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Soultz-sous-Forêts


SOULTZ SOUS FORETS

The name originates from old German : « sulza » which means salt water.

In the 13 th Century, it was the administrative centre for the Lords of Fleckenstein and Pullers of Hohenbourg. The village was built round the fortified castle of Fleckenstein at the southern entrance (1274), which disappeared in the 17 th Century during the Dutch War of Succession.

 Places of interest

In 1346 it acquired the rank of « town » and was surrounded by a fortified wall authorised by Emperor Ludwig of Bavaria . This privilege was confirmed by his successor, Charles of Luxemburg in 1348 who in addition allowed 4 Jewish families to settle in the town. Soultz owes its reputation to its saltworks, wells of salt water situated in the ditches of the former castle. It operated from the 16 th Century onwards, but production was most intensive under the Baron of Bode and during the Revolution. It disappeared in 1842.

More recently, the town of Soultz-sous-Forêts , like the rest of Alsace , suffered bombings during the War 1939-45.

Gallo Roman Settlement
Archaeological excavations have localised a Gallo Roman settlement to the East of today’s town. These remains can be seen at Brett, in the area known as Mauerfeld.

 
 
 
The Church of Saint-Peter-and-Saint-Paul
The Catholic Church of Saint-Peter-and-Saint-Paul , rue des Barons de Fleckentstein, is built on the courtyard of the former Geiger Castle . It was consecrated on 31 May 1910 . It is Neo Roman in style and, at the entrance, there are two fonts in rose sandstone which date from the 18 th Century. Medallions representing characters from the Old Testament, as well as saints, decorate the top of the nave.
 
 

The Protestant Church
The Protestant Church , built at the end of the 15th Century, became Protestant with the introduction of the Reform by the Barons of Fleckenstein towards 1543. The nave dates from the 18 th Century. The steeple is without doubt the former belfry of the town and dates back to the 15 th Century.

Seven tombstones are embedded in the south wall of the church. They covered the sarcophagi of the Fleckensteins from the 14 th to the 16 th Centuries but were hammered out and displaced in 1830. The oldest of them is that of Gertrude of Ettendorf, wife of Wolfram of Fleckenstein, who died in 1302. All the others are from the 16 th Century.

 
 

The Synagogue 
The former Synagogue is Neo Roman in style and is in rue de la Bergerie. It was built in 1897 during the German period. In former times, the surrounding neighbourhood consisting of small cross-timbered houses was inhabited by Jewish families. The Jewish community left rural areas after the Second World War to settle in town.

 
 
The Muntz House
Situated at 48 rue du Docteur Deutsch, it is the work of the great German architect, Frédéric Weinbreuner. It was built during the First Empire by an old, worthy family based in Soultz since 1776 : the Muntz family. The most famous of whom was Philippe Frédéric Muntz, notary and deputy Mayor, who succeeded in bringing the railway to Soultz in 1855.
 
 

The current Protestant presbytery was built by the Hanaus in 1726. Situated in rue des Barons de Fleckenstein, it bears their coat of arms on the lintel of the cellar door as well as on the entrance door.

 
 
 

The former Geiger Castle , rue de l’Ecole, is the current Catholic presbytery. It dates from 1750 and was built by François Frédéric of Geiger, Royal Bailiff of the Seigniory of Soultz-sous-Forêts.

After the French Revolution, this castle belonged to Mr. Pouillot, Mayor of Soultz between 1848 and 1868, then to Mr. Binder between 1883 and 1901. Also known as « Bindersche Schloss » it was donated to the Catholic parish in 1902.

It is perhaps useful to recall that the two terrace wings were destroyed during the Second World War and that there was, till not so long ago, an immense alley of linden trees surrounding a large garden.


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