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Coat of arms of Kehl
Kehl is located in Germany
Coordinates 48°34′0″N 7°49′0″E / 48.566667°N 7.816667°E / 48.566667; 7.816667
Country Germany
State Baden-Württemberg
Admin. region Freiburg
District Ortenaukreis
Mayor Günther Petry (SPD)
Basic statistics
Area 75.06 km2 (28.98 sq mi)
Elevation 139 m  (456 ft)
Population 34,303  (1 January 2005)
 - Density 457 /km2 (1,184 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate OG
Postal codes 77671-77694
Area code 07851

Kehl is a town in southwestern Germany in the Ortenaukreis, Baden-Württemberg. It is located on the river Rhine, directly opposite the French city of Strasbourg.


The village of Kehl was first mentioned 1038. In 1338 the first permanent bridge between Kehl and Strasbourg was completed. In 1678 the city was taken over by France, as it was considered to be part of the defence system of Strasbourg. Hence the village was transformed into a fortress in 1683 by the French architect Vauban. On May 7, 1770, Marie Antoinette was officially handed over by Austria to France on an island on the Rhine near Kehl. In 1774 - again ruled by the House of Baden - Kehl received town ordinances and privileges by the margrave Karl Friedrich von Baden. After several changes of the sovereigns (France, Baden and Austria) the city was finally returned to Baden in 1815 and the fortress was dismantled.

In 1861 the first railway bridge was built and the first direct connection from Paris to Vienna was established. Required changes of trains were performed in Kehl.

After the First World War, according to the Treaty of Versailles (ex art. 65) the harbour of Kehl was placed under French administration for seven years, in order to prevent possible German attacks on the opposite newly French town of Strasbourg.

During the Second World War, after the Battle of France Kehl was turned into a suburb of Strasbourg. After the war a number of Germans were expelled from Kehl. This state continued until 1953 when the city was returned to the Federal Republic of Germany and the refugees returned.

Germany and France co-hosted the Strasbourg- Kehl NATO Summit 2009, held partially in Kehl, in April 2009. Kehl's participation in the summit was limited to the official Nato Summit photo opportunity at the Passerelle pedestrian bridge, and possible housing of some national delegations. It is likely that anti-NATO protesters also stayed (and protested) in Kehl.

Gateway to Strasbourg

Directions board outside Kehl train station

The French city of Strasbourg lies next to Kehl over the Rhine river. Kehl train station is located near the Pont de l'Europe bridge, which can be crossed on foot to enter Strasbourg.

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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