Temple Saint Etienne à Mulhouse Mulhouse (Mülhausen in German), the ending point for Day 10 of the Tour de France in 2005, sits a short distance from Germany (Freiburg) and Switzerland (Basel-Bâle), in the oft contested region of Alsace (Elaß) -- today the department of Haut-Rhin in France.

The 1902 Encyclopedia states MÜLHAUSEN (in French: Mulhouse), the chief town of a circle and the industrial centre Upper Alsace, Germany, lies between the Ill, and affluent of the Rhine, and the Rhine-Rhone Canal, about 56 miles to the south of Strasburg and 18 to the north-west of Basel. A map of the region, showing the German names, is HERE. Almost more German than French (Mühle means mill auf Deutsch, un moulin en français), the free city was allied to the Swiss Confederation for about 350 years until taken by France in 1798. Mentioned as early as 717, Mülhausen was raised to the rank of a free town of the germanic Holy Roman Empire in 1198. St. Étienne Temple in Mulhouse (1866) replaced a parish church from the 12th century. La République de Mulhouse lasted at least 1000 years.

Mulhouse had become a center for the manufacture of printed cotton goods, and later a place for textile and engineering industries. The city also pioneered the French concept of the Cite Œuvriere or "Worker’s City." This concept dates from 1853 when a scion of the textile industry, Jean Dollfus {Dollfus-Mieg et Compagnie (DMC)}, financially backed a company to build better, more hygenic housing and a plan that became the predecessor of the modern mortgage home loan. The design-architect, Émile Muller, built houses based on models from other European countries, including, most interestingly, cluster houses like those in Shrewsbury and Derbyshire, England (introduced by Clarles Bage). (January 8th blog (2008)). Muller founded the Grande Tuilerie factory in Ivry-sur-Seine near Paris (1854), a stoneware center, which produced Art Nouveau ceramics. In 1884, he perfected enamelled terracotta for architectural decoration and the reproduction of artistic works. These ceramics were of a very high quality and made a significant contribution to the building up of his reputation.

The French tricolour did not exist when Mulhouse was reunited to France in 1798Walking in the old-town district, one is struck by the quality of the restoration work carried out in the city centre, as illustrated by the Place de la Réunion with its colourful façades and famous trompe l'œils, its Renaissance-style Town Hall and its Temple Saint-Etienne, renowned for its 14th-century stained-glass windows. Mulhouse is also close to the French Department and City of Belfort, the home of Alstom, the maker of the TGV and the Citadis brand streetcar that begun operation in Mulhouse in 2006. Alstom a l'intention pour sa part de faire avancer le projet de construction d'une ligne de chemin de fer à grande vitesse entre Wuhan et Canton. Le groupe a signé jeudi (le 26 Octobre 2006) des contrats d'une valeur de 400 millions d'euros avec la Chine portant sur la fourniture de locomotives et d'équipements hydroélectriques. Le plus important des contrats porte sur la fourniture par le groupe français de 500 locomotives de fret pour 300 millions d'euros.

A stréetcar named Desirée (Straßenbahn): En France, la réinvention du tramway (ou tram-train) constitue la même révolution pour le transport à courte distance dans les villes que le TGV (train grand vitesse) pour le transport à longue distance, comme l’illustre une multiplication des inaugurations de lignes cette année, dont celle de Mulhouse (Citadis d'Alstom) samedi (20 mai) par le président de la République (Chirac). Si des affiches dans Paris proclament «2006: l’année du tramway», le slogan se vérifie dans toute la France. Le succès populaire rencontré par le tramway à Nantes, pionnière de sa «réinvention» en France a déclenché un mouvement général de la population, des élus et de l’État en faveur de sa relance et constitué une aubaine pour les fabricants, le français Alstom, le canadien Bombardier et l’allemand Siemens [le constructeur de le porteur exprès interurbain, le train allemand à grande vitesse]. see -- (in English)

Metz/Nancy -- Belfort -- Colmar -- Strasbourg -- Mayence, Trèves, Aix-la-Chapelle and Reims
Current Newsletter -- le Saint-Suaire -- Lörrach -- Bern, Basel and Zurich

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