Bas-Rhin

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Bas-Rhin (Alsatian: Unterelsàss) is a department of France. The name means "Lower Rhine". It is the more populous and densely populated of the two departments of the Alsace region, with 1,079,013 inhabitants in 2006.

Contents

History

Bas-Rhin is one of the original 83 departments created on 4 March 1790, during the French Revolution.

In the mid-1790s, following the French occupation of the entire left bank of the Rhine, the northern boundary of the department was extended north beyond the Lauter to the Queich river to include the areas of Annweiler am Trifels, Landau in der Pfalz, Bad Bergzabern, and Wörth am Rhein. However, upon Napoleon's second defeat in 1815, the Congress of Vienna reassigned the areas north of the Lauter to Bavaria; and those territories are now presently located in the neighbouring German state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

The department has twice been incorporated into Germany: from 1871 (after France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War) until the end of World War I in 1918, and again briefly during World War II (from 1940 to 1945).

Geography

The Rhine has always been of great historical and economic importance to the area, and it forms the eastern border of Bas-Rhin. The area is also home to some of the foothills of the Vosges.

To the north of Bas-Rhin lies the Palatinate forest (Pfälzerwald) in the German Land of Rhineland-Palatinate, and the Land of Baden-Württemberg lies to the east. To the south lies the department of Haut-Rhin, the town of Colmar and southern Alsace, and to the west the department of Moselle in Lorraine.

Law

See also the French wikipedia entry (in French)on local law in Alsace for a summary of the position, or the English wikipedia entry (in English) for a brief summary on the same subject.

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