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View from the train station of old Hombourg
View from the train station of old Hombourg
Coat of arms of Hombourg-Haut
Coat of arms
Location of Hombourg-Haut
Hombourg-Haut is located in France
Hombourg-Haut is located in Grand Est
Coordinates: 49°07′36″N 6°46′43″E / 49.1267°N 6.7786°E / 49.1267; 6.7786Coordinates: 49°07′36″N 6°46′43″E / 49.1267°N 6.7786°E / 49.1267; 6.7786
RegionGrand Est
IntercommunalityCommunauté de communes de Freyming-Merlebach
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Laurent Muller
12.25 km2 (4.73 sq mi)
 • Density540/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
57332 /57470
Elevation209–354 m (686–1,161 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Hombourg-Haut (German: Oberhomburg) is a commune located in the department of Moselle, region of Grand Est, in the cultural and historical region Lorraine, north-eastern France.

An aerial view of the town.

Hombourg-Haut is an old medieval fortress town, built in the thirteenth century by the bishops of Metz. The old village lies at the foot of the imposing collegiate church in a green and wooded landscape.

Nowadays, the city has several neighbourhoods: the old Hombourg, the old village of Hellering, urban areas with HLMs built in the 1950s-1960s and residential district. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Hombourgeois and Hombourgeoises.


Middle Ages[edit]

After a bitter dispute over the ownership of the castle of "Hombourg-Bas" (the old castle) between the Duke of Lorraine and the bishop of Metz, the latter prevailed end of the 12th century. Hombourg remained the property of the prelates of Metz until the 16th century. In 1270, the bishop, Jacques of Lorraine, decided to build a new and splendid castle on the opposite elongated hill, probably from 1245 on.

This castle became the main seat of the bailiwick of Hombourg/St-Avold. It was the residence of the bishops' representatives and sometimes of the prelates themselves. In front of the castle, Jacques of Lorraine got a fortified town built, surrounded by a long wall, today's "Vieux-Hombourg".[2] Jacques granted his new town privileges and rights and in 1254, he founded a collegiate church with 13 capitular canons that was run until 1743. The collegiate got a new church built in 1300 which took almost a century to complete.

Thirty Year's War and the decline[edit]

Industrial revolution and steel production[edit]

In 1758, Charles de Wendel founded an ironworks at the banks of the Roselle. That was the beginning of the industrial era of Hamburg-Haut. The ironworks was taken over by the d'Hausen family during the First Empire. The Gouvy family from Saarland bought the factory in 1850 and transformed it into a modern steel plant. Providing employment to generations of Hombourg's inhabitants, the Gouvy steel mill also supported music, sports, youth movements and other leisure activities. The Münch family continued the work of the Gouvys when they bought the factory in 1935, offering work to almost 250 employees. The plant ceased opérations permanently during the 1980s. Following the mill demolition, a shopping centre has been built on the site.

Coal mining in the area[edit]


The pond "Papiermühle".

The Rossell a small affluent of the Saar River flows through Hombourg-Haut.

The pond "Papiermühle".

City government[edit]


  • Jean Derrieux, 1937-1971
  • Albert Muller, 1971–1983
  • Jean-Loup Schouller, 1983–2001
  • Roland Kazmierczak, 2001-2006
  • Jacques Furman, 2008-2014
  • Laurent Muller, since 2014

Municipal offices[edit]

  • The Espace de Wendel: inaugurated in January 2019[3], this venue is named after the Wendel family, ironmasters in Lorraine with an early forge in Hombourg-Haut during the 18th Century (Jean-Charles de Wendel (1708-1784) was the first owner of the forge in Hombourg-Haut where he also built a mansion).

Tourist office[edit]

The tourist office is located near the railway station. It is run by the Communauté de communes de Freyming-Merlebach, a federation of municipalities in the French law.

Culture and heritage sites[edit]

Civic sites[edit]

Religious sites[edit]

Cultural events[edit]

Twin town[edit]

Italy San Giorgio di Pesaro, Italy

Notable people[edit]

Théodore Gouvy (1819-1898) composer


  1. ^ "Populations légales 2016". INSEE. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. ^ See: Vion, Vincent & Schmitt, Vivien (1998). Hombourg-Haut. Le château de Jacques de Lorraine. Coll. "Monographies hombourgeoises". ISBN 2-901977-02-2
  3. ^ Article of the newspaper Le Républicain Lorrain
  4. ^ Mérimée IA00037126, Ministère français de la Culture. (in French) Château fort
  5. ^ Mérimée IA00037128, Ministère français de la Culture. (in French) Château
  6. ^ the gothic collegiate church of Saint Stephen
  7. ^ History of Hombourg In Cashiers de la Société d'Issoire du Pays Naborien
  8. ^ Mérimée IA00037112, Ministère français de la Culture. (in French) Collégiale de Chanoines Saint-Etienne
  9. ^ Mérimée IA00037113, Ministère français de la Culture. (in French) Chapelle Sainte-Catherine
  10. ^ Mérimée PA57000035, Ministère français de la Culture. (in French) Ancien couvent des Récollets
  11. ^ Website about the choir

External links[edit]