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OBERNAI [Owernah,Oberehnheim] : (Bas-Rhin département, Alsace région) PDF Print E-mail

Obernai (French: Obernai; Alsatian: Owernah; German: Oberehnheim) commune on the eastern slopes of the Vosges mountains. Jews in Obernai date from 1215. About 60 Jews lived there in 1970. HistoryHistory and photos of cemetery [Oct 2013]

(German: Oberechnheim). general town information in French. A Roman crossroad, then a Merovingian royal villa, "Ehenheim" was the name in 778 until Oberehnheim in 1242 distinguished itself from Niederehnheim (Niedernai). The city was owned by the Dukes of Alsace then the monasteries of Hohenbourg (actually Mount Saint-Odile) and of Niedermunster, both nunneries founded by Saint Odile and his father. By 1240, Obernai freed itself from monastic tutelage to achieve at the rank of city with the help of Hohenstaufen, allowing him to establish fortifications, to be endowed with a judicial and fiscal organization, and to hold a market and fairs. In 1354, Obernai and the nine other imperial cities of Alsace (Wissembourg, Haguenau, Rosheim, Sélestat, Kaysersberg, Colmar, Turckheim, Munster and Mulhouse) combine to found Décapole. The local organization had two preferences: stamp the city with the authority of the provost (delegate of the Emperor) and neutralize the influence of numerous noblemen on the city. The sixteenth century marks the golden age of development in Obernai. Trade and viticulture (export) turned out to be prosperous. The Renaissance left its architectural mark on numerous private and public buildings: Town Hall (1523 and 1610), the Market Hall [la Halle aux Blés] (1554), the Belfry of Kapellturm, and the Well in Six Buckets [le Puits à Six Seaux] (1579). The Thirty Years War devastated the region; the city is occupied and robbed. After the Treaties of Westphalia of 1648, Louis XIV appended the ten cities of Décapole to the Crown of France in 1679. Obernai became a royal city and lost her self-government. The eighteenth century again was a prosperous period. The ancient Jewish community that disappeared in 15th century left the 1689 Census of Jews with three Jews. More lived here in the 18th century. A private synagogue is built by 1750; relics were unearthed some years ago. After the Revolution, the history of Obernai becomes that of Alsace. In the course of the nineteenth century, the urban landscape saw decisive transformations: the doors of the city were destroyed; roads and railway developed. Obernai is appended in Germany in 1871. The growing importance of the community required building a new synagogue finished by 1876. The rabbinate of the district was in Niedernai, seat (before the Revolution) of the Beth Dîn. Purportedly, a Jewish cemetery exists. The neo-Romanesque synagogue was dedicated in 1876 and rededicated in 1948. For visits contact Denis Geissmann. tel. 9, rue de Sélestat. He may be able to assist with burial site location used by Obernai. [January 2008]

Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2013 02:30
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