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Trip Planner Europe  /  France  /  Grand Est  /  Haut-Rhin  /  Neuf-Brisach

Neuf-Brisach

3.7
Historic Sites · Art Museums · Churches
Neuf-Brisach is a fortified town and commune of the department of Haut-Rhin in the French region of Alsace. The fortified town was intended to guard the border between France and the Holy Roman Empire and, subsequently the German states. It was built after the Treaty of Ryswick, in 1697, that resulted in France losing the town of Breisach, on the opposite bank of the Rhine. The town's name means New Breisach.Today the town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.HistoryWork began on the fortified town in 1698, to plans drawn by Vauban, a military engineer at the service of Louis XIV. Vauban died in 1707 and this, his last work, was completed by Louis de Cormontaigne. The city's layout was that of an 'ideal city', as was popular at the time, with a regular square grid street pattern inside an octagonal fortification. Generous space was given to a central square across the four blocks at the middle, flanked by an impressive church. Individual blocks were offered for private development, either as affluent houses in private gardens, or as properties for commercial rent. Simpler housing was provided in long tenement blocks, built inside each curtain wall, which also had the effect of shielding the better houses from the risk of cannon fire. Access was provided by large gateways in the principal four curtain walls.
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