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Haguenau (Municipality, Bas-Rhin, France)

Last modified: 2021-04-10 by ivan sache
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Flag of Haguenau - Image by Pascal Vagnat, 1 March 2010

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Presentation of Haguenau

The municipality of Haguenau (35,457 inhabitants in 2006, therefore the fourth largest municipality in Region Alsace by its population; 18,259 ha, therefore the biggest municipality in Region Alsace by its area) is located 35 km north of Strasbourg.

Haguenau developed around a castle built in 1115 on an island of the river Moder by Frederick II the One-Eyed (1090-1147), the second Hohenstaufen Duke of Swabia. The castle was part of the defense of Imperial Alsace against the Papal party. In 1143, Emperor Conrad III - Frederick's brother - and Bishop of Strasbourg Burchard separated the forest and domain of Haguenau from the parish of Schweighouse-sur- Moder. Emperor Frederick Barbarossa granted in 1164 a chart, including market right, to the young town of Haguenau.
In 1193, Richard Lionheart, accused of betrayal in the holy Land, was sentenced in Haguenau by Emperor Henry VI to a fine of 100,000 silver marks. The municipal statutes of the town were confirmed in 1255 by William of Holland, King of Germania. A siege of the town by the militias of Strasbourg failed, but the town walls were increased in 1289.

In 1354, the Décapole (from Greek, deca, "ten", and polis, "town"), that is the alliance of the ten Imperial towns of Alsace (Colmar, Haguenau, Kaysersberg, Mulhouse, Munster, Obernai, Rosheim, Sélestat, Turckheim and Wissembourg), was recognized by Emperor Charles IV; the seat of the alliance, ruled by a Grand Bailiff, was set up at Haguenau. In 1434, Emperor Sigismund declared the forest of Haguenau (14,000 ha; today the sixth biggest forest in France by its area) jointly owned by the Empire and the town of Haguenau.
Severely damaged during the Second World War, the town was liberated by the American troops on 16 March 1945.

Haguenau is the birth town of the footballer Albert Gemmrich (b. 1955), winner of the French championship in 1979 with RC Strasbourg. Gemmrich played 308 mathes in First League and five matches with the French national team, scoring twice.
However, the local hero of Haguenau is Sébastien Loeb (b. 1974), six- time (2004 to 2009) winner of the World Rally Championship (WRC) and holder of the record for most wins in the series (54).

Source: Municipal webpage

Ivan Sache, 1 March 2010

Flag of Haguenau

The flag of Haguenau (photo) is blue with a five-petaled white flower with a red center.
The flag is a banner of the municipal arms, D'azur à une rose d'argent boutonnée de gueules ("Azure a rose argent seeded gules").

According to Brian Timms, the rose appears on a municipal seal dated 1372. Coins minted in 1516 in Haguenau with Maximilian I's approval also shows the rose (photos). Some historians claim that the rose, used in the Germanic countries as a symbol of secrecy, was featured on Haguenau's "secrete seal" (greater seal, as opposed to the common seal).

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 1 March 2010