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Turckheim from the attic

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Turckheim (Alsatian: Tercka ; German: Türkheim) is a...
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Turckheim (Alsatian: Tercka ; German: Türkheim) is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Grand Est in north-eastern France. It lies west of Colmar, on the eastern slopes of the Vosges mountains.

Archeological finds indicate the area was already inhabited during the time of Ancient Rome. When the Germanic tribes invaded and crossed the Rhine, the Thuringii settled here, and possibly gave their name to the town: first Thorencohaime, then Thuringheim. During the High Middle Ages Thuringheim is listed as belonging in part to the abbey of Munster, an din part to the manor of Haut-Landsberg, centered in Kientzheim.

Turckheim became a free imperial city in 1312, and in 1315 the construction of ramparts was begun, which are still in good condition. It had city rights and market rights already in 1354, and from 1354 to 1679 Turckheim was part of the Décapole, a league of ten free imperial cities of the Holy Roman Empire. After the Peace of Westphalia (1648), Turckheim and the other Alsatian towns refused to swear allegiance to the French king.

During the Franco-Dutch War, the village of Turckheim was taken by French armies led by Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, Viscount of Turenne, who subsequently defeated armies of Austria and Brandenburg in what became known as the Battle of Turckheim (1675). Features of the village of Turckheim, especially the gates, help identify the town in a fan currently in the Fan Museum in Greenwich, England. In 1678, with the signing of the Treaties of Nijmegen, the French king assumed control over Turckheim.

In 1871, at the end of the Franco-Prussian War, the town, with the rest of the Alsace, became part of the German Empire; in 1918, it reverted to France again.

Turckheim is one of only a few remaining towns in France with a municipal night watchman, who makes the rounds at 10PM between 1 May and 31 October, and on three Saturdays preceding Christmas. Maintained for touristic reason, the position commemorates a 13th-c event in which the night watchman prevented a fire.

The traditional habitat of the Alsatian lowland, like in other regions of Germany and Northern Europe, consists of houses constructed with walls in timber framing and cob and roofing in flat tiles. This type of construction is abundant in adjacent parts of Germany and can be seen in other areas of France, but their particular abundance in Alsace is owed to several reasons:

1. The proximity to the Vosges where the wood can be found.
2. During periods of war and bubonic plague, villages were often burned down, so to prevent the collapse of the upper floors, ground floors were built of stone and upper floors built in half-timberings to prevent the spread of fire.
3. During most of the part of its history, a great part of Alsace was flooded by the Rhine every year. Half-timbered houses were easy to knock down and to move around during those times (a day was necessary to move it and a day to rebuild it in another place). (Description from Wikipedia).
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1 Comment | Report
brandonbowman Ultimate
 
brandonbowman Jul 26
I like it! Dawn or dusk?
RicardMN
RicardMN Jul 27
Dusk. Thank you Brandon!
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