The city of Phalsburg (Pfalzburg) was founded in September 1570 around the feudal castle of Einhartzhausen by George-Jean I comte palatin de Veldenz(nicknamed Jerry-Hans) enjoying his dowry of 300,000 florins from his marriage at the age of twenty-year-old Anna-Maria the youngest daughter of King Gustav VASA I of Sweden.
There are ancient Roman remains that confirm the importance of its strategic position at the intersection of the North-South axis of the Lombards wool route, the east-west axis of wine and salt and in four directions :
- to Sarreguemines
- to Dieuze, Metz, Nancy
- to Sarrebourg
- to Lutzelbourg, Dabo.
The city is home to Protestant refugees (massacre of St. Bartholomew from 24 to 26/08/1572) and therefore forms a meeting place for two cultures, two languages ??and two religions.
George John I Count Palatine of Veldenz sells it in 1584 to Charles III Duke of Lorraine for 400 000 florins and the city must convert to Catholicism.
The first official plan of the town of Tassin in 1633 is a pentagonal enclosure.
Hardly hit during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) Phalsbourg becomes a royal city during the Treaty of Vincennes in February 1661.
In 1663 Sébastien Le Prestre Marquis de Vauban wrote "this important" passage of Germany "requiring a fortification capable of giving shelter to the debris of a beaten army, strong enough to stop the progress of a victorious troop, to support oneself for a time and to give to his master the leisure to consult the means of being able to help it.The best would be to enclose all the circuit of the Place which is approximately 800 toises (410m) by a fortification of six bastions, which will be able to to be regular or similar ".
June 16, 1679 François-Michel Le Tellier Marquis de Louvois, Minister of War, accompanied by Sebastian The Prestre Marquis de Vauban, after visiting Phalsbourg wrote to the king "the place we will build there, will see around her and that the army which would attack it, after having encamped in the woods, will be obliged to retire for lack of subsistence, and that the horses loaded with fodder could not ascend the Saverne coast "(this coast will have no road. modern after 1730).
Louis XIV then decided to fortify Phalsbourg and Saarlouis by Sebastian The Prestre Marquis de Vauban who replaced the existing enclosure with a hexagonal enclosure to better protect the valleys around Phalsbourg by cannons.
On May 27, 1680 the Dauphin, the Duke of Vendome, the Count of Armagnac and Vitry received the keys of the city.
The city could house a regiment of infantry, cavalry, blowing snow, administrative and religious buildings and shops for a population of 1000 people. The central square could accommodate 4000 armed men.
There was only one fountain on the square and Captain Latour Froissac was charged with carrying spring water from the neighboring mountains by a system of siphoning.
The access to the city was through the German gate and the gate of France (with ornaments the marks of the king) with harrow and drawbridge, preceded by a sleeping bridge opening on a half-moon.
In 1698 and after the treaty of Ryswick of 1697 which kept Phalsbourg to France, Sebastian the Prestre marquis de Vauban visited it and wrote "the coatings are solid and well on their feet, on the other hand the military lodgings need to be mended" .
The 3rd Hussars Regiment was created on 10 February 1764 in Phalsbourg by Count Valentin-Ladislas Esterhazy.
There was an alert during a hooray of Baron de Trenck's "pompadours" (Hungarian soldiers) who approached Phalsbourg.
At the announcement of the retreat of Russia and the coming invasion, the military engineers installed palisades. Thanks to its deep moats and fortifications carved in the rock, Phalsbourg suffered with honor the 3 seats of 1814, 1815 and 1870 despite its shortage of ammunition, its artillery reduced to 2 guns per bastion and a battery of sixteen pieces.
After 1870, the ramparts were dismantled by the Germans to build the forts in front of Strasbourg and to carry the stones they built a railway which remained in service from September 1, 1883 to September 1, 1953. After the signing of the peace treaty of Frankfurt in 1871 , the military authority under the direction of Marshal Helmuth count of Moltke immediately began the work of fortifications
Napoleon nicknamed Phalsbourg the "nursery of the brave" whose symbol was General Mouton, Earl of Lobau born in Phalsbourg, aide-de-camp of Napoleon, but also successor of the Marquis de La Fayette, but also Munier, commander of the army of Vosges in 1793, generals Baron Gerard and Rottembourg, Ulrich, defender of Strasbourg and his brother the general intendant general maternal of General Gamelin, brothers Micheler and Vandenberg who commanded during the First World War, Hollender Alfred memorialist of the city and his brother Charles and Logerot, Holtz, Wilmot
Another personality is Erckmann-Chatrian (Emile Erckmann born in Phalsbourg and Alexandre Chatrian) who wrote many national stories and novels, and there is also G. Bruno (Augustine Fouillée) who wrote The Tour de France by two children and who carried the reputation of Phalsbourg across France and even beyond.
The city received the Cross of the Legion of Honor by decree of August 14, 1919 in memory of the siege of 1870 where it resisted valiantly and saved the honor of France:
"Phalsbourg - August 14, 1919 - Guardian of important communications for the defense of the territory, was always tested by the attacks directed against France.From August 10 to December 10, 1870, underwent a siege of four months during which the inhabitants Heroic courage, braving five bombings that destroyed and burned two thirds of the city, so that Phalsbourg, the nursery of the brave, remains riveted on French soil. "
For more information
Office du Tourisme du Pays de Phalsbourg
1 rue des Généraux Micheler
Tél : +33 (0)3 87 24 42 42 Phalsbourg Office de Tourisme du Pays de Phalsbourg
Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00 (except public holidays). Closed on Saturdays in January and February.