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In the 14th century, the village of Illhaeusern (literally “houses on the banks of the Ill”) was founded by the fi shermen from the neighbouring village of Guémar, who built a few houses on the Gemeinmarck(1) to get closer to the Ill, where they worked. The name Illhaeusern appears for the fi rst time in a document from 1482.
Over the centuries, the Fishermen’s Guild (Fischerzunft) gained increasing infl uence over village life. They were subject to very strict local regulations established in 1491.As early as the 14th century, a toll was established on the banks of the Ill. Then in the 15th century, with the arrival of boatmen and fishermen, a port developed. Illhaeusern, just like Guémar, fell within the Ribeaupierre estate until 1789.
From the beginning of the 16th century, Illhaeusern was founded as a community with its own local government, its provost, its legal structures, while remaining annexed to Guémar.
In 1833, Illhaeusern became a fully independent community. On 16 June 1940, the Germans occupied the village and, to hinder their advance, the bridges over the Ill and the Orch were destroyed, as were the village’s two restaurants and four houses.
The unusual origin of Illhaeusern’s past is due to its geographical situation: the village is located in the Ried at the confl uence of the Fecht and Ill rivers (and its branch the Bennwasser). From the 15th to the 20th century, Illhaeusern was best known as a village of boatmen and fi shermen.
The village’s economy is based on its activities of fi shing and producing fish products, such as fried fish, fish stews and
other crayfi sh fritters that created its reputation in bygone days and that still delight food lovers today. llhaeusern has managed to preserve its peaceful charm and bucolic character, particularly by preserving the banks of the Ill and a few old houses, despite the destruction caused by the fighting in December 1944 and especially January 1945.
- Type of hiking trail : paved road