Lembach

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Lembach
Lembach2.jpg
Lembach is located in France
Lembach
Lembach
Coordinates: 49°01′N 7°47′E / 49.01°N 7.79°E / 49.01; 7.79Coordinates: 49°01′N 7°47′E / 49.01°N 7.79°E / 49.01; 7.79
Country France
Region Alsace
Department Bas-Rhin
Arrondissement Wissembourg
Canton Wissembourg
Intercommunality Sauer-Pechelbronn
Government
 • Mayor (2001–2008) Charles Schlosser
Area1 48.89 km2 (18.88 sq mi)
Population (2006)2 1,758
 • Density 36/km2 (93/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 67263 / 67510
Elevation 177–551 m (581–1,808 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Lembach is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.

Geography[edit]

Lembach lies in the Sauer valley, surrounded by the woods and sandstone cliffs of the Palatinate Forest-North Vosges Biosphere Reserve. It is positioned on the local road RD3 which connects Wissembourg, fifteen kilometres (nine miles) to the east with the north western tip of the département, and the road to Bitche. The German frontier is approximately six kilometres (four miles) to the north, but motorists wishing to visit Germany would be well advised to use a less direct route.

At the heart of the Lembach is a Protestant church from 1750 (but incorporating a tower from the late Medieval period) as well as a nineteenth-century Catholic church.

The commune, which embraces an extensive land area, much of it uninhabitable due to the topography, also includes the small village of Mattstall and the hamlet of Pfaffenbronn.

Tourism[edit]

The spectacular scenery and the fortifications of past centuries, coupled with the limited possibilities for agriculture in the immediate area leave tourism as a key source of employment. In recent years the village has become a pilgrimage focus for gourmets, many of whom cross the frontier from nearby population centres in Germany, due to the presence in Lembach of a well regarded haute-cuisine restaurant. Clearly marked footpaths, some of them leading to ruined fortifications or to picturesque rock faces, are promoted as another tourist attraction. The best known and most substantial of the medieval period fortifications, probably, is the Château du Fleckenstein. The commune also includes a section of the Maginot Line.

History[edit]

The extensive territory has often found itself a crossing point between the French and German worlds both in time of peace and in time of war.

In September 1972 the commune merged with the neighbouring village of Mattstall, to the south: Mattstall retains the semi-independent status of an associated commune.

Notable people[edit]

  • Author and doctor Paul Bertololy lived in Lembach and, in 1972, died there. (At the time of his birth at Frankenthal in 1892, Lembach was part of Germany: German was the mother tongue in which Bertololy wrote.)
  • Astronaut Rusty Schweickart is the grandson of a couple who emigrated from Lembach to the USA. He has visited the village twice and given his name to a street in it.

Landmarks[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]