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Milhüsa (Alsatian)
Mülhausen  (German)
Assemblage mulhouse.jpg
Flag of Mulhouse
Coat of arms of Mulhouse
Location of Mulhouse
Mulhouse is located in France
Mulhouse is located in Grand Est
Coordinates: 47°45′N 7°20′E / 47.75°N 7.34°E / 47.75; 7.34
RegionGrand Est
CantonMulhouse-1, 2 and 3
IntercommunalityMulhouse Alsace Agglomération
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Michèle Lutz (LR)
22.18 km2 (8.56 sq mi)
 • Urban
239.1 km2 (92.3 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2019)[1]
 • Density4,900/km2 (13,000/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Urban density1,000/km2 (2,700/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
68224 /68100, 68200
Dialling codes0389, 0369
Elevation232–338 m (761–1,109 ft)
(avg. 240 m or 790 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Mulhouse (pronounced [myluz]; Alsatian: Milhüsa or Milhüse, [mɪlˈyːzə]; German: Mülhausen; meaning mill house) is a city of the Haut-Rhin department, in the Grand Est region, Eastern France, close to the Swiss and German borders. It is the largest city in Haut-Rhin and second largest in Alsace after Strasbourg.

Mulhouse is famous for its museums, especially the Cité de l'Automobile (also known as the Musée national de l'automobile, 'National Museum of the Automobile') and the Cité du Train (also known as Musée Français du Chemin de Fer, 'French Museum of the Railway'), respectively the largest automobile and railway museums in the world. An industrial town nicknamed "the French Manchester",[3] Mulhouse is also the main seat of the Upper Alsace University, where the secretariat of the European Physical Society is found.


Mulhouse is a commune with a population of 108,312 in 2019.[4] This commune is part of an urban unit also named Mulhouse with 247,065 inhabitants in 2018.[2]

Additionally Mulhouse commune is the principal commune of the 39 communes which make up the communauté d'agglomération of Mulhouse Alsace Agglomération (m2A, population 280,000 in 2020).[5][6]

Mulhouse commune is a subprefecture, the administrative centre of the Arrondissement of Mulhouse. It is one of the most populated sub-prefectures in France.


Mulhouse joining Alsace 100th anniversary medal 1898 by Frédéric Vernon, obverse
Mulhouse joining Alsace 100th anniversary medal 1898 by Frédéric Vernon, obverse
Reverse of the medal
Reverse of the medal
Forts of Mulhouse 1650
Forts of Mulhouse 1650

In 58 BC a battle took place west of Mulhouse and opposed the Roman army of Julius Caesar by a coalition of Germans led by Ariovistus. The first written records of the town date from the twelfth century. It was part of the southern Alsatian county of Sundgau in the Holy Roman Empire. From 1354 to 1515, Mulhouse was part of the Décapole, an association of ten Free Imperial Cities in Alsace. The city joined the Swiss Confederation as an associate in 1515 and was therefore not annexed by France in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 like the rest of the Sundgau. An enclave in Alsace, it was a free and independent Calvinist republic, known as Stadtrepublik Mülhausen, associated with the Swiss Confederation until, after a vote by its citizens on 4 January 1798, it became a part of France in the Treaty of Mulhouse signed on 28 January 1798, during the Directory period of the French Revolution.

Starting in the middle of the eighteenth century, the Koechlin family pioneered cotton cloth manufacturing; Mulhouse became one of France's leading textile centers in the nineteenth century. André Koechlin (1789–1875) built machinery and started making railroad equipment in 1842. The firm in 1839 already employed 1,800 people. It was one of the six large French locomotive constructors until the merger with Elsässische Maschinenbau-Gesellschaft Grafenstaden in 1872, when the company became Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques.[7]

After the Prussian victory in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871), Mulhouse was annexed to the German Empire as part of the territory of Alsace-Lorraine (1871–1918). The city was briefly occupied by French troops on 8 August 1914 at the start of World War I, but they were forced to withdraw two days later in the Battle of Mulhouse. Alsatians who celebrated the appearance of the French army were left to face German reprisals, with several citizens sentenced to death. After World War I ended in 1918, French troops entered Alsace, and Germany ceded the region to France under the Treaty of Versailles. After the Battle of France in 1940, it was occupied by German forces until its return to French control at the end of World War II in May 1945.

The town's development was stimulated first by the expansion of the textile industry and tanning, and subsequently by chemical and Engineering industries from the mid 18th century. Mulhouse was for a long time called the French Manchester. Consequently, the town has enduring links with Louisiana, from which it imported cotton, and also with the Levant. The town's history also explains why its centre is relatively small.


Two rivers run through Mulhouse, the Doller and the Ill, both tributaries of the Rhine. Mulhouse is approximately 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Strasbourg and Zürich; it is 350 km (217 mi) from Milan and about 340 km (211 mi) from Frankfurt. It lies close enough to Basel, Switzerland and Freiburg, Germany to share the EuroAirPort international airport with these two cities.[8]


Medieval Mulhouse consists essentially of a lower and an upper town.

  • The lower town was formerly the inner city district of merchants and craftsmen. It developed around the Place de la Réunion (which commemorates its reunion with France). Nowadays this area is pedestrianised.
  • The upper town developed from the eighteenth century on. Previously, several monastic orders were established there, notably the Franciscans, Augustinians, Poor Clares and Knights of Malta.
  • The Nouveau Quartier (New District) is the best example of urban planning in Mulhouse, and was developed from 1826 on, after the town walls had been torn down (as they were in many towns in France). It is focused around the Place de la République. Its network of streets and its triangular shape are a good demonstration of the town's desire for a planned layout. The planning was undertaken by the architects G. Stolz and Félix Fries. This inner city district was occupied by rich families and the owners of local industries, who tended to be liberal and republican in their opinions.
  • The Rebberg district consists of grand houses inspired by the colonnaded residences of Louisiana cotton planters. Originally, this was the town's vineyard (the word Rebe meaning vine in German). The houses here were built as terraces in the English style, a result of the town's close relationship with Manchester, where the sons of industrialists were often sent to study.


The population data in the table and graph below refer to the commune of Mulhouse proper, in its geography at the given years. The commune of Mulhouse absorbed the former commune of Dornach in 1914 and Bourtzwiller in 1947.[9]

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 3,763—    
1800 3,879+0.43%
1806 3,950+0.30%
1821 3,006−1.80%
1831 3,314+0.98%
1836 3,546+1.36%
1841 3,718+0.95%
1846 3,620−0.53%
1851 3,810+1.03%
1856 4,311+2.50%
1861 6,871+9.77%
1866 9,235+6.09%
1871 12,295+5.89%
1875 13,607+2.57%
1880 18,693+6.56%
1885 21,541+2.88%
1890 23,986+2.17%
1895 27,087+2.46%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1900 31,773+3.24%
1905 35,904+2.47%
1910 43,217+3.78%
1921 51,026+1.52%
1926 58,521+2.78%
1931 70,450+3.78%
1936 71,803+0.38%
1946 69,838−0.28%
1954 76,252+1.10%
1962 92,207+2.40%
1968 95,698+0.62%
1975 96,587+0.13%
1982 93,368−0.48%
1990 94,754+0.18%
1999 90,674−0.49%
2007 102,097+1.49%
2012 103,520+0.28%
2017 109,897+1.20%
Source: EHESS[9] and INSEE (1968-2017)[10]

Main sights

Christmas market in Mulhouse
Christmas market in Mulhouse
Société Industrielle building
Société Industrielle building
Temple Saint-Étienne on the Place de la Réunion
Temple Saint-Étienne on the Place de la Réunion
Hôtel de Ville (Rothüs in Alsatian)
Hôtel de Ville (Rothüs in Alsatian)

Principal economic activities

Main commercial areas
Main commercial areas
Campus "La Fonderie" of the Upper Alsace University
Campus "La Fonderie" of the Upper Alsace University

As early as the mid-19th century, Mulhouse was known as "the industrial capital of Alsace", the "city with a hundred chimneys" (cité aux cent cheminées) and "the French Manchester".[11]

Between 1909 and 1914 there was an aircraft manufacturer, Aviatik, in Mulhouse.[12]


The École nationale supérieure de chimie de Mulhouse, the first school of Chemistry in France, is located in the city.[13]


Tram in Mulhouse
Tram in Mulhouse


Mulhouse is served by EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, located 25 km (16 mi) south of the town.


Gare de Mulhouse is well connected with the rest of France by train, including major destinations such as Paris, Dijon, Besançon, Belfort, Strasbourg, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier and Lille. Some trains operate to destinations in Switzerland, in particular proximity Basel, Bern and Zürich. There is also a train service to Frankfurt am Main in Germany, and a Eurocity service that connects Brussels, Luxembourg, Strasbourg and Basel calls at Mulhouse.

Regional services connect Mulhouse to Colmar, Strasbourg, Basel, Belfort, Kruth and Freiburg im Breisgau.

Urban transport

Transport within Mulhouse is provided by Soléa and comprises a network of buses together with the city's tram network, which opened on 13 May 2006. The tramway now consists of three tram lines and one tram-train line.


Motorway A36 is the main axis connecting the city with the west of the country, to cities such as Dijon, Paris and Lyon. The A35 is the main north–south axis, connecting cities such as Strasbourg and Basel.


Mulhouse is one of the nation's hubs for women's volleyball. ASPTT Mulhouse won multiple titles at the National level. The team plays its home games at the Palais des Sports.


Mulhouse was the birthplace of:

Other residents include:

  • Adolphe Braun (1812–1877), photographer
  • Alfred de Glehn (1848–1936), designer of steam locomotives
  • Armando Thiriet Koenig (1882–1956), industrial engineer, Director of AEG Madrid in 1919, established an AEG subsidiary in Seville in the early 1920s

Twin towns—sister cities

Mulhouse is twinned with:[17]


Mulhouse's climate is temperate oceanic (Köppen: Cfb), but its location further away from the ocean gives the city colder winters with some snow, and often hot and humid summers, in comparison with the rest of France.

Climate data for Mulhouse (1981–2010 averages)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 18.8
Average high °C (°F) 4.9
Daily mean °C (°F) 1.7
Average low °C (°F) −1.5
Record low °C (°F) −23.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 47.3
Average precipitation days 9.3 8.7 10.0 9.9 11.6 10.2 9.8 10.1 9.0 10.3 10.1 10.5 119.7
Average snowy days 8.3 7.4 4.6 1.6 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 3.5 6.9 32.5
Average relative humidity (%) 84 81 75 72 74 74 72 76 80 84 85 84 78.4
Mean monthly sunshine hours 74.0 94.1 138.1 176.1 200.1 226.0 241.3 227.7 164.3 118.5 67.8 55.1 1,783
Source 1: Météo France[18][19]
Source 2: (humidity and snowy days, 1961–1990)[20]


  1. ^ "Populations légales 2019". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Unité urbaine 2020 de Mulhouse (68701)" [Mulhouse metropolitan area] (in French). INSEE. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  3. ^ "Le sex appeal industriel de Mulhouse" (in French). Archived from the original on 21 July 2011.
  4. ^ Téléchargement du fichier d'ensemble des populations légales en 2019, INSEE
  5. ^ "m2A est composée de 39 communes". Mulhouse Alsace Agglomération. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  6. ^ "Mulhouse Alsace Agglomération". Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  7. ^ Michael Stephen Smith, The emergence of modern business enterprise in France, 1800–1930 (2006) p. 575.
  8. ^ "Mulhouse". Tourist Office****and Conventional Bureau of Mulhouse and its Region. Archived from the original on 4 September 2013.
  9. ^ a b Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Mulhouse, EHESS. (in French)
  10. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  11. ^ a b Scheurer, Marie-Philippe; Lehni, Roger; Menninger, Claude: Mulhouse, Haut-Rhin − Images du Patrimoine, Le Verger, Illkirch-Graffenstaden, 1990, ISBN 2-908367-18-1 (in French)
  12. ^ Grosz, Peter M. (1997). Aviatik C.I. Berkhamsted: Albatros Productions. Windsock Datafile No. 63. ISBN 0-948414-95-2. p. 1.
  13. ^ A Mulhouse, la plus ancienne école de chimie de France fête son bicentenaire en 2022
  14. ^ Rose, Mike (17 February 2014). "Quantic Dream founder David Cage awarded France's highest decoration". Gamasutra. Think Services. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  15. ^ Maiberg, Emanuel (16 February 2014). "Beyond: Two Souls' David Cage first game developer to receive France's highest honor". Gamespot. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  16. ^ Delcambre, Alexis (3 December 2016). "Rémy Pflimlin, ancien président de France Télévisions, est mort". Le Monde. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  17. ^ "Jumelages Europe et Asie". (in French). Mulhouse. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  18. ^ "Données climatiques de la station de Mulhouse" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  19. ^ "Climat Alsace" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  20. ^ "Normes et records 1961–1990: Bâle-Mulhouse (68) – altitude 263m" (in French). Infoclimat. Retrieved 27 December 2015.


External links

This page was last edited on 26 April 2022, at 20:44
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