Gate of Sundgau, Illfurth is also a high place of history. The battles of World War I fell in the Sundgau from August 1. Indeed the French blew up the Dannemarie viaduct 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 vocations, at the same time ammunition depot, observation post or location of artillery pieces, also the location of a second large cannon located near the Church Burnkirch and several casemates.
On August 3, 1914, Germany declared war on France, Alsace had been German since 1871. Three marked routes recount the battles of August 1914 that took place in this sector. They are decorated with panels which relate testimonies, present the men fallen in combat, and place in their contexts these battles which had for objective to take again Alsace. Departure from Wittersdorf (8,4 km), Luemschwiller / Obermorschwiller (6 km), Heiwiller / Tagsdorf (7 km).
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.
In the Bettlach forest, 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 dotted 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.
Koestlach has a rich heritage which we propose to discover thanks to the heritage circuit. Two options are available to you :
1) The historic circuit through the village to discover the prestigious furniture of the Saint-Léger church, but also the chapel of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, the legends of the Kugele and of the village of Erzach, the presbytery of Nicolas Delfis and the vestiges 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, elevation 215 m).
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 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 autumn of 1914, the French fixed the start of the Front on the Swiss border with Largin. Boundary marker No. 111 then became the Zero Kilometer on the Western front.
The association of the Friends of the Zero Kilometer works, through this discovery path, to make known and enhance this place full of history and symbols.
The work it undertook made it possible to restore several concrete structures on the front line, freely accessible and secure.
Guidebook on sale at the Tourist Office for the price of € 1 for the sheet or € 10 for the 17 walking maps. Downloadable guidebook on the site of our partner Visorando.
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 north-eastern borders a real wall of fortified works: the Maginot Line.
At Winkel, in its southernmost part, its unfinished construction between 1939 and 1940 was closely linked to the life of a regiment of Moroccan tirailleurs. In their memory, a path already bore their name. It is now a whole 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 of forests, pastures and remarkable landscapes, as well as a set of vestiges 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.