Kirchheim, Bas-Rhin

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Kirchheim
Keriche
Commune
Coat of arms of Kirchheim
Coat of arms
Kirchheim is located in France
Kirchheim
Kirchheim
Coordinates: 48°36′37″N 7°29′48″E / 48.6103°N 7.4967°E / 48.6103; 7.4967Coordinates: 48°36′37″N 7°29′48″E / 48.6103°N 7.4967°E / 48.6103; 7.4967
Country France
Region Grand Est
Department Bas-Rhin
Arrondissement Molsheim
Canton Molsheim
Intercommunality CC de la Mossig et du Vignoble
Government
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Patrick Deck
Area1 2.30 km2 (0.89 sq mi)
Population (2014)2 679
 • Density 300/km2 (760/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 67240 /67520
Elevation 175–237 m (574–778 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.

Kirchheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department and Grand Est region of north-eastern France.

Geography[edit]

Kirchheim lies on the western edge of the Alsace plain where it meets the first foothills of the Vosges Mountains, 19 km west of Strasbourg, 18 km south-east of Saverne, and 8 km north of Molsheim. Adjacent communes are Marlenheim to the north, Odratzheim and Scharrachbergheim-Irmstett to the south, and Wangen to the north-west.

The village lies within easy walking distance of the main road connecting Saverne to Strasbourg. The former railway line from Molsheim has been developed into a cycle path which traverses the commune, but for non-cyclists there are bus services linking Kirchheim to Strasbourg (route 207) and Molsheim (route 212). Both services start from Wasselonne, a short distance to the north-west.

The eastern boundary of the commune is provided by the small River Mossig (a tributary of the Bruche) flowing from north to south. A remarkable feature of the ecosystem here is the riparian zone which provides a biological corridor for wild life. Resident species of the commune include the Great Hamster of Alsace, an animal that is threatened with extinction and therefore protected.

Most of the surrounding land is either ploughland or laid to grass, although there are vineyards to the south-east and to a limited extent to the north-west.

Economy[edit]

A packaging company which provides two thirds of the jobs in the village dominates local employment. Although there are several other firms, none provides more than a handful of jobs. In the early years of the twenty-first century there were 80 employed positions in the commune.

The agricultural sector, currently dominated by maize cultivation, also plays a significant part in the village economy. There are virtually no shops, but basic shopping is available from travelling van-based businesses.

History[edit]

Local discoveries of Roman relics suggest the presence of a settlement in the Roman period. An early surviving reference from the seventh century gives the name of the village as "Chirichheim". There is also evidence of a royal residence here – frequently used by Charles the Fat and the Empress Richarde – during the later Merovingian period.

The village was part of the territory of the Empire and was a dependency of nearby Wasselonne with which, as far as records of the time are concerned, Kirchheim shared its history until it came under the control of Strasbourg. The Convent of Haslach held a cour domaniale (regional court) there and retained certain rights. There is evidence of some sort of a religious monastery or convent in the eleventh century, which later, in 1274, was taken under the protection of Rudolf I of Germany.

The image on the village's coat of arms is that of an open book and an ink pad: an indication, it is believed, of the presence of several printing firms here in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

In terms of ecclesiastical administration, Kirchheim came under the chapter of Molsheim. Kirchheim church was, in turn, the mother church of those at Marlenheim and Odratzheim, an arrangement that continued until the start of the nineteenth century.

See also[edit]

References[edit]