Breisgau: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Aerial view of Breisgau.

Breisgau is the name of an area in southwest Germany, placed between the river Rhine and the foothills of the Black Forest around Freiburg im Breisgau in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The district Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald, which partly consists of the Breisgau, is named after that area. Parts of the Breisgau are also situated in the political districts of Freiburg im Breisgau and of Emmendingen.



Arms of the House of Zähringen

In earlier times the Breisgau was known as Breisachgau, meaning the shire around the town of Breisach on the east bank of the Rhine.

The earliest historically attested inhabitants were Celts. In Roman times, the area was part of the province of Germania superior. But after the rupture of the limes Germanicus in 260, the area was settled by the Alemanni. It remained a part of Alemannia throughout the Dark Ages and was a buffer zone between the central Alemannic lands and Alsace, which was less strongly colonised by the Alemanni.

In the mid-9th century it was a march-like county guarding the frontier with southern Lotharingia and Alsace. In 859, it was bestowed on Charles the Fat, the son of King Louis I, a sign of its importance. In the tenth centuries the counts were of the family of the Zähringen. The Breisgau formed a central part of the Duchy of Zähringen in the 12th century. The dukes founded Freiburg in it, which became their chief city.

Arms of Further Austria (Vorderösterreich)

From the 13th/14th century until 1797, the area was part of the Vorlande, the area in southwest Germany ruled by the Austrian Habsburgs, but the Breisgau, along with the rest of the Vorlande, was ceded by them to the former Duke of Modena, a relation, as compensation for his loss of his hereditary lands to the French Cisalpine Republic. In 1805, by the Treaty of Pressburg, the area was ceded to the Grand Duchy of Baden.

Borders and area

The Breisgau includes the flat area around river Rhine, the foothills of the Black Forest and the western faces of the southern Black Forest mountains and the Kaiserstuhl hills.

In the south the Breisgau borders onto the Markgräflerland, in the west onto the Sundgau (Alsace, France), in the east onto the Black Forest and in the north onto the Ortenau area.


The climate of the Breisgau is warm; in fact, it is the warmest region in Germany. The average annual temperature is 11 degrees Celsius, the average rainfall is 900 mm.


The Breisgau is known for its wine and used for fruit tree orchards and grain.

Places in the Breisgau

The by far biggest town in the Breisgau region is Freiburg. Other known places are Bad Krozingen, Staufen, Breisach, Endingen, Kenzingen, Neuenburg and Emmendingen.

A noted mountain is the Schauinsland (1,284 m).

External links

Coordinates: 47°56′N 7°49′E / 47.933°N 7.817°E / 47.933; 7.817

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BREISGAU, a district of Germany, in the grand duchy of Baden. It extends along the right bank of the Rhine from Basel to Kehl, and includes the principal peaks of the southern Black Forest and the Freiburg valley. The Breisgau, originally a pagus or gau of the Frankish empire, was ruled during the middle ages by hereditary counts. Of these the earliest recorded is Birtilo (962-995), ancestor of the counts and dukes of Zahringen. On the death of Berchthold V. of Za,hringen in 1218, his coheiresses brought parts of the Breisgau to the counts of Urach and Kyburg, while part went to the margraves of Baden. At the close of the 13th century the Kyburg part of the Breisgau passed to the Habsburgs, who in 1368 acquired also the town and countship of Freiburg, which had been sold by the counts of Urach to the Freiburgers and given in pledge by them to the house of Austria in exchange for a loan of the purchase price, which they were unable to repay. The male Urach line becoming extinct in 1457, an heiress carried what remained of their possessions in the Breisgau to the house of Baden. In the struggle between France and Austria from the 17th century onwards the Breisgau frequently changed masters. In 1801 Austria was forced to cede it to Ercole III., duke of Modena, in compensation for the duchy of which Napoleon had deprived him. His successor Ferdinand took the title of duke of Modena-Breisgau, but on his death in 1805 the Breisgau was divided between Baden and Wurttemberg. The latter ceded its portion to Baden in 1810.

See Stokvis, Manuel d'histoire, &c. (Leiden, 1890-1893).

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