Haguenau









 



Haguenau is second in size in the Bas-Rhin only to Strasbourg, some 30 km  to the south. To the north of the town, the Forest of Haguenau  is the largest undivided forest in France.

In spite of the extensive 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 its 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, an 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). 

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