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Illzach (Municipality, Haut-Rhin, France)

Last modified: 2021-04-24 by ivan sache
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Flag of Illzach - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 17 October 2020

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Presentation of Illzach

The municipality of Illzach (14,680 inhabitants in 2018, therefore the 4th most populated municipality in the department; 750 ha) is located just north of Mulhouse.

Illzach was known in the Gallo-Roman times as Uruncis. Located at the crossroads of strategic Roman roads, it enjoyed a certain prosperity as evidenced by the presence of thermal baths, but was also on the route of the invasions. Destroyed several times, the town was fortified in the middle of the 4th century and hosted until the middle of the 5th century a garrison of German auxiliaries. The whereabouts of the royal palace mentioned in the Frankish period (835) are unknown, no trace having been found.

A castle was then built in the 11th or 12th century, occupied by the lords of Illzach, whose family died out in the 15th century. At the beginning of the 14th century, Illzach and Modenheim, then Mattenheim, belonged to the Counts of Würtenberg.
In 1437, the Republic of Mulhouse bought from the counts the villages of Illzach and Modenheim for 3,020 guilders. Located outside the ramparts of Mulhouse, the two villages suffered from conflicts between the Republic of Mulhouse and the local nobility that sought to take control of them. Illzach and Modenheim were destroyed on several occasions: by the Armagnacs in 1444, by the neighboring lord Pierre de Réguisheim in 1446, and by the Austrians in 1468 and 1589.

In 1796, the town claimed its reunion with France and its independence from Mulhouse, to no avail. In 1798, the Grand Council of the Republic of Mulhouse voted to reunite the latter with France. Illzach and Modenheim became French municipalities.
In 1914, Illzach suffered one of the first attacks by the German army against the French. The territory was liberated by French troops on 17 November 1918. The town was awarded on 2 November1921 the 1914-1918 War Cross.
At the end of the Second World War, Illzach was liberated from German occupation on 20 January 1945 after a systematic bombardment. In the fall of 1944, the German troops, driven out of Mulhouse and Modenheim by the allies, had withdrawn to Illzach, which from then on constituted a pocket of resistance. The town was awarded on 11 November 1948 the 1939-1945 War Cross with a silver star.

Olivier Touzeau, 17 October 2020

Flag of Illzach

The flag of Illzach (photo, photo) is white with the former municipal logo, which features the municipal coat of arms, "Azure a horseshoe argent with seven nail holes four to dexter three to sinister". with the War Crosses are placed at the middle of the horseshoe.
The arms were adopted in 1979, but the horseshoe has been used as the village's traditional emblem for ages. According to legend, the blacksmith from Illzach, once called out of his forge, forgot to drill the eighth hole. The news spread that in Illzach, the horseshoes have only seven holes.
[Armorial des communes du Haut-Rhin]

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 19 October 2020