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Military heritage

A free 70-page guide tracing the Sundgauvian remains of the last three great wars (1870, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945) is available in our offices or on request. This Sundgau remembrance tourism guide offers thematic discovery itineraries, complete with maps, illustrations and articles on important subjects, such as the delimitation of the Franco-German border in 1871.

The farm of Ebourbettes, a few steps from the Swiss border, was used during the Second World War, as a clandestine base for the passage of resistance fighters and all those who refused the enlistment of force in the Wehrmacht. It was here that on April 26, 1942, General Giraud's famous escape to Switzerland took place. While the owner of the premises was talking with the soldier in charge of monitoring the border, promising him eggs and cheese to improve his everyday life, the future head of the French National Liberation Committee, accompanied by smugglers, slipped into the deep Swiss beech groves to reach Algiers some time later.

To access the farm, park at the pass between Winkel and Lucelle. Count 2 km (1/2 hour walk) on a beautiful white path to reach the site characterized by a superb view of the Voges and the Swiss Jura.

Oberlarg
  • View of a gallery of Kilianstollen

    View of a gallery of Kilianstollen

  • Aerial view of the excavations

    Aerial view of the excavations

The Kilian de Carspach gallery, or Kilianstollen (in German), is a German military underground gallery, a vestige of the First World War, partially buried on March 18, 1918 during a French artillery bombardment and discovered during development work road (Aspach deviation). Between 1914 and 1918, this shelter was located on the first German front line, fixed to the west of Altkirch on the Lerchenberg hill,

Archaeological excavations carried out in 2011 by the Pôle d'Archéologie Interdépartemental Rhénan unearthed the remains of Kilianstollen as well as the 21 remains of German soldiers until then still buried in an old gallery, allowing the identification of 18 of them. .

The Kilianstollen 1918 association, created in 2015, aims to perpetuate the memory of this tragedy, extended to all the conflicts that occurred in southern Alsace in the 19rd and 20rd centuries, through the organization of exhibitions, events, publication of documents, conferences, visits, etc.

carspach
The Aschenbach casemate is one of 32 works of this type built in the Sundgau between 1936 and 1940 in order to reinforce the Maginot line. The Altkirch sector also had 7 artillery casemates with 2 pieces of 75 mm each (range 11 km). Their main mission was to prevent a possible enemy overflow by the Basel region and Swiss territory.

This reinforced concrete casemate has an armored observation bell, 2 47 mm anti-tank guns, 2 8 mm machine guns, 3 machine guns and 3 grenade launchers.
About 15 men occupied the structure, commanded by a lieutenant and 3 non-commissioned officers.

This former military structure, decommissioned in 1970, was taken over in 1991 and, as local historical heritage, has been completely restored by the members of the Maginot Memorial Association of Haute-Alsace. Today it is the only witness of this type that can be visited on the Maginot line.
Uffheim
  • Optical station from Stolzenfels

    Optical station from Stolzenfels

  • Obermorschwiller Church

    Obermorschwiller Church

On August 3, 1914, Germany declared war on France, Alsace has been German since 1871. Three marked trails recount the battles of August 1914 which took place in this sector. They are embellished with panels which relate testimonies, present the fallen men, and place in their context these battles which aimed to retake Alsace. Departure from Wittersdorf (8,4 km), Luemschwiller / Obermorschwiller (6 km), Heiwiller / Tagsdorf (7 km).

  • Redevelopment of the entrance to a blockhouse, Km 0 circuit

    Redevelopment of the entrance to a blockhouse, Km 0 circuit

  • French soldiers on the Franco-Swiss border in 1916

    French soldiers on the Franco-Swiss border in 1916

The Km 0 trail allows you to discover on a 7,5 km course, in flat and wooded terrain, the various vestiges of the three fronts: French, Swiss and German. The route can be done in both directions.

From 1871 to 1914, Pfetterhouse was the village of the three borders. The terminal of the three powers, where the borders of France, Switzerland and Germany met, had become a tourist attraction and a place of international conviviality.

In the fall of 1914, the French fixed the start of the Front at the Swiss border of Largin. The boundary marker n ° 111 then became the Zero Kilometer of the Western Front.

The Friends of the Zero Kilometer association works, through this discovery trail, to promote and promote this place steeped in history and symbols.

The work it has undertaken has made it possible to restore several concrete structures on the front line, freely accessible and secure.

Topoguide on sale at the Tourist Office for the price of 1 € the sheet or 10 € the 17 pedestrian topos. Topoguide downloadable from the website of our partner Visorando.

  • Ruins of the church of Ammertzwiller in 1915

    Ruins of the church of Ammertzwiller in 1915

On this 1914-18 war memory trail, you can observe, in addition to many bunkers, the traces of the mine war, with the pond called "funnel", 9 m deep, the result of an underground explosion, provoked by the German army, under the French positions.

You will cross Gildwiller le Mont, a former pilgrimage site, and its way of the cross to reach Ammertzwiller, which is distinguished by the presence of fields of miscanthus, a plant resembling rushes, sown to replace corn, which pollutes too much in nitrates.

Fifteen didactic panels complete the route.

Departure: Church of Ammertzwiller or Gildwiller on the Mont.

Map of 55 walks and hikes in Sundgau and the Alsatian Jura on sale at the Tourist Office for the price of 8€

 

During the Second World War, the Alsatian Resistance was structured and organized both in Alsace and abroad, where efforts were made to regroup all the Alsatians dispersed in the South-West or refugees in Switzerland.
Seppois-le-Bas
  • Master hotel of the church of Koestlach from the former abbey of Lucelle

    Master hotel of the church of Koestlach from the former abbey of Lucelle

  • Koestlach and the Kastelberg seen from the sky

    Koestlach and the Kastelberg seen from the sky

Koestlach Heritage Trail2 hours7km215m

Koestlach has a rich heritage that we offer to discover thanks to the heritage circuit. You have two choices :

1)      The historical circuit through the village to discover the prestigious furniture of the Saint-Léger church, but also the Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs chapel, the legends of Kugele and the village of Erzach, the presbytery of Nicolas Delfis and the remains of 'a former Gallo-Roman establishment.

2)      The walking tour lasting 2h30 / 3h which will take you up the slopes of the Burgerwald to explore the Celtic oppidum of Kasteberg before visiting the village (blue ring markings, distance 7 km, altitude difference 215 m).

  • Winkel Moroccans Trail

    Winkel Moroccans Trail

  • Winkel Moroccans Trail

    Winkel Moroccans Trail

The town of Winkel welcomes you on this tourist trail called "Moroccan Trail" for a meeting with its history and heritage.

Between 1929 and 1940, to guard against any enemy invasion, France built along its borders to the North East a veritable wall of fortified works: the Maginot Line.

In Winkel, in its southernmost part, its unfinished construction between 1939 and 1940 was closely linked to the life of a Moroccan infantry regiment. In their memory, a path already bore their name. It is now quite a journey.

Three circuits are offered: 2,6 km - 3,6 km, 5,6 km.

You will also discover rich, varied environments, typical of the Alsatian Jura, made up of forests, pastures and remarkable landscapes, as well as a set of remains of the Maginot line (casemates, anti-tank defenses, shelters, etc.) today witnesses of history and an authentic element of local identity.

Take advantage of your visit to Winkel to discover the source of the Ill, the main waterway in Alsace, located a few steps from the Sentier des Marocains.

  • Altkirch Sundgauvien Museum

    Altkirch Sundgauvien Museum

Housed in a beautiful Renaissance building, residence of the former bailiffs, the Sundgauvien Museum presents the history, life and customs of southern Alsace and more particularly of Sundgau. 

Altkirch
  • Aerial view of the site of the Grand Canon - Zillisheim

    Aerial view of the site of the Grand Canon - Zillisheim

  • Guided tour of the site of the Grand Canon - Zillisheim

    Guided tour of the site of the Grand Canon - Zillisheim

This site is in fact the site of a "KW" cannon of the "Kaiser Wilhelm Geschutze" or "langer Max" (Max along) type which had the mission, during the First World War, to fire heavily on Belfort to create a diversion during the attacks on Verdun and the forts of Vaux and Douaumont.
Under the forest cover and around the bends, you can discover a multitude of remains that are still visible or legible. Only the "barracks" have disappeared. The buried civil engineering works are rather well preserved. During a guided tour with one of the passionate volunteers of the site, you will be able to browse the underground galleries, and discover the organization of this impressive military infrastructure. On a free visit, you will discover the surface infrastructures by following a route marked out with explanatory panels.
An application "Site du Grand Canon de Zillisheim" can be downloaded to explore this historic site.
Zillisheim
Before the reunion of Alsace with France, Huningue was a village. Louis XIV having entrusted his architect Vauban with the defense of the borders of the northeast, from Belfort to Landau and Phalsbourg. he established plans for a powerful fortress to defend this strategic bridgehead. The museum tells the story of the 3 sieges between 1796 and 1815. The artist Edouard Detaille immortalized the glorious exit of the 50 survivors of the garrison in 1815, then the fortress was dismantled.
Huningue
  • Bettlach Casemate

    Bettlach Casemate

  • Bettlach Casemates Trail

    Bettlach Casemates Trail

In the forest of Bettlach, directly accessible from the town, a path called "casemates" of about 2km, connects three imposing forts of the Maginot Line, built between 1937 and 1940.

This path is lined with excellent explanatory panels that tell the story of this Maginot Line, the colossal efforts it required and the ephemeral role it played at the start of the Second World War.

A beautiful view of the Jura massif spices up this little loop.

  • Circuit marked and recognizable by this logo

    Circuit marked and recognizable by this logo

Porte du Sundgau, Illfurth is also a high place of history. The fighting of the 1st World War fell in the Sundgau from August 1914. Indeed the French blew up the viaduct of Dannemarie and the front stabilized and extended from the Vosges to the Swiss border.

The front line passed a few kilometers from Illfurth on the Heidwiller side. During this visit, you will discover several bunkers with multiple uses, both ammunition depot, observation post or location of artillery pieces, also the location of a second large cannon located near the Church de la Burnkirch and several casemates.

 Topoguide downloadable from the website of our partner Visorando.

 

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