Refuge fortifié

Vue extérieure. Photo: Etienne Pommois

The fortified refuge of Dossenheim-sur-Zinsel is a one-of-a-kind site in France. It has retained its circular surrounding wall that several small houses lean on, some of which are still inhabited. An exhibition tells the story of this place of remembrance.

In the medieval and modern times, the parish church of Dossenheim-sur-Zinsel was surrounded with a fortified churchyard where the local people sought refuge. The thick circular wall made of blocks of sandstone is still standing nowadays. Small houses, where people still live, lean against it. The foundations of the former “cellaria”, also called “Gaden”, can be seen in the basements. When threatened with danger, the peasants took refuge in these trapezoid cubbyholes which were also used for storage. The threats came from wandering undisciplined troops who robbed, burned and looted almost at will: Armagnacs, gangs from Lorraine during the 1525 revolt also called the Peasants' War, mercenaries paid by Mansfeld, the military commander during the Thirty Years' War. A permanent exhibition relates the history of this exceptional site.

Additional information
  • Altitude : 184m
  • Prices :
    • Adult rate : 1,50€
    • Child rate : 0,00€
    • Etudiant : 1,20€
  • Price advantages :
    • Free for children (age limit) : 16 ans
  • Languages spoken : French

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