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Coordinates: 47°44′58″N 7°20′24″E / 47.749481°N 7.33994°E / 47.749481; 7.33994

Commune of Mulhouse

Old city
Mulhouse is located in France
Country France
Region Alsace
Department Haut-Rhin
Arrondissement Mulhouse
Intercommunality Communauté d'agglomération Mulhouse Alsace Agglomération
Mayor Jean-Marie Bockel (GM)
Elevation 232–338 m (760–1,110 ft)
(avg. 240 m/790 ft)
Land area1 22.18 km2 (8.56 sq mi)
Population2 110,514  (2006)
 - Density 4,983 /km2 (12,910 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 68224/ 68100, 68200
Dialling code 0389, 0369
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Europe tower (Tour de l'Europe)
Temple Saint-Étienne on Place de la Réunion
Hôtel de Ville (Rathaus), Mulhouse
Société Industrielle building, Mulhouse
Tram in Mulhouse
Campus "La Fonderie" of the Upper Alsace University

Mulhouse (French: Mulhouse, pronounced: [myluz]; Alsatian: Milhüsa or Milhüse, [mɪlˈyːzə]; German: Mülhausen; i.e. mill houses) is a city and commune in eastern France, close to the Swiss and German borders. With a population of 110,514[1] and 278,206 inhabitants in the metropolitan area[2] in 2006, it is the largest city in the Haut-Rhin department, and the second largest in the Alsace region after Strasbourg. Mulhouse is the principal commune of the 32 making up the Communauté d'agglomération Mulhouse Alsace Agglomération (MAA, population 252,000).[3]

Mulhouse is famous for its museums, especially the Cité de l’Automobile (also known as "Musée national de l’automobile") and the Musée Français du Chemin de Fer (also known as "Cité du train"), respectively the largest automobile and railway museums in France. An industrial town nicknamed "the French Manchester"[4], Mulhouse is also the main seat of the Upper Alsace University.



Mulhouse is the chief city of an arrondissement of the Haut-Rhin department, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although the city is by far the most populous in Haut-Rhin, its capital is Colmar.


Legends mention the origin of the town in 58 BC, but the first written records of Mulhouse date from the twelfth century. It was part of the southern Alsatian county of Sundgau in the Holy Roman Empire. From 1354–1515 Mulhouse was part of the Décapole, an association of ten Free Imperial Cities in Alsace. The city joined the Swiss Confederation as an associate in 1515 and was therefore not annexed by France in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 like the rest of the Sundgau. Inside its Alsatian enclave, it was a free and independent republic associated with the Swiss Confederation until, after a vote by its citizens on 4 January 1798, it became a part of France in the Treaty of Mulhouse signed on 28 January 1798, during the Directory period of the French Revolution.

After the Prussian victory in the Franco-Prussian War and the Otto von Bismarck engineered unification of Germany under Prussian King William I as the new German Kaiser, Mulhouse was annexed to the German Empire as part of the territory of Alsace-Lorraine (1870-1918). The city was briefly occupied by French troops on 8 August 1914 at the start of World War I, but they were forced to withdraw two days later in the Battle of Mulhouse. Alsace-Lorraine was invaded and reacquired by France after World War I. It was occupied and annexed by Nazi Germany after the Battle of France in 1940, until returned to France at the close of the war in 1945.

The town's development was stimulated first by the expansion of the textile industry and tanning, and subsequently by chemical and engineering industries from the mid 18th century. Mulhouse was for a long time called the French Manchester. In consequence, the town has enduring links with Louisiana, from which it imported cotton, and also with the Levant. The town's history also explains why its centre is relatively small.


Two rivers run through Mulhouse, the Doller and the Ill, both tributaries of the Rhine.


Medieval Mulhouse consists essentially of a lower and an upper town.

  • The lower town was formerly the quarter of merchants and craftsmen. It developed around the Place de la Réunion (which commemorates its reunion with France). Nowadays this area is pedestrianised.
  • The upper town developed from the eighteenth century on. Previously, several monastic orders were established there, notably the Franciscans, Augustinians, Poor Clares and Knights of Malta.
  • The Nouveau Quartier (New District) is the best example of urban planning in Mulhouse, and was developed from 1826 on, after the town walls had been torn down (as they were in many towns in France). It is focused around the Place de la République. Its network of streets and its triangular shape are a good demonstration of the town's desire for a planned layout. The planning was undertaken by the architects G. Stolz and Félix Fries. This quarter was taken up by rich families and the owners of local industries, who tended to be liberal and republican in their opinions.
  • The Rebberg district consists of grand houses inspired by the colonnaded residences of Louisiana cotton planters. Originally, this was the town's vineyard (the word Rebe meaning vine in German). The houses here were built as terraces in the English style, a result of the town's close relationship with Manchester, where the sons of industrialists were often sent to study.

Principal places of interest

Principal economic activities

Already in the mid-19th century, Mulhouse was known as "the industrial capital of Alsace", the "city with a hundred chimneys" (cité aux cent cheminées) and "the French Manchester"[5]


Mulhouse is served by Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg International Airport.

Mulhouse has its own SNCF station with a direct connection to Basel in Switzerland.

Transport within Mulhouse is provided by a tram network, which opened on 13 May 2006[1] and was due to be further extended by 2008.


Notable people

Mulhouse was the birth place of:

Mayors of Mulhouse

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Mulhouse is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ Commune : Mulhouse (68224) on INSEE
  2. ^ Aire urbaine 1999 : Mulhouse (031) on INSEE
  3. ^ Mulhouse Alsace Agglomération / Conseil installé hier soir , Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, 5 January 2010 (French)
  4. ^ Le sex appeal industriel de Mulhouse (French)
  5. ^ a b Scheurer, Marie-Philippe; Lehni, Roger; Menninger, Claude: Mulhouse, Haut-Rhin − Images du Patrimoine, Le Verger, Illkirch-Graffenstaden, 1990, ISBN 2-908367-18-1 (French)

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun


  1. A city in Alsace, France




Proper noun


  1. Mulhouse

Derived terms

  • Mulhousien

Simple English

Mulhouse is a city in France. Its population is around 110,000. Its in the Alsace region and is the sub-prefecture of the Haut-Rhin department. Two river run through the town:

  • The Doller
  • The Ill

Mulhouse dates back to the XIIth century. Medieval Mulhouse consists of an upper and a lower town.

  • The upper town developed from the 18th century on.
  • The lower town used to be the quarter of merchants and craftsmen. It developed around the Place de la Réunion (which commemorates its reunion with France). Nowadays this area is for pedestrians.
Place de la Réunion in Mulhouse

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