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Title: Haut-Rhin  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of members of the National Assembly of France, 2002–07, Alsace-Lorraine, Alsace, Colmar, Guebwiller
Collection: 1790 Establishments in France, Departments of Alsace, Haut-Rhin
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Prefecture building of the Haut-Rhin department, in Colmar
Prefecture building of the Haut-Rhin department, in Colmar
Coat of arms of Haut-Rhin
Coat of arms
Location of Haut-Rhin in France
Location of Haut-Rhin in France
Country France
Region Alsace
Prefecture Colmar
Subprefectures Altkirch
 • President of the General Council Charles Buttner (UMP)
 • Total 3,525 km2 (1,361 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Total 742,408
 • Rank 28th
 • Density 210/km2 (550/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 68
Arrondissements 4
Cantons 17
Communes 377
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Haut-Rhin (French pronunciation: ​; Alsatian: Owerelsàss) (German: Oberelsass, Hoch-Rhein) is a department in the Alsace region of France, named after the Rhine river. Its name means Upper Rhine. Haut-Rhin is the smaller and less populated of the two departments of Alsace, although it is still densely populated compared to the rest of France.


  • Subdivisions 1
  • History 2
  • Geography 3
  • Economy 4
  • Law 5
  • Tourism 6
  • Culture 7
  • See also 8
  • External links 9


The department consists of the following arrondissements:


Haut-Rhin is one of the original 83 departments, created during the French Revolution, on 4 March 1790 through the application of the law of 22 December 1789 in respect of the southern half of the province of Alsace (Haute-Alsace).

Its boundaries have been modified many times:


Haut-Rhin is bordered by the Territoire de Belfort and Vosges départements and the Vosges Mountains to the west, the Bas-Rhin département to the North, Switzerland to the south and its eastern border with Germany is also the River Rhine. In the centre of the département lies a fertile plain. The climate is semi-continental.


Haut-Rhin is one of the richest French départements. Mulhouse is the home of a Peugeot automobile factory, manufacturing the 106 and 206 models. The lowest unemployment rate in France can be found in the Southern Sundgau region (approximately 2%). The countryside is marked by hills. Many Haut-Rhinois work in Switzerland, especially in the chemical industries of Basel, but commute from France where living costs are lower.


Alsace and the adjacent Moselle department have a legal system slightly different from the rest of France. The statutes in question date from the period 1871 - 1919 when the area was part of the German Empire. With the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France in 1919, Paris accepted that Alsace and Moselle should retain some local laws in respect of certain matters, especially with regard to hunting, economic life, local government relationships, health insurance and social rights. It includes notably the absence of any formal separation between church and state: several mainstream denominations of the Christian church benefit from state funding, in contrast to principles applied in the rest of France.



See also

External links

  • (French) General Council website
  • (French) Prefecture website
  • (English) Haut-Rhin at DMOZ
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