gengler (1886–1974) - politician
*Reinmar of Hagenau - 12th century minnesinger
*Wolfgang Fabricius Capito (1478-1541) - theologian and reformer
*Josel of Rosheim (1476–1554) - shtadlan
*Pierre Seel (1923-2005) - activist
*Marie-Louise Roth (1926-) - literary scientist
*Sébastien Loeb (1974-) - rally driver

Sister cities

Haguenau is twinned with:
* Landau (Germany)

External links

* [http://www.ville-haguenau.fr/ Official website] fr icon
* [http://en.structurae.de/geo/geoid/index.cfm?ID=18928 Haguenau on Structurae.de]
* [http://iuthaguenau.u-strasbg.fr/ IUT Haguenau]
* [http://www.peachmountain.com/5star/Robert_Thibault_French_Soldier.aspx Robert Thibault, 12ème Régiment d'Artillerie in Hagenau, 1939-1940]

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