—  Department  —

Coat of arms
Location of Haut-Rhin in France
Coordinates: 47°57′51″N 7°19′11″E / 47.96417°N 7.31972°E / 47.96417; 7.31972Coordinates: 47°57′51″N 7°19′11″E / 47.96417°N 7.31972°E / 47.96417; 7.31972
Country France
Region Alsace
Prefecture Colmar
Subprefectures Altkirch
 – President of the General Council Charles Buttner (UMP)
 – Total 3,525 km2 (1,361 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 – Total 742,408
 – Rank 28th
 – Density 210.6/km2 (545.5/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 – Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 68
Arrondissements 6
Cantons 31
Communes 377
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Haut-Rhin (French pronunciation: [oʁɛ̃]; Alsatian: Owerelsàss) is a département of the Alsace region of France, named after the Rhine river. Its name means Upper Rhine. Haut-Rhin is the smaller and less populated of the two departements of Alsace, although is still densely populated compared to the rest of France.



The department consists of the following arrondissements:


Haut-Rhin is one of the original 83 départements, created during the French Revolution, on 4 March 1790 through the application of the law of 22 December 1789 in respect of the southern half of the province of Alsace (Haute-Alsace).

Its boundaries have been modified many times:


Haut-Rhin is bordered by the Territoire de Belfort and Vosges départements and the Vosges Mountains to the west, the Bas-Rhin département to the North, Switzerland to the south and its eastern border with Germany is also the River Rhine. In the centre of the département lies a fertile plain. The climate is semi-continental.


Haut-Rhin is one of the richest French départements. Mulhouse is the home of a Peugeot automobile factory, manufacturing the 106 and 206 models. The lowest unemployment rate in France can be found in the Southern Sundgau region (approximately 2%). The countryside is marked by hills. Many Haut-Rhinois work in Switzerland, especially in the chemical industries of Basel, but prefer to commute from France where living cost are lower.


See also the French wikipedia entry (in French) on local law in Alsace for a summary of the position, or the English wikipedia entry (in English) for a brief summary on the same subject.

Alsace and the adjacent Moselle department apply their own legal code for certain areas of the law. The statutes in question date from the period 1871 - 1919 when the area was part of the German Empire. With the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France in 1919, many in central government assumed that the recovered territories would be subject to French law.

Local resistance to a total acceptance of the French legal code arose in Alsace because in various respects reforms under Bismarck had left Germany with a relatively advanced legal system, especially with regard to civil and social rights. After much discussion and uncertainty, Paris accepted in 1924 that Alsace should retain its German originating laws in respect of certain matters, especially with regard to hunting, economic life, local government relationships, health insurance and social rights. Since many of the relevant texts have never been formally translated, occasions continue to arise where reference has to be made to German-language texts.

Numerous other anomalies arise which challenge the centralising instincts of the state. These include the absence, in Alsace and Moselle, of any formal separation between church and state, and the fact that where trains run on double tracks, the rule is that they should travel on the right-hand track. In the rest of France the trains, unlike the cars, travel on the left.


See also

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Haut-rhin — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Rhin (homonymie). Haut Rhin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Haut Rhin — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Rhin (homonymie). Haut Rhin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Haut-Rhin — Region Elsass …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Haut-Rhin — Rhin (Haut ) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Haut-Rhin — (spr. o räng, Oberrhein), Bezeichnung des aus dem Reste des frühern franz. Depart. H. gebildeten Territoriums von Belfort (s. d., S. 591) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Haut-Rhin — (spr. o räng), der franz. Verwaltungsbez. Belfort (s.d.), Rest des ehemal. Dep. H …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Haut-Rhin —   [or ɛ̃], Département in Ostfrankreich, umfasst das Oberelsass, 3 525 km2, 708 000 Einwohner; Verwaltungssitz ist Colmar.   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Haut-Rhin — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Rhin (homonymie). Haut Rhin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Haut-Rhin — Sp Aukštutinis Renas Ap Haut Rhin L Prancūzijos departamentas …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • Haut-Rhin — /oh rddaonn /, n. a department in NE France. 635,209; 1354 sq. mi. (3505 sq. km). Cap.: Colmar. * * * …   Universalium